Originally written for She is Fierce Magazine in August 2017.
Hey, I’m Danni and I totally think my bod is incredible. I didn’t used to though. More about that later...
I've always been a creative and crafty type. I studied Jewellery Design in Dundee and have worked within the creative industries ever since. I've spent the last 7 years working for an amazing communications agency, Material in Glasgow.
I now run a project called The Chachi Power Project. I hold body positive events and meetups, collaborate with creatives to do pretty fun stuff and I’m a speaker. I also hold workshops for adults and kids to draw attention to the destructive force of negative self body image and the very positive effect of what having body confidence can do to an individual.
This is all pretty new. I’m not sure I know exactly where I am going with all of these new ideas and this drive I seem to have developed for making this body positive mission my main focus. However, the rigid planner in me seems to be fine with the unknown because, for once, I feel like I’m on the right track.
In 2016 my eager beaver, keen-to-learn brain, took me down to London to do one of those courses people roll their eyes at. A ‘self-development’ course... Some of my cousins did it and they came out the other side with their heads screwed on pretty straight for the first time, so I wanted to give it a go. I’ve always been one of those people who is up for trying something new and I love the feeling of ticking something off my life list. I like to get sh*t done. So I signed up. I didn’t quite expect the cliche but suffice to say, it changed my life... and helpfully, it changed it for the better.
An ex-boyfriend who I had treated not-so-well was grateful to receive an open and honest, vulnerable and apologetic phone call from me around the time of my course. He said, “I’m happy you have done this for you, it is rare that anyone takes the time to develop themselves, to grow as a human, to become wiser and better.”
It’s true though. We come out of school or uni and that’s it. Education stops. Yeah, you might learn a thing or two as you get older but you go through so many things as a kid and an adult that short out your emotions and make you feel like you have to protect yourself in certain ways. It’s like you're fighting to keep your head above water and you don’t have a noodle to help. The course I did became my noodle, my arm bands, and a large pineapple (or flamingo) lilo.
Photo by Vicko Mozara on Unsplash
I had given my wee brain a huge gift. Awareness of why I am the way I am and why I do the things I do. It gave me an understanding of others and a way to cope when the bad stuff really does happen. A ‘major’ for me was that it helped me to stop thinking that I wasn't good enough. A psychologist pal said it was like I'd had two years of therapy in one weekend.
It helped me recognise what makes you a human being and that is: your character, your actions, what you can be for others AND what you can create for this world.
That realisation helped turn this body I had struggled with all my life from being a ‘burden’, into the most incredible tool I could ever wish for. This body which was fat and hairy and lumpy and inadequate for 33 years turned into a body which was safe, strong, capable, reliable and beautiful in one swift about-turn.
It’s a rare thing when a tonne weight lifts off your shoulders.
Now, I'm educating myself about how we can all be a bit nicer to ourselves and to other bodies. I want to help people find some peace with their bodies. Maybe some love too.
I'd love to start going into schools to chat to kids about their bodies. Help them realise how wonderful and amazing they are. To recognise where their priorities should be and build up that protective barrier against what society can throw at them.
I really believe that learning to love your own body can change the world.
Hannah from She is Fierce said:
Danni is deeply passionate about spreading self-love. I legit spoke to her for an hour and left feeling 100 times better about myself. She's a confident speaker and puts things in perspective in the most gentle of ways. Keep up or get in touch with Danni and her gorgeous positive vibes on instagram, facey, twits or over on the Chachi Power Project website.