Projects

Thea Elder's first published project with the world, "Women as People (not objects)", is an exploration of women and their relationships with the earth, and their bodies. This project aims to connect women through stories about the journey they have taken with their bodies, and what various different women think is the answer to creating a more body positive upbringing for young girls globally. All photographs have been taken by Thea Elder, using various film cameras (Canon A-1, Minolta Hi-Matic E, Fujica STX-1). If you, or anyone you know, are interested in getting involved in this project, flick Thea an email at theaeldersyd@gmail.com. 

Part 9

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Meet Rachell

"With that strong foundation, we can support each other to grow and evolve into the women we are meant to be. It will be a slow ripple, but a powerful one."

1. What do you think is the answer to all girls being able to accept their bodies for what they are (an ever changing organism capable of anything) at a young age?

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Oooh this is quite a doozy. It’s tricky, because I feel most girls don’t know what their bodies are doing yet. As they mature and change it’s quite a daunting experience. And each experience is as unique and different as the next. We’re all so heavily influenced by those around us. So I think the answer is in strong female role models. Women that stride with confidence through their lives with an unbreakable self love. When we surround ourselves with women that love their bodies it gives us permission to love ourselves. With that strong foundation, we can support each other to grow and evolve into the women we are meant to be. It will be a slow ripple, but a powerful one.

2. Do you like your body? Would you say your relationship with your body is considered “healthy”?

I LOVE my body, I think I’ve got a great relationship with my bod. If you had of asked me that 5-10 years ago, it would have been a different answer. I’ve taken the time to fall in love with it. And I know that how I talk to myself, feed myself, rest and honour myself all work to enhance this relationship.

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3. What has brought you to the conclusion that you like/dislike your body?

Ahh well it’s been quite an adventure. Honestly I’ve had to work really hard to focus on how incredibly unique and magical my body is rather then comparing it to those around me. I grew up with thick thighs and a big booty. My mum had skinnier legs then me. Along with the media that I focused on i wanted that thin beachy babe look. My body was never going to look like those models or the girls I went to school with, or at this stage even my Mum’s. Then I took a step back and watched the media change it’s mind from one thing to the next. Now big booties are in (yeww!). But i know that soon it’ll change again. I figured that if you tried to keep up with what society deemed as the norm then you would never be happy. What the people around us call beautiful is constantly changing. I feel it’s best to empower ourselves in the knowledge that we are perfect in our own skin. We can then aim for the highest level of health and functionality within our own bodies, without comparison. I keep stepping back in awe, every aspect of my body works to it’s highest function to support me in doing what I love. I get to dance every day with this body.

4. What do you do to make yourself feel good?

Dance, everywhere. Actually though. Singing along too. Plus swimming. I sprint from the sand and plunge head first into the waves at the beach. It’s the most invigorating reconnection with soul and spirit that you could ever hope for. The ultimate is mermaid swimming, and feeling the current going through your hair. My friends know that if I’m not dancing somewhere and have a spare couple of minutes, I’m usually in the water.

5. Do you like to define yourself by anything in particular? Like being a good dancer, artist, writer etc.

I do define myself with dancing and performing. I want to tour the world doing this. But I think I’d like to just also be defined as a powerful force of positive energy.

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Find Rachell on Instagram  here

Find Rachell on Instagram here