Warning: Illegal string offset 'ID' in /home/customer/www/michelleelman.com/public_html/wp-content/themes/asphodel/templates/header.php on line 44

Warning: Illegal string offset 'post_title' in /home/customer/www/michelleelman.com/public_html/wp-content/themes/asphodel/templates/header.php on line 45


Project Harpoon Vs Scarred Not Scared

September 22, 2015

The latest Facebook page to receive criticism is one that has decided to digitally alter photos of plus-size women and men and place this highly edited version alongside the original image to demonstrate how much potential these plus size individuals would have if they just lost some weight.

Disrespectfully named Operation Harpoon referring to sexual acts with an overweight individual, they are calling an end to the thin haters in the world! As a Body Confidence Coach, I felt I had to say something and so in an effort to support my own opinion, I decided to create my own digitally altered image. Having never photoshopped or even edited a photo myself, I did so for the first time to prove a point but what I learnt was so much more important than any point I was going to originally make.

Whilst digitally editing myself, I actually began to feel my self-respect drop. I can’t quite describe how dramatically altering the body I love so much, made me regret the decision to experiment with this app – ‘Slim and Skinny’ but it swiftly brought me back to that 13 year old girl who lived in that place of self-hatred. I haven’t felt bad about myself for a really long time and for the first time in what felt like forever, I did. Not because of looking at the end result but because of actually doing the process of editing. Turning my body into something that it is not currently, is exactly how teenage girls get into the difficulty with constant comparisons, it is a losing battle.

After a couple of minutes I stopped, I had intended to photoshop out my scars but I couldn’t. I would have been hugely disrespectful to what I have been through to simply ‘erase’ my past and it was in that, did I realise how much I have changed.Less than a decade ago, I would have done it with no hesitation and what’s worse is that at the age of 10, I wanted to do that permanently. I hated my body that much, I wanted plastic surgery. I wanted one more surgery to cover the previous 15 surgery scars that had saved my life. The only thing stopping me was my parents and thank god for that because it was a decision, I would have regretted my whole life.

Today I’m at a place where I would choose my perfect imperfections over a flawless unrecognisable image of me any day and I do not measure my ‘potential’ by my waistline. I do not see a person with more or less potential in either because your potential truly lies in your personality and abilities.

To the creator of Operation Harpoon , I support you in trying to put an end to skinny-shaming but we do not need to begin fat-shaming in order to do so and we most certainly do not need to put others down in the process and enter into a comparison where we pit the skinny against the fat.
So to end, here is my shitty version of photoshopping. I’m not going to be winning any awards for my editing skills but Project Harpoon feel free to give it a try, I’d still choose to keep this version of me!

Instead I choose to support my own campaign Scarred Not Scared which unites people, regardless of body shape. To hear about a campaign that invites you to love your body, check out #scarrednotscared