Body image issues are important to Keishana Coursey and that’s part of the reason why she is a huge fan of Courage My Love. She loves our values around healthy body image and real women because we believe every woman has the right to feel supported when she exercises in great technical activewear no matter what size she is. Not only do we stock our products in seven sizes, but our patterns suit larger and smaller women and our garments have a variety of design features to support bodies at either end of the spectrum.
It’s definitely not one-size-fits-all at Courage My Love. We recognize that it takes courage to be who you are. That’s why we value everyone’s needs and endeavor to meet as many as we can. Our legskin tights and leggings begin at a size XXS (NZ size 4/6) and go to an XXL (NZ size 18/20). Our bra tops range from size XS (NZ size 6/8) to size XXL (NZ size 18/20).
KeiShana is a midwife on a mission to both raise awareness about body image issues and to deliver her amazing antenatal classes which focus on Mindfulness as the foundation towards a calm and confident birth experience. We are supporting her fundraising efforts (and hope to inspire you to support as well) so that KeiShana can represent New Zealand at the Triennial Midwifery Conference in Toronto, Canada in 2017. Read her story below and let us know if you’d like to support her cause – even if you are not able to attend the event.
As a teenager twenty-five years ago, sweating profusely on a yoga mat, with a distorted view of my body following a childhood drenched in gymnastics, I experienced Lycra, mirrors and puberty in a volatile mix. I’ve heard variations of this story my entire life from hundreds of women since.
This self-esteem distortion was again deeply challenged throughout the vulnerable childbirth continuum and I was caught between two worlds. The conscious mind knowing I ‘should’ accept this magnificent body that had birthed babies and the unconscious deep self-loathing; exacerbated by everything I thought I should be, perpetuated by our culture. The demand was debilitating and I either hid behind baggy clothes, exercised like a woman possessed or made poor food choices in the exhaustion of it all.
During this time of early parenting and developing a new business, I trained in massage therapy where it occurred to me that EVERY client made an excuse at some point, about their body, even the men. As extreme as “I’m so disgusting, my husband has never seen me naked and I wish myself dead’, to a seemingly benign ‘excuse my hairy legs’.
I went on to study Humanistic Neuro–Linguistic Psychology (HNLP), Hypnotherapy, Life Coaching and finally a Bachelor of Midwifery. Over the years of clinical practice I found a way to EMBRACE all that we are as human beings and yet the theme remains for most women I encounter. Body image issues link directly to self-esteem, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or culture. It’s a deeply entrenched intergenerational systemic issue that CAN BE CHALLENGED AND CHANGED.
So when I withdrew my 13-year old daughter from school to attend the Film Festival screening of this documentary and we watched a theatre full of wet cheeked women cheer in gratitude, we left vowing to bring it to ChCh again. When we plant seeds that empower women, we are literally changing peoples lives and that lights my passion for life – it is all we can do as women, parents, friends, mothers and lovers.
EMBRACE will screen at the Hollywood Cinema. Monday 21st November including a prescreening Silent Auction supported by incredible local businesses who also ‘seed planters.’
Gather your girl tribe and purchase your $20 ticket now by clicking here.
This is a dual event in that it’s awareness raising and fundraising. In conjunction with my colleague I facilitate private antenatal classes which focus on Mindfulness as the foundation towards a calm and confident birth experience. We have been invited to an international conference in Toronto 2017 and the proceeds from this screening will support my attendance. It’s a true honour to be representing New Zealand at this Triennial Midwifery Conference and this documentary mirrors our heartfelt purpose.