Katie / Los Angeles / 03.24.15
I'm Katie Boland, I'm an actress and a writer (and sometimes a producer out of necessity). I was very excited when I was asked to be apart of this body project. I think it's really important that as women we talk about our relationship to our bodies more, and our relationship to how we think we should look and all those kinds of pressures. So I was happy to be asked to do something about it, to speak in an honest way and have a dialogue in this small way.
So I guess I'll get to the point, so my relationship with my body has always been very fraught. It's strange because I'm recording this voice memo in my hotel room in northern Ontario, totally alone and I still feel vulnerable and a little scared to say that out loud, because it's sort of like my secret with myself, that I have this complicated relationship with my body and with my weight. I never... I don't really talk about these feelings, even with those closest to me very much because it's such a spiral of thoughts I can go down. But yeah. I've always had a difficult relationship with my body, I always wanted to be thinner. There were always parts of my body that I didn't like and I remember having these thoughts from when I was 8/9 years old. I remember once I was lying in my cottage, I must have been 12 and I remember thinking, "I like my body from my belly button up". And then I remember thinking "oh no! I don't even have boobs yet so I don't like my body from my belly button up, I like it from my belly button to my waist."
So I don't know if that's because I've always been an actress, that I've sort of had this weird relationship with what I look like, or if I'm just was born self-critical. It was interesting because I remember when we did the photo shoot for this body project, I felt so empowered because we had this great conversation and it was really body-positive. I felt like this pressure lifted off because here were these other women who had maybe felt the same way as me and were doing something positive about it and it felt like a lot of good things all happening at once. I remember I felt beautiful when Scarlet was taking my picture. I wasn't thinking about what I weighed or what I looked like. And then when I got the pictures, I had a very different reaction. It was hard to see my body, not having been photo-shopped, just sort of there in stark daylight. And then I had all these thoughts… "oh god, why did I do this?". But then, I sort of came back to this and I thought, well I did this because I think it's important. I think that in a macro way, I hope that other women see these photos and listen to this story, and all the other stories and feel less alone. In a micro way, I feel like I'm getting one step closer to understanding myself and my relationship with my body, and with it being more positive.
I guess, yeah, I'm happy that I did it. It was just difficult in some way to see the photos. I also feel in some ways, guilty saying that I've had this complicated relationship with my body - I've always wanted skinny legs or bigger boobs, to not have to work hard to be the weight that I'm at. But then I think, I've been healthy my whole life - my body has been good to me. There's nothing wrong with it. So, in that sense, sometimes I have to just get over all these insecurities and be grateful for this healthy working, skin-suitcase-body I've been given. Last year I had a surgery on my neck (I had a lump in my neck that turned out to be nothing serious) and for two weeks I was out, and healing, and my body wasn't working how it normally was. I thought maybe that would give me more of an appreciate for health, and to just be grateful that I got through the surgery and that there's nothing wrong with me. Now the scar isn't even that bad, but it hasn't really changed my perspective on the superficial problems that I have with my body and how I look. So I think more and more, we do have to have conversations like this and challenge ourselves, because I found that 2/3 weeks later I was just back in the same negative self-talk. And at the end of the day, yes it's a lot of societal pressure and also, I have some added pressure because I have to look at myself all the time on screen. It's also a choice I'm making, to hate this body that I was given, that works. So, I guess I just want to say thank you to this body project for this opportunity, and also for this reminder that I still have work to do as far as self-acceptance and also that I've been blessed with this body.