On Being In Your Body: Megan Crabbe
Megan Crabbe is the incredible woman behind the unstoppable body positive IG account, @bodyposipanda. Megan is a small town girl from Essex, UK and like all of us, she grew up engulfed by a culture that teaches that our worth is dependent on what our bodies look like. At 14, she was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, and after years of desperately trying to claw her way out, she sank once again into the pits of self hatred, in a 'recovered' body, that she never stopped battling against. After years of torturous crash diets and body loathing, Megan had an epiphany—enough was enough. She now teaches people that there is another way to live life, that you can love your body, flaws and all, and know your worth extends far beyond it. She writes about body positivity on her Instagram account, where she currently has over 100,000 followers, and frequently shares honest accounts of her experience, hoping to inspire others to break free from the cycle of diet culture and self hatred.
There are hundreds of millions of us in this world, who at this moment believe that they aren't good enough.
That their bodies, bodies that don't emulate the photoshopped perfection we see all around us, define their lack of worth as human beings. In the US alone, 30 million people will suffer from a clinically recognized eating disorder in their lifetime. This is an epidemic. And while more and more campaigns about awareness and treatment come to light, there remains an enormous space where we all should be trying to combat the cause at the very root. In the words of Naomi Wolf, "the weight-loss cult recruits women from an early age, and eating diseases are the cult's bequest".
I am a women who spent her adolescence blindly following the rules of attractiveness and female value, I nearly followed the rules into an early grave, and yet I still followed. As soon as we are able to perceive the world around us, we are blindfolded. Our blindfolds consist of magazine pages overflowing with impossible beauty standards and dangerous dieting tips. They thicken with one dimensional characters, idolized for their looks and desired for their emptiness. They are secured with binds of catcalling and sexual harassment, daily reminders that women exist only for the gratification of others.
So many of us will never be able to take them off.
I am lucky that I can finally see clearly. And I'm determined to show other people that there's a whole world out there, far beyond where their obstructed vision is holding them back. I try to show them that whatever physical attribute they've been taught to view as not good enough—be it their weight, their skin colour, their age, their ability, their gender—does not define the wonder of them as people. We all deserve a life free from the toxic messages we're taught about our bodies, all those messages do is strip us of our self esteem, our happiness, our time and money.
We have the power to stand up against those messages.
What's your manifesto? Most people have never even considered that there's another option, that they don't have to go through life self-objectifying and measuring themselves against unattainable ideals. All I do is try to show them that option is there. That belly rolls aren't disgusting. That cellulite isn't disastrous. That the measure of our waist isn't the measure of our worth. That true recovery really is possible, self love and all.