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It's funny because my speech actually starts with:
"We have a problem."
We nearly did, because I just had hiccups and they were quite violent,
so luckily we're all good now, so I can start.
We do have a problem though, and that is,
the most important relationship we have in our lives
is the one we have with ourselves and we are not taught about it.
I want to challenge you to think about
if we were taught how to look after ourselves using self-care,
could we help enrich our lives, make us happier,
combat our insecurities and enable us to reach our full potential?
For example, have you ever blamed your body?
"Oh my god, that dress is so cute!"
"I can't wear it, I'd have rolls."
"I know why he didn't call me back.
It's because I put on ten pounds last week.
Damn those burittos!"
(Laughter)
The thing is,
body image is often associated with teenage girls.
But in fact, men and boys are affected too.
Eating disorders and mental health can affect anyone
at any age, at any time.
And that's why this is so important to me
and why we are here today connecting with you all.
So many guys now are going to the gym and they're even abusing steroids,
because maybe their selfies would get more likes
if they had a six pack of abs, not beer.
(Laughter)
I know that when I was younger, I would look in that mirror
every single day, and hate what I saw.
"Why don't I have a thigh gap?"
"Why does it look like this thigh ate the other one?"
(Laughter)
"Ugh, more pimples? Are you kidding me?"
"I hate myself."
And that's so sad,
because I can't get those years back
of self-loathing, calorie obsession, and jealousy.
So I decided to use those experiences that I've had,
to gain a better understanding of the relationship I have
with my body and myself.
And by practicing self-care, I was able to change my life.
I hope, today, I can encourage you all, If you haven't already started,
to start that journey of self-love.
It's crazy these days.
We have so many pressures, and now we have social media.
With the rise of social media, we literary have
a weapon of mass destruction to our self-esteem 24/7.
You guys, you consume social media.
Have you ever lost one, two, maybe even three hours of your life,
deep in someone's profile?
Yeah?
Thinking, "Oh, wow, look, they're so in love."
"Oh, they're going to all these amazing holidays!"
"They have the dream job! They have this perfect life!"
"Why isn't my life like that?"
The scary thing is, that's not real.
Social media is a curated, filtered, often airbrushed,
and sometimes even lifestyle illusion.
That's why we need to be taught about it.
That is why we need to be taught how to cope
with these pressures in schools.
And it's become my mission, to teach self-care
and get it into the education system.
Because we need to be taught how to look after ourselves
mentally, physically, and emotionally.
I'm very grateful; I have over three million followers online
and I commit to being authentic, honest with them,
and not retouching my pictures that I own, because I have to forgive myself.
I've been in the industry for 13 years.
And I would get images back of myself
that my family couldn't even recognize me when they flipped through the magazine.
Literally couldn't find me!
I would look at these pictures and think,
"Oh, wow! Where did half of my arms go? My legs are so much skinnier!"
"I've got zero flaws."
"Is that how I'm meant to look?"
"I'm meant to be that perfected image?"
"Wow! Well, I can't even look like that and that's me!"
That's wrong!
So, why is it that we feel these insecurities in the first place?
Because from a very young age, we've been conditioned to believe
that our success and our happiness is highly dependent on our attractiveness.
Think about all the prince and princesses you saw:
slim, toned, tall, proportional features.
The magazines - and celebrating severe weight loss that's actually unhealthy.
Or those who have been nipped and tucked to look 20 years younger.
Because if we are insecure, we are a motivated consumer.
We can be sold an anti-wrinkle cream by a 13 year old,
a push-up bra that looks absolutely ridiculous,
because I've been on set years ago, where they were actually wearing a bra
under the bra to give unattainable cleavage.
(Laughter)
Yeah, that happens, so do butt-pads.
The butt-pads are in all those jean adverts you see, just saying.
(Laughter)
And I recently was trained
by the National Eating Disorders Association of the US,
whom I'm an ambassador for, and something called "The Body Project."
It's the first scientifically-proven course
to help prevent eating disorders in young people.
It's just four one-hour sessions,
the impact on these pupils was outstanding,
and it confirmed to me that we need to be talking about this.
So I thought I'd shared with you some of that today.
The main concept we teach is the "beauty ideal myth."
We get all the kids to have magazines and they pick out the perfect body
We then break it down for them.
"OK, so what's the perfect body then?"
"Well, it's tall, big boobs, small waist,
or it's ridiculous abs, it's a tan, straight hair, no flaws."
"Is that real?"
"No."
"Is that achievable?"
"No."
So what are the sacrifices and costs for you to try and attain this?
It's so detrimental to your mental and physical health.
And guess what?
Who wins from this battle?
The brands, the magazines, the pharmaceutical industry.
And who loses?
We lose!
So, we need to embrace our bodies for more than that.
We need to stop trying to attain perfection,
because we are good enough already.
If we could start redefining the beauty ideal,
imagine celebrating someone's achievements,
their accomplishments, their personality, their morals and their values.
To me that's beautiful.
I recently was challenged to get three women,
who would have refused to ever be in a bikini,
to go in a bikini, live on national TV, in front of three million people
and on the streets of London in front of crowds.
These were women who - I generally talk to kind of school kids -
they were older.
There was a lady in her 70s,
who had recently lost her partner and had excess skin.
There was another lady, who was a mother and she'd had an eating disorder
and really struggled with body image her whole life.
The other woman had been horrifically body-shamed by an ex-partner.
So, we go backstage and I'm like, "OK, I hope I can do this."
They call me and they're like,
"Iskra, you need to get in the changing room right now.
They are all breaking down."
Well, no wonder!
They stuck three women in a room with one mirror and five bikinis and said,
"You must choose one of these and you're going to go out there in it."
Come on, that's a lot of pressure.
So, I went in there and taught them
one of my biggest areas of self-care, which I call my "mirror challenge."
Initially, they're standing in that mirror; the first thing they do -
and I'm sure many of you do as well - is see your insecurities.
We need to change that discussion.
So, I get them in front of the mirror in their bikinis, and I tell them,
"Pick out five things that you love about yourself."
I gave them a few examples and they started.
"Well, I'm the life of the party."
"I'm an amazing friend."
"I'm creative, I'm independent, I'm hard-working, I'm courageous."
Then they started thinking, "Ooh, I'm pretty cool!"
They started feeling proud of themselves.
Then I told them, "Now, pick out five things
that you love about your body for what it does for you."
Because we want to change that discussion, not just about what your body looks like.
Your body is an incredible thing.
So, they started saying ... it was so inspiring for me as well.
because you never know what people are going to come up with.
One woman said, "These stretch marks,
even though I'm really insecure about them, they enabled me.
This stomach enabled me to birth my children,
and now I have grandchildren, and that's the best part of my life."
Another woman said, "I'm grateful for these hands,
because I was able to be a seamstress, and provide for my whole family."
The last woman said, "Well, I love my legs
because I love running through the English countryside;
it calms me down, and it's what makes me happy."
These women were smiling.
They felt value.
They were so proud of themselves.
I then proceeded to tell them
that not only is it going to change their life,
being able to embrace their bodies, and go out there and be confident,
but the women and men at home, who feel just the way they did,
it's going to help them too.
For them to stand up there and be able to do it,
it's hopefully going to empower them as well.
I still didn't 100 percent know if they were going to do it,
but we go out there, right by the Thames in London,
and sure enough, all three dropped their robes.
There was tears; there was hugging,
two of the women didn't even put their robes back on.
They went all the way straight through the TV show,
back up to the dressing room,
were like, "Well, here I am now, I'm doing it, so I'm not going back!"
(Laughter)
It was life changing.
I never felt so purposeful, so filled with hope.
That's why I'm so excited to be here with you today
to share those stories.
That's one of my main ways that I practice self-care.
The next one is called "a gratitude list."
I have an example; I had to use it not that long ago,
I was in LA with my boyfriend, and we went shopping.
We went to the store, and I saw these gorgeous designer jeans,
and I was like, "OK, I'm going to treat myself."
So, the store associate said, "What size are you?"
I said, "Hmm, like a 12. I don't know what that is, maybe a 31."
And she goes, "Well, the biggest size we have is this one,
and it's a 29, but it's so stretchy.
It's definitely going to fit. Everyone fits in it."
So I was like, "OK."
I go in the changing room, which is the worst place in the world.
A: It's claustrophobic as hell, it's usually hot,
the lighting is from above, the mirror is just awful,
and then it feels like your inner demons are there
waiting to pounce on you.
(Laughter)
So, I'm in there with these jeans and it's like me against the jeans.
And I'm there, and I'm like, "OK, it's not going well."
Then she's shouting in, "I bet they look so good!"
I'm like, "Not yet! Getting there!"
(Laughter)
And I kind of got to here, and I was like,
"Iskra, you just have to give up."
And that's when it hit.
I broke.
That 15-year-old me came back and said,
"You're unworthy of being in these jeans.
"You're too big. What's wrong with you?"
"Why can't you fit into the biggest pair of jeans in the store?"
That's when I was like,
"Come on, Iskra, come on! Use that self-care, go, go, go!"
I brought out my gratitude list.
I want you all to start your own right now, tonight.
Because it saved me in that moment.
"Wow, OK, I'm on holiday; I have a real boyfriend,
who loves me at this size, so clearly, that's good."
(Laughter)
"I'm in LA, I'm from England, that's awesome."
"I'm healthy, I'm alive, I have clean water."
And then I started to think, "What the hell?
These jeans right here, this piece of fabric
is trying to break me right now.
These are not going to ruin my day.
I refuse, flat out refuse to let this ruin how I feel about myself."
So I used that self-care, that knowledge; thank god I had that.
because otherwise, I would have gone out there, a blubbering mess,
and my boyfriend would ask, "What's wrong with you?"
That is my other piece of self-care I'm giving to you.
If we go back, the reason why this can seem shallow to some maybe,
but is actually really important,
is because there is some shocking statistics out there.
Did you know, as a teenage girl,
you are 12 times more likely to die from an eating disorder,
than any other illness?
That there are over 30 million of us,
in the US alone, that have an eating disorder.
And that 90% from all children who die from suicide
have a mental health condition.
As I mentioned earlier, social media is only growing.
The pressure's only getting worse.
And 52% of US teens now say they have been cyber-bullied.
I have experienced, first-hand, hate online, trolling online.
We also need to talk about that. That to me is also part of self-care.
Because the bullies
are just putting their insecurities that they have onto you.
I know that when someone says something nasty about me, it's a reflection
of how they are feeling inside.
But we need to educate people, educate the victims and the bullies,
so that this stops happening.
One way I like to do it is: ignore it, report it, block it,
delete it, act like it never happened.
But I found another cool way.
I recently got a comment, and for me, it was hysterical,
but a few of my followers got really upset about it,
because they said, "You're the reason that the healthcare system is a mess.
You need to put down your McDonald's and stop eating crisps."
How ridiculous is that?
I happen to be on set in my underwear, doing a shoot with crisps around me,
and I thought,
"Hmm, this seems like a good opportunity to show them what I'm made of."
So, I decided to do a picture of me covered in crisps, eating the crisps,
as in "F-U,"
like "Hell no! Are you going to bring me down?
I'm going to keep eating crisps even more now actually,
I really really like crisps now."
Because ...
(Laughter)
I wanted to empower myself.
I wanted to be able to use something that was negative
and turn it into a positive.
Sure enough, I think that video got like 18 million views or something
because that's what we want to see; we want to build each other up.
We want to empower each other.
I'm so grateful I've been here today, and been able to connect with you all,
because I want to encourage every single one of you
to invest in yourself right now.
I want you to understand that if you learn self-care,
practice self-care, you can then gift self-care.
Image being able to give your loved ones the gift of self-love.
Speak to your body in a loving way.
It's the only one you've got,
it's your home, and it deserves your respect.
If you see anyone tearing themselves down, build them back up.
And watch your life positively grow
when you give up the pursuit of perfection.
Because the real beauty ideal is being imperfectly you.
Thank you so much, everybody.
(Laughter)
Thank you.
(Cheers) (Applause)
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【TEDx】Ending the pursuit of perfection | Iskra Lawrence | TEDxUniversityofNevada

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niu 2017 年 9 月 11 日 に公開
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