“Love yourself (and your boobies and your hair)”
Empowerment, Body Positivity and Manipulating Society’s Standards
“I’ve never ever ever, in my whole life, felt pressured to abide by society’s expectations”
Jamie has forever been, hands down, one of the most inspiring people in my life to date. She has always remained vocal on her thoughts of empowerment, body positivity and the havoc of society; and hasn’t let anyone else’s opinion stand in the way of staying true to herself. When I first started the 100+ Coffees saga, I just knew that I had to take her out to help preach these contagious beliefs of love and positivity.
As unaccustomed to society, Jamie doesn’t feel the need to rid herself of any bodily hair. From her armpits to her legs, it is her natural body hair and God-given physique that makes her feel the most empowered. As far as body image goes, she is a firm believer in loving the skin you’re in; no matter what size you are. The sensation of baring all and becoming almost (or completely) nude makes her feel at the utmost form of femininity.
Jamie rebels against the oppressive manoeuvres of femininity in society and confidently continues to change the perspectives of all by inspiring and encouraging others to not let the wrath civilisation confine us or define us. So THIS, my friends, is why I simply can’t cherish her enough!
Jamie: All throughout school, I’d never shave my legs. I can confidently say that I had only shaved them about five times max. I didn’t even start to wear makeup until Year 11! And to my disbelief, I copped an unnecessary amount of shit for it.
I was told by guys that I was “gross”, “disgusting” and that I’d “never get a boyfriend”. These words didn’t offend me, but confused me, you know? They left me thinking…
After a time, I found myself succumbing to the peer pressure of shaving my legs, simply because everyone would think that I was gross if I didn’t. Soon enough, I did it. And HATED it. When dad noticed the dry-shaving marks on my legs the next day, he simply told me this…
“I don’t want you to be scared to talk to us… but I also don’t want you to be scared to be true to yourself. Are you doing this because you want to?”
That’s when I realised that for me, this wasn’t a phase, nor was it a statement; it was just simply me not feeling obliged to do it.
Especially with my armpits; I always hear people telling me “Wow, what a statement! I could never do that!” and “It’s insane… they’re hairier than my boyfriends!”… and I’m like “Okay?”. It really doesn’t bother me to be honest.
Julia: I think that in this day and age, you either completely surrender to the ideals of society, or you completely don’t… and there is a common stereotype that if you don’t particularly abide by society, you absolutely despise those who do; which is NOT the case.
If you don’t feel the need to shave, that’s fine! As long as you’re making a conscious decision to do it for yourself and you feel comfortable with it. But that goes without saying that there is also nothing wrong with preferring to rid yourself of body hair. Jamie completely accepts the pros and cons of both options and doesn’t like to think of those who do shave as “mindless followers of the patriarchy”. She simply believes… “You do you!”.
“I’ll shave my legs sometimes if me and Ryan (boyfriend) are going on a date night and I wanna feel really sexy. But there’s people who always want to feel like that, and I completely get that. I think that people just need to understand that there is a large amount of people out there who don’t need to shave and to feel sexy – it’s just a super personal thing.” – Jamie
Julia: Funnily enough, Jamie and I also share identical views on the negative stigma towards makeup. When people hear the word “Make-Up”, they assume it’s something that automatically defines you as being too insecure or uncomfortable in your own skin (which is definitely NOT the case). Makeup isn’t something to just chuck on when you have a few pimples, and it all relates to the fashion and feminism movement where it’s not just some foundation and concealer – it can be classed as an art form.
Jamie: It’s all a perspective thing, really. It’s all similar to you stopping and thinking to yourself… “Is this what I want to do?” or “Is this how I feel about it or how someone else thinks about it?”.
“Well, I think makeup is an art form because you can embrace it however you want to, you can become whoever you want, with as much or as little as you want. I don’t think there is such thing as rules with makeup: you can wear a little bit of lip gloss or have f****n’ golden eyeliner, and both are beautiful because it makes the wearer feel like themselves! In saying that, I wish I could teach younger girls the difference between wearing makeup to love yourself and wearing it to hide yourself; so many young girls start wearing makeup because they don’t feel like they fit in or look pretty enough or they have these expectations on what they’re meant to look like, when really I would love for them to know that they’re beautiful with AND without makeup and no-one important judges you for the way you look.
Reflecting on my personal experience in terms of not wearing makeup until half way through high school – I had so much pressure to start wearing it so I could be considered more beautiful and fit in with all the other girls (who were really just wearing it because they were insecure with themselves), but like, who was I trying to impress? F****n’ Baz the 15-year-old who’s too busy chasing an ibis during lunch time to look at me anyway? He doesn’t matter! No-one who DOES matter cared whether I wore makeup, including me. I wish more young girls felt the same, you know? If you are confident in yourself, whether it be barefaced or with a highlight for the gods, you will be your best self.” ***
*** How amazing is she!!!
When I was in high school, no matter how much I would try and stay true to myself, I always found that I was becoming engulfed in drama and toxic people. It was something that I didn’t particularly want, but also didn’t really have a choice in. Once I left high school, I started to become my own person and a lot of people really didn’t like that. People wanted me to go back to my “old ways” and how they thought I really was… but that just wasn’t me.
It wasn’t until last year when I went through a lot of self-realisation. At times I would even just stop myself and go…
“Is there some way that I can change the way I’m thinking about this so that it can make me happier?”
“Is there something I can DO about this that will make me happier?”.
You see, leaving high school made me realise that my potential to grow had been extremely held back. I hated it.
Everything you see with me is as real as it gets. One thing to know about me is that I will always be 100% real with you and real about myself. I love my body, I love my boobs, I love my body hair, I love it all. I’m not afraid to let the world know and I want everyone to feel the way I do every day.
Jamie drank a cold-pressed juice and I drank a cappuccino.
Jamie’s Instagram: @_jamiebuckland