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Growing Up Powerful: Confidently You

Asha and Jestine dive into all the mixed messages we get about body image and explore new ways to nurture and appreciate the bodies we have.

This podcast is a production of Rebel Girls. This episode was created in collaboration with Nike, and is based on the Body Confident Sport program.

This episode was narrated by Margaret Ying Drake as Asha, Imani Parks as Jestine, Dédé Davi as Coach, and Dr. Phillippa Diedrichs as herself. It was produced and directed by Deborah Goldstein, with Joy Smith and Haley Dapkus. Sound design and mixing by Mumble Media. It was written and edited by Abby Sher. Additional consulting by Dr. Phillippa Diedrichs. Our executive producers are Jes Wolfe and Joy Smith. Original theme music was composed and performed by Elettra Bargiacchi. A special thanks to the whole Rebel Girls team, who make this podcast possible! Until next time, staaaay rebel!

For more Body Confidence Tools, visit bodyconfidentsport.com

Transcript

INTRODUCTION:

ASHA: Welcome to Growing up Powerful with Rebel Girls!

JESTINE: I’m Jestine.

ASHA: And I’m Asha. And we’re two best friends trying to figure out this thing called life.

COACH: Okay runners! Nice work out there. We’ll meet in the locker room in five mins.

JESTINE: Five minutes?!

ASHA: Just go without me. It’s gonna take me five minutes to get my big ugly butt moving again.

JESTINE: Hey. Don’t talk about yourself like that. I’m not going anywhere without you.

ASHA: Please, just go.

JESTINE: Whoa, what’s going on?

ASHA: Nothing.

JESTINE: C’mon I can tell it’s something.

ASHA: What? How?

JESTINE: Well, you’re calling yourself ugly and you have that funny line in between your eyebrows that you get when you’re mad.

 

ASHA: Ugh. See, this is the problem. Why are you even looking at me?

JESTINE: I didn’t mean that to sound judgemental.

ASHA: No, I know. I’m just feeling really bad about how I look right now.

 

JESTINE: What?! You’re gorgeous. Your skin is always clear, you have a great body and you have –

ASHA: No. Please don’t. I know you’re trying to help, but the minute I put on this uniform, I feel super uncomfortable, and like everybody is looking at me.

JESTINE: Oh, I didn’t realize. I’m sorry.

ASHA: No, it’s not you. It’s just…I hate that I see all these skinny fitness influencers on my phone with perfectly toned thighs and I’m like, how am I supposed to look like that? 

JESTINE: Ooh! Did you see that one who’s selling the tricep-bicep abductor conductor?

ASHA giggles

JESTINE: What?

ASHA: There’s no such thing as a tricep-bicep abductor conductor.

JESTINE: Okay, well it’s something like that. And it’s 49.99 for a limited time with your money back guaranteed.

ASHA: Ugggh.

COACH ENTERS

COACH: Hey Asha, Jestine – You joining us in the changing room, friends?

JESTINE: Yeah, Coach

COACH: I invited one of my colleagues to come in and talk to you about body awareness.

ASHA: (under her breath) Ugh. Here we go.

JESTINE: (to Asha) I got you.

[A FEW MINUTES LATER IN THE LOCKER ROOM – THEY CATCH DR. DIEDRICHS MID-SENTENCE]

DR. PD: …And I’m in room 108. I like to call my office a Body Talk Free Zone. Oh hey, girls.

JESTINE: Hi.

ASHA: Sorry we’re late.

DR. PD: No worries. We were just doing introductions. I’m Dr. Phillippa Diedrichs. I’m a Professor of Psychology as well as a body image and mental health expert. I’ll be visiting you from time to time or you can come see me in room 108, if you want to talk about body image or anything else that’s on your mind.

ASHA: Great. Thank you.

DR. PD: And you are…?

ASHA: Asha.

JESTINE: Jestine. And actually, we were just talking about…

ASHA groans – she doesn’t want to have this be a group discussion. JESTINE gets the message.

JESTINE: Yeah. Nothing. We were just…talking.

DR. PD: Well, I’m glad you joined us. We were just discussing all the ridiculous messages we get on a daily basis about how we should be thinner, prettier or ready to swim across the English Channel while juggling bowling balls.

A few giggles from the girls.

ASHA: That’s not a real thing, is it?

DR. PD: Not that I know of, but it might as well be. You see these beauty ideals are all made up. One person might say women are supposed to be tiny, thin and quiet and the next person may say no, we should be curvy in all the right places and extra confident. And all these crazy messages are coming at us at the same time from social media, people at school and advertising. It’s too much. We start comparing ourselves and putting ourselves down.

ASHA: Yeah. That makes sense.

JESTINE: But what can we do about it?

DR. PD: Well, it may be challenging, but we have to try to filter out all the rubbish we see on social media.

ASHA: Like the tricep-bicep abductor conductor?

DR. PD: Excuse me?

JESTINE: Nothing.

DR. PD: Or even innocent-sounding comments like, “You look amazing. You’re so skinny and your skin is always clear.”

JESTINE: (feeling guilty) Ooooh-boy.

DR. PD: It’s all right. It can be tricky to stop body talk like this. In many ways, we’ve been programmed to think that this is a way to compliment someone and show them we care. But if we can focus our attention elsewhere on more important things, by making a Body Talk Free Zone… where nobody comments on or judges each other’s appearance….

ASHA: Well, that sounds great. But is it…possible?

DR. PD: Totally possible! It can take some practice though.

JESTINE: Yeah. Can I ask you more about that?

DR. PD: Please do!

JESTINE: How do we tune out all these messages that we’re getting about our bodies? I mean, I still want to see videos of panda bears doing somersaults, but I don’t want all the other craziness on my feed.

DR. PD:

  • Ignore it
  • Redirect the conversation
  • Challenge it

JESTINE: That’s great. Thank you!

DR. PD: Of course! Asha, do you have a question for me?

ASHA: Ummm. No. Or, I guess I was wondering if you have any tricks for “redirecting” your brain. Like, what do you do when you can’t stop thinking about what you look like all the time?

DR. PD:

  • Tune in to how your body is feeling and practice being grateful for all the amazing things your body can do, instead of focusing on what it looks like.

ASHA: Okay. That is actually really helpful, thank you.

JESTINE: I’ve got another one! What about, what are some kind ways to speak to or treat your body?

DR. PD:

  • Like it’s my friend
  • And by listening to what it’s telling me, does it feel like rest, movement, food, play.

JESTINE: Nice. Yes! And, can I ask one more?

DR. PD: As many as you like.

JESTINE: Okay, so what is a helpful thing to say when someone you care about is talking negatively about their body?

DR. PD:

  • Show you understand body image can be hard to manage at times
  • Ask them how they’re really feeling and if there is something bothering them. Often body talk is a way girls signal they’re feeling sad or have low self-esteem.

ASHA: I guess I do have one more…Are models really that perfect-looking or is it all filters?

DR. PD:

  • Filters, photo editing apps and artificial intelligence mean that many, if not most, of the images we see online are edited.
  • It’s important to remember you’re looking at someone’s highlight reel and it’s not fair to compare yourself.
  • Also remember that you have the power to unfollow or mute accounts that make you feel bad about your body and to show up authentically by posting photos of yourself that are real and show all the wonderful aspects of who you are, rather than relying on over-edited selfies.
CONCLUSION

COACH: Well, I hate to say it, but I do have to dismiss the team so they can get home for dinner and homework.

DR. PD: Yes! Well, this is a great start and please do visit me whenever you want to talk or just relax in a quiet, non judgemental space. I also have lots of amazing books, a comfy chair and some plants on the window ledge. I’m usually listening to Beyoncé…

JESTINE: Okay…!

ASHA and JESTINE start walking home

ASHA: That was not what I thought it was going to be.

JESTINE: Yeah. She’s pretty cool.

ASHA: And I feel like she gets it. If we can refocus a little…

JESTINE: And try to block out all those ads.

ASHA: Although I am kinda curious about the tricep bicep abductor conductor now. (giggles)

JESTINE: Okay, you! (she giggles too, then gets serious). But for reals. Thank you for sharing with me how you’ve been feeling.

ASHA: Yeah. Thank you for being open to listening.

JESTINE: And thank you, rebels, for coming along with us and tackling some pretty big issues.

ASHA: Yeah. We appreciate you and believe in you.

(RG MUSIC starts building here)

JESTINE: Whether you’re new to the Growing Up Powerful series or have listened to all our episodes, we hope it’s been fun and maybe even helpful.

ASHA: For sure. And until next time…

JESTINE: Staaaaaaay rebel!

SFX: CLOSING MUSIC