Ever had that nightmare – the one where you rock up somewhere with everyone you know, only to realise you’re in your underwear, or worse, naked?
Well, this nightmare came true for me – except that it turned out not to be such a nightmare after all.
The response to the #JetLoveYourself campaign has been overwhelming, and I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am to be a part of it. Showing how women of all different shapes, sizes and skin tones can be beautiful in a large-scale media campaign is a giant leap for South African media, and one that I hope paves the way for many more campaigns like it.
Despite my conviction of the message, it was incredibly daunting to partake. I’m a blogger, not a model, and taking your kit off knowing that hundreds of thousands of people are going to see you vulnerable is a pretty intimidating thought. Luckily I wasn’t alone in this boat – the other gorgeous women in this campaign – LeAnne Dlamini, Yoliswa Mcoqo, Melanie Ramjee and Nova Masango – were a great source of support and camaraderie – a living embodiment of what women should be for each other. Five strangers coming together to build each other up and create something beautiful, something inspiring – perhaps even something that could change lives.
I think back to teenage me – the one that would have died a million deaths at the mere thought that the underwear ‘nightmare’ could come true. The one who tied baggy shirts around her waist to try and mask her butt and thighs. The one who wore shapewear several sizes too small underneath her school uniform to try and make her look smaller. I wonder what she would have thought if she saw more familiar bodies – ones she could relate to – depicted as beautiful in the media. Bodies like this:
I really hope that the #JetLoveYourself campaign moved you. And that if you can see the beauty in the women that appeared in it, you can also see the beauty in your own body. Because imagine how different the world would be if we weren’t told there were good bodies and bad bodies, right bodies and wrong bodies. Imagine a world where all bodies are considered beautiful, where their value isn’t a number on a scale, and they were appreciated for the things that they allow us to do – touch, and explore, and create and build and comfort and love. Think of how different our lives would be, and what incredible things we could achieve, if this were so. If being a part of this campaign took one small step towards that world, then I’m prouder than ever before. Here’s to many more like it.