The skin deep project: Learning to love your body from the Top End to your toes

steve-davis-racheal-bettienPut your hand up if you don’t enjoy using fitting rooms when clothes shopping?

Darwin-based designer and clothing retailer, Jo from Viva La Body, says it saddens her seeing women and girls emerging from fitting rooms upset, disappointed and embarrassed by their body shape.

Jo was speaking Saturday morning in Darwin at the Skin Deep Project’s high tea to mark International No Diet Day.

Her message to women (and men) is to flip their thinking when shopping for clothes.

Don’t lament that you don’t fit the clothes you tried on, instead, simply note that the particular garment you tried on was not made to fit your body, she said.

In testament to the ability of social media to bring people together around issues in the Northern Territory, this fledgling group attracted a gathering of about 40 people out the back of the small shop on a long weekend Saturday morning.

We are different but united through social media

Rachael Bettiens (pictured with Steve Davis), one of the founders of the Skin Deep Project, observed that attendees had bodies of all different shapes and sizes.

She said it is dangerous of us to use mass produced fashion sizing as the benchmark for what is ‘normal’, torturing ourselves for not having bodies that met these artificial standards.

The day attracted a solid turnout thanks to the project’s use of social media, something which Rachael is planning to enhance through the Darwin Digital Enterprise Program.

Furthermore, co-founder and coordinator, Lauren Moss, highlighted one of the ways that digital tools are helping to spread the message of empowerment and healthy self esteem in the Top End.

She shared that local woman, Rachael Warland, had been so inspired by the Skin Deep Project’s messages she built up the courage to turn to YouTube to reveal publicly her wish to sing, something she’d felt to inhibited to share with anyone previously, including her husband.

From my perspective, this story gives us a taste of how digital tools can help individuals connect with others for support and encouragement.

And you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that a Top End brimful with people who are happier within themselves will ultimately lead to an economic bounty!

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