I’m Amanda Stokes.
I am a passionate educator and mentor in the field of inter-generational body acceptance and positive self image. My passion is working with mothers to help raise strong daughters.
As the founder of the Mirror Movement™, I specialise in working with mums who want their daughters to feel confident about their bodies, yet who are themselves trapped in a cycle of body dissatisfaction and dieting.
I also work with mothers who may not have any body issues themselves, but are concerned about how to bring up body confident girls in today’s image obsessed world.
I support mums to become positive role models for their daughters during the most developmentally important, and impressionable stage of their lives.
I’ve seen girls, as young as 5, talk about being fat. I have witnessed, and experienced the damage low self-esteem around body image can have. Bullying, self confidence, resilience, these are all things impacted by a child’s poor sense of self.
It is my belief that true change must come from home, and start early.
I want us to stand up for our daughters, and empower them to have the start we might not have had ourselves. My own personal story, is one of growing up with a mother who dieted and battled with her body. My own poor body image started early, with the subtle, unconscious messages I received in childhood.
I don’t believe I was ever taught to love my body as I was growing up, as my mother struggled with her own body dissatisfaction. She was always on or off a diet.
I have vivid memories of my mum’s “all or nothing” approach to food and dieting. I picked this black and white thinking up, and ran with it into my adult life. I was either being ‘good’ or ‘bad’, I was either on a strict diet or bingeing on treats before I began my next bout of restriction.
I was trapped in the diet cycle.
As a result of living with my mother’s food and weight issues, I developed my own.
It wasn’t until I noticed my 6-year old daughter (I have 2 daughters) refusing pasta and only wanting sauce, and eating the toppings off her pizza and leaving the base, because that’s what I was doing on my no carb food plan, that I knew something had to change. That’s when I made a conscious decision that my family’s inter-generational struggle would stop with me!
This lightbulb moment, when I suddenly became acutely aware of the immeasurable impact we as mothers have on our daughters, compelled me to create the Mirror Movement™.
The intergenerational struggle with body image is real. Our daughters mirror our behaviours because they want to be like us. The change needs to start with us so we can become better role models for our daughters.
The Mirror Movement™ is a call for change.
We need this movement, and other healthy mind and body campaigns like it, because:
- now, more than ever, we live in a time where so much of a female’s worth is centred around her appearance
- we are constantly bombarded with distorted messages that reinforce our ‘negative’ body image and with diets reminding us that we aren’t good enough
- young children are rarely exposed to real women’s shapes and body sizes, so it’s no wonder they’re confused about how they should look. They are not told ‘you are beautiful’ no matter what your shape or size.
- this generation of girls is experiencing a world unlike any other, full of photoshopped, unrealistic body images and expectations. It’s a world where their self worth is determined by the number of likes on social media.
Raising strong daughters is one of the most important things we can do. Are you ready to educate your daughter by modelling kindess towards your own body, by speaking positively about yourself and loving who you are?
Let’s be the change.
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I believe together, we can change the future, one mother at a time, one daughter at a time