By Genevieve Le Hunt
This is not the kind of blog I would ever, ever write. Or publish. Let alone publish on my business page – a business that sits smack bang in the middle of the health food industry. But today is different.
For the last almost three years, I have managed the Bake Mixes brand – a nutritious alternative to conventional baking mixes. I love and am beyond grateful for my business, my brand and the community I have built around it. But today, after three years of being in the “health/wellness industry”, after spending immeasurable hours scrolling through perfectly curated and edited social media feeds of ridiculously beautiful and fit women and of assuming that no one ever eats anything except acai bowls, I cracked.
Today, after three years in the industry, I had to see a psychologist.
There is nothing in this world that will exacerbate your self-esteem issues more than being preached to over social media about how you should be living your life. For my whole life, I have sat comfortably at a size 12-14. Sometimes more so a 12, sometimes a 14. And although, like 90% of women I’m sure, I have had my share of general body image issues, joining the ‘health’ food industry has put me under such extreme pressure that ‘well’ was the furthest thing from how I felt.
I have never, ever, experienced the pressure of feeling like I needed to look a certain way like I have since I started my business. I’m not famous, I’m not in movies or in magazines, and if you passed me in the street you would have no idea who I was. But because of this pressure, I have come to dread (and honestly just completely avoid) business meetings, networking events and anything health industry related.
Speaking on stage at events, something that should be exciting and celebrated is now absolutely mortifying for me, because speaking along side bloggers and health entrepreneurs who radiate some kind of glowing and unreachable sparkly wellness is genuinely, really fucking scary.
I’m sure me saying this will ruffle some feathers, and I am cool with that. I am in no way against prioritising your health and doing things that make you feel great. I am all for that. I have centred my whole business around that idea.
What I do have a problem with, is the edited lifestyles that people feel like they must strive to achieve. Just like most people, the first thing I do in the morning and last thing I do at night, is scroll through my social media feed (I think we should all break this habit no?). Without even realising it, I have subconsciously absorbed a ton of ‘perfect’, ‘ideal’ and ‘aspirational’ (also does anyone else hate the term ‘fitspo’ or is that just me?) snapshots of lives that are being meticulously curated and presented to me as if it was just any other day in the life of @1000likesformyphotoofavocado. Just like some kind of modern-day water torture, this constant drip-drip-drip of perfection has started to drive me insane.
I will be real with you here. I love that you feel great after your circuit training session (go girl!) and that nothing makes your skin glow more than covering it in overpriced beauty products (treat yourself!) but what I want to see, what I want to see SO FREAKING BADLY is your real life. You. Unedited. Unscripted.
If you’re an industry business owner talking about how “if you love what you do you will never work another day in your life”, that’s great, but I also want to hear about the times you have sat at your desk crying into your computer because actually, this business shit is really hard.
If you’re sharing your killer workout from this morning, awesome, but I also want to hear about your Friday night on the couch with your dog catching up on trash TV with a block of chocolate (just like I will be doing).
Because girl, not one of us is that perfect all of the time, and that’s what makes us brilliant.
***If any part of this post has resonated with you, I strongly encourage you to get your hands on a copy of the epic Australian documentary Embrace – available currently on iTunes (trust me, you’ll thank me).
Genevieve Le Hunt is the owner/founder of Bake Mixes