Our bodies are not an image | Mary Jelkovsky | TEDxCherryCreekWomen

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In a society surrounded by pictures, videos, and social media, body-image concerns continue to be on the rise. 96% percent of women report wanting to change their body in some way which shows that this is not an individual problem of low self-esteem, but rather a collective disconnect with how we see our body-image. Girls and women especially are bombarded with images of so-called “perfect bodies” that are often unattainable without going to extreme methods of weight control. Failure to achieve this “perfect body” can cause decreased self-esteem, feelings of unworthiness, or even an eating disorder. Although many people have spoken up about the importance of positive body-image and body positivity, Mary Jelkovsky explains how this approach can be a double-edged sword. Instead, she offers an unconventional approach for healing body-image struggles, building self-confidence, and cultivating unconditional self-love. Mary Jelkovsky (known as @maryscupofteaa on social media) is a former bikini fitness model turned self-love advocate and women’s retreat host.

After recovering from an eating disorder of 8 years and healing her body, mind, and spirit, she started her online platform Mary’s Cup of Tea, to inspire women to be more confident in their bodies and love themselves unconditionally. Mary’s story has been featured in publications like Teen Vogue, Women's Health, and Self Magazine because unfortunately, so many women know what it’s like to hate their bodies. Mary is committed to changing this trend by empowering women of all shapes and sizes through her social media, online programs and worldwide self-love retreats.

Mary's biggest inspiration is her spunky, 11-year-old sister Ilana who knows how to dance like no one's watching and love with her whole heart. Mary wants Ilana to grow up in a world where women are empowered to chase their dreams without being bogged down by beauty standards.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx