It's nice to be back at home after a week away. I may not be surrounded by beautiful mountains and the sea but my flat is home, it's a little haven and I'm hugely grateful for it. So I thought I'd write a short post on gratitude. I'm particularly grateful for mistakes - the fact that I now accept it's OK to make them and that I can learn from them, even if sometimes I have to make the same mistake over and again before I learn the lesson. I'm also grateful for my Vespa that gets me anywhere in London very quickly without paying the congestion charge. I'm so grateful for it, in fact, that I'm thinking of cleaning it and maybe even checking the oil. Car or scooter maintenance isn't my forte but taking care of myself means taking care of my belongings, and my road safety for that matter. On the topic of my Vespa, I'm very grateful I haven't fallen off it over the past five years. I'm also grateful today for the Internet - for telling me how I can clean out the gunk from my washing machine without having to call in an expensive repairman. There are many more things I'm grateful for - health, family, friends etc - but I've finally realised I don't have to write down my every thought on this blog and that it'd also be a good idea to spend a little more time on my freelance journalism work to earn some cash.
So I thought I'd dedicate the rest of this post to other people and campaigns involved in the whole body image debate. Firstly, Natasha Devon. Natasha co-runs Body Gossip - a campaign that promotes realistic, natural and healthy beauty - and regularly appears on TV, radio and in the print media, talking about body confidence, self-esteem and eating disorders. I've mentioned Body Gossip before but it's definitely worth mentioning again. Check out this blog she wrote about Barbie being an unrealistic and dangerous role model for young girls, posted after a BBC Radio 5 Live debate on the same topic. Body Gossip is also looking for stories to publish in a new book, so if you have a body-related story, poem or stream of consciousness you want to share, check out this link and send it in to them. I'll be writing my offer this week.
And finally, I've written a lot in the past few days about the Endangered Species women summits that took place this month in five cities. The aim of the summits was to challenge negative body thoughts, self-hate and the industries that propagate unrealistic standards of beauty. The London one, which I went to, was on March 4th and Elena Rossini, the documentary filmmaker I linked to yesterday, has just put together a great video, called Endangered Species London: The Film, which sums up the event, held at the Royal Festival Hall on London's South Bank. The film features presentations by Susie Orbach, psychotherapist and author of Fat is a Feminist Issue, Body Gossip, members of parliament Lynne Featherstone and Jo Swinson, Girl Guiding UK and more. It's definitely worth a look.