10 February 2014

The Liverpool Loves Campaign

Hate yourself in photographs? I know what that's like. Particularly as I get older because in my head I'm still only 26! When you meet me, you'll see why that's a laugh. Over the years, though, I've learned how to love myself in life, and in front of the camera. In fact, in a couple of weeks I'll be able to share my latest photographs from my own portrait session. But for now, this is all about you.

I'm on a mission. I want to help every woman of Liverpool love her photographs. I want every woman in Liverpool to love herself. No more 'let me lose weight first' - you're beautiful the weight you are. No more 'I wish I had a different nose/mouth/legs/hands' - you're perfect just being you with the quirks that make you ... well, you.

What message do we send to our daughters when we criticise ourselves so readily? What message do we send her when we tell her that it's ok not to love yourself? Isn't it time we changed all that? Isn't it time we celebrated the woman we are?  I don't want my daughter stressing about her weight, her looks, her height, her stomach, her teeth or any other part of what makes her uniquely her. I want my daughter to be proud of who she is, to be proud of who I am, to be proud of being a woman in the 21st century, amongst other proud women of Liverpool.

Women of Liverpool, we are part of such a proud city, and we always say we are a republic in this fabulous city of ours, we always say we are unique. And we're right! There are very few cities in the world where the women go to work dressed their best, with their make-up on, the hair coiffured, everything in place. So now it's time for us to make a difference in the world. We can change how women feel about themselves, how they see themselves in the mirror, how they talk about themselves to their friends. We can make change what perceptions women have about their bodies, what society classes as beautiful. 

We can make that change by making a stand. It's time to celebrate the good in us, the beauty in our unique features, in the shape, size, colour and foibles that make us unique. It's time to say thank you when someone tells us we're beautiful instead of talking about the things we hate about ourselves. It's time to say I love my bum, I love my arms, I love my chins. It's time to be grateful for what we do have, not bemoan what we could be.

Join me in my campaign for loving ourselves - Liverpool Loves. And let's spread the message. It's ok to love yourself today. It's ok to love who you are right now. It's ok to love what you look like - tall, short, skinny, fat, black, white, disabled, able-bodied - we all deserve to love ourselves today, now, and we owe it to future Liver Birds. We owe it to our daughters to be happy with loving who we are today.

With Mother's Day coming up at the end of March I'm starting the campaign to find something about ourselves that we love. Maybe just now you're struggling to love something about yourself, but I challenge you to find one thing and to be grateful for that one thing for the next week. Tell your daughter, your sister, your mum, your nan something that is beautiful about her. Let her know she too is beautiful. And let's make Mother's Day 2014 a day when we all celebrate our unique beauty, a day when we smile at the friend who tells us we have a beautiful smile, a day when our eyes sparkle when our mum tells us we have beautiful eyes, a day when we celebrate being the woman we are now, today.

Liverpool Loves - let's start spreading that love! I'll start. I love my nose. Are you with me? Your turn ....


  1. I can totally relate! I'm 43 and do not enjoy having photographs taken of me any more! Occasionally they turn out ok and I'm delighted! But we should celebrate our life experience and not be afraid! What a great service you are offering!

    1. Thank you Sage. Enjoy celebrating who you are today :D

  2. I love my derriere and I'm declaring it loud and proud! Thanks for this beautiful article Zoe! You're such an inspirational leader for women all over the world. Thanks for advocating for "true beauty".

    1. Let's hear it for the derriere! Thank you Chinh. :D