Body Gossip now officially have what I believe is colloquially referred to as ‘merch’ (my much cooler younger brother who does things like go to gigs to see obscure indie bands I’ve never heard of and buy their ‘merch’ told me that so I could be ‘down with the kids’……. which I thought was very kind of him).
At the end of last year we launched our range of t-shirts, which feature four slogans:
Body Gossip Says Relax
What’s So Great about Perfect Anyway? And
‘My Body is Freaking Awesome. FACT’.
Here's me modelling one (centre) with the finalists of Curvy Kate's 'Star in a Bra' 2013 competition:
The t-shirts have gone down a storm, especially now the sun has FINALLY got his proverbial hat on and Body Gossipers all over Britain are tweeting us pics of themselves proudly bearing the BG brand (alliteration!).
But guess which slogan has sold the least? Yep, it’s ‘My Body is Freaking Awesome. FACT’. Although people love the sentiment in THEORY, it seems they’re reticent to undertake what could be perceived as a bit of body boasting.
I find that a little sad. There are a thousand reasons why your body can be ‘freaking awesome’ other than it happening to conform to our constructed social beauty paradigms and that was the spirit with which the t-shirt was created .
So, in honour of that, I’m going to share with you why MY body is freaking awesome. FACT:
One blustery February night I was enjoying a wee tipple with a man person (I believe this is what the trendy people refer to as a ‘date’) when I was suddenly struck by an extreme, almost debilitating pain in my abdomen.
Being female, I immediately blamed my ovaries and assumed I was in the grips of the most painful period I’d ever had the displeasure to experience. I excused myself and went home, taking a couple of paracetamol and hoping I’d feel better in the morning.
Twelve hours later I was in A & E, doubled over, unable to breathe without making this noise – ‘owey owey owey OW!!’.
The doctors scanned the usual suspects – my gall bladder and appendix – which were fine. They then suggested it might be ‘indigestion’. I (to my immense credit) resisted the urge to punch them in the head. I was declared a medical mystery and placed under ‘observation’.
Two and a half days after that I was taken into the operating theatre for what I thought was a routine diagnostic procedure. More than a litre of internal bleeding was found in my abdomen. The surgeons had to slash me right up the middle, like a pirate would, to determine the source of the bleeding. The operation took five hours and I was anaesthetised for eight.
Turns out, dear Blog Reader, that I had a ruptured spleen and prior to emergency surgery was about twenty four hours away from death. (Dude. I know. Hardcore).
The recommended recovery time for an emergency laparotomy, which is the name of the procedure I underwent, is around eight to twelve weeks. I was back to work in three.
A few weeks later I posed for a photo shoot in Curvy Kate lingerie to declare to the world that, despite having a 30cm massive fuck-off scar down the centre of my abdomen my body is FREAKING AWESOME. Here's a behind-the-scenes snap of that shoot:
My body is strong, resilient, clever for healing itself. But most crucially it is ALIVE. It survived the ordeal and allowed me to get back to the life I love, promoting body confidence all over Britain and teaching self-esteem classes to UK teenagers.
So, this summer, I’ll be wearing my ‘awesome’ t-shirt with pride, because our bodies are more amazing than we often give them credit for and the odd perceived ‘imperfection’ is nothing compared with being alive to tell the tale.
Buy your t-shirt at www.bodygossipshop.com