How Robin Challenged Her Inner-Demons... By Stripping Off
10 YEARS IN 10 DAYS
It can be a tough ask coming to terms with your own body - especially as you get older.
It's a battle our own Robin Bailey knows well.
Below she shares her experience of why she decided to face her own battle head on... by stripping down to her underwear.
Anyone who has listened to our show for a long time will know that I have a difficult relationship with food and my body, one that has been going for decades.
So what, I hear you all say, don't we all?
And I guess the answer is YES we do, so back in 2009 I had the hair brain idea to make a very public statement about that.
I remember running into our promotion manager Jennifer Gould's office (at that stage she was the only other woman working on the show) and in a flood of words told her that I thought we should encourage normal women to take their kits off in public - just because we (women) could and for that to be a celebration.
I really wasn't sure anyone would want to, but that is how the concept of Feel Good for the Woman that You Are was born.
I remember trying to find the words to launch the campaign on air and writing down countless things to try and formulate a plan, but nothing felt overly genuine… because let's face it, I was not just asking women to own their body insecurities on air. I was asking them to show them to the world.
I was also asking them to do something that I had never done and something that even the thought of filled me with terror.
But the mantra for this brekkie show has always been about keeping it real - which meant I also had to put my money where my mouth is.
So as the time to launch approached I thought “stuff it”, threw my notes away and started talking from the heart. What came out was basically - "I'll do it if you do”.
Now I can genuinely tell you I didn't think we'd get many entries and I was fully prepared to do it with just one other person. But to my great delight we were inundated with women who, like me, had something to prove.
MORE: Check out all the photos in the gallery above!
So after filtering though the entries and interviewing our women we settled on a wonderfully eclectic mix of brave ladies.
There was Tanya, 37, from Camp Hill, who wanted to show other cancer patients that you can still look and feel beautiful.
Judith, 47, of Caboolture, who wanted to show single migrant women that it's good to be happy and optimistic.
Erica, 29, from Ipswich, who was six months pregnant and wanted to show the beauty of motherhood and pregnancy.
Colleen, 35, of Rothwell, who wanted to show that beautiful women come in all shapes and sizes.
Stephanie, 58, Hamilton, who wanted to encourage the media to celebrate the appeal of real women.
And of course - me!
So why did I honestly do it? Well it wasn't just a radio stunt or because I felt that I had to lead by example.
It was also because I'd just turned 40 and was having a daily battle with my self-esteem.
My mind was constantly distracted by when I ate, what I ate and how much. I calorie counted and then binged out of hunger.
I am not proud of this admission nor do I endorse it in anyway. It was destructive and relentless and something I wanted to change - so this was also a chance for me to accept myself and hopefully find a better way.
High hopes indeed!
I'm not going to tell you that my head space and calorie fascination changed in a magical moment of a newspaper camera flash… BUT, during the day of the shoot, sitting next to such a wonderful, inspiring group of equally unsure women I realised I was not alone.
I realised that there was not only a sisterhood in our shared insecurities, but equally in our quest to push past that to prove a point.
So we did the photos and shared the experience and genuinely marvelled at the beauty of each other and our individual bravery. And then we waited for the world to see!
Needless to say the promotion was an amazing success - so much so, the campaign became an annual event for a number of years and was nominated twice for our national radio awards.
As for the women involved, I hope the experience gave them the courage to continue to see their inner beauty and strive for their individual goals.
For me it proved that I could feel the fear and do it anyway - and when I look at those shots I do genuinely think they look good.
If there is anything I've taken from the experience and subsequent ones, it's that if I don't feel good for the woman that I am no one will… and it sure beats the hell out of the alternative, because believe me - I know!
Stay tuned over the coming two weeks as we share more moments for Robin, Terry & Bob's 10 Years In 10 Days!