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"There are still days I look at the mirror and feel unhappy with my body”

Achieving Woman
 Taruri Gatere

In October 2015, Taruri did what many women wouldn't dare to do before the people closest to them, let alone in public. She bared it all. Literally.

Taruri posted photos of herself in a top and bikini brief. The picture exposing her cellulite, stretchmarks and acne scars on her social media pages as part of a body love campaign.

In the weeks that followed, more photos were released — pictures of other women who were tired of hating their imperfect bodies and had learnt to embrace them.

There were pictures of a mother — who had recently given birth — in a bra and boy shorts, exposing her belly and stretchmarks. Others of a plus-size erotica blogger flaunting her curves, among others.

The reactions to the 'Flawnt It' campaign were mixed, ranging from admiration to disgust. There were women who thanked Taruri for letting women know they are not alone in the struggle for an 'ideal body' and that they can love themselves as they are.

Taruri says the response she got was positively overwhelming. "Although there were some rude comments, many people lauded me for being brave enough to address the issue of image."

But there was a group that came out strongly to condemn the campaign claiming it was "disgusting and "even if you are proud of the stretch marks, why broadcast them to the whole world? No one wants to see that."

Taruri says she was unhappy when people lashed out at the other lady for showing her stretch marks. "It made me upset because these people do not even know her. She got those stretch marks bringing forth life. I have a special place in my heart for mothers."

That didn't discourage Taruri. The campaign went on till June last year when Taruri took time off to focus on an neuro-linguistics programming course (a personal development, psychotherapeutic course).

"I realised that although the Flawnt It campaign was evoking the kind of conversation I wanted, we were not doing anything more to give women the tools to improve their personal lives in terms of their thinking and personal development."

"There are still days I look at the mirror and feel unhappy with my body, but it's about consciously making the effort to love yourself as you are," she says.

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