I had lunch with an old friend not too long ago, during which we both talked about the work we’d been doing. I’d been out speaking to women about changing the way they talk about their bodies in front of their daughters. She’d been out pushing for changes in the education system. But when we joked about “starting revolutions,” it gave me pause.

Me? A revolution?

When I think about revolutions, my mind immediately goes to marches on Washington and demonstrations with signs. The dictionary defines a revolution as “a radical and pervasive change in society and the social structure…”

Sounds like a big, loud deal to me.

But as I reflect on my own work, the work that my friends and colleagues are doing, and on what we’re all seeing in the world around us, I’m reminded that big change can begin with even a quiet, singular act (Think Rosa Parks). A major cultural shift isn’t always signaled by shouting and signs. Sometimes, it’s the ripple effect of the action of a teenager who says, “This isn’t right.” Sometimes, it’s captured in a single moment. And sometimes, it’s about shining a flashlight into a dark corner and getting the conversation started.

Each of us has the power to start our own personal revolution, at any moment — especially in how we look at, think about and speak about our bodies.

Maybe this is the day you choose not to step on the scale and let the needle’s movement in either direction dictate what you think you’re worth. Maybe this is the day you decide to get up early or leave work on time to fit in the exercise you say you want to do. And I hope, really hope, that this is the day you’ll decide to speak kindly about your body in front of that little girl who’s listening to every word you say.

That’s how a revolution gets started — in the little individual choices that each of us makes every day.

Ready to start your own?

About the Author

Dara Chadwick

Dara Chadwick is the author of You'd Be So Pretty If… :Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies—Even When We Don't Love Our Own.

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