Body Image, With Maddy Lucy Dann
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Have you checked out our Youth Rising podcast? It’s made by young people for young people and focuses on issues that are important to you! In one of our recent episodes, Sofie from the team sat down with A&E doctor, comedian, and TikTok star, Maddy Lucy Dann to chat about her respect for the body as a medical professional, not giving negativity any brain space, and embracing her differences.
Below is part of the interview, and you can listen to the full episode here!
Sofie: Hi Maddy! First question, how does being a medic affect your perspective of bodies? Has it changed or are you still the same way you had been prior?
Maddy: That is such a good question! I think being a medic definitely changes your perception of bodies and appearance. What you realise very quickly is just the enormous variety of bodies. You know, not one body looks the same to the other and I think realising there was that huge variety is very freeing…knowing that there's not a set way to look, even though sometimes it can feel that way.
And I think as well, doing medicine, you have this respect for your body too. As much as you can critique it and not like how it looks or how it moves sometimes, you can have this enormous respect for how it works. Sometimes I'm genuinely mind blown that there's all this going on inside my body, in this perfect balance to keep me up. You know, I'm just a bag of flesh and bones, but I'm having all these deep thoughts and I'm managing to do all these things and I just think that that's incredible. So it's definitely given me respect for my body as well.
When you’re a doctor, you also have this really privileged position in people's lives. And if you have to do intimate examinations of people or anything like that, you can see this and you can help that person with the worry they might feel for that examination or insecurity, and be able to help someone with that and normalise, whatever it might be. That's really empowering too.
Sofie: So you're a self-titled ‘long boi’, and I love that you own this because for a lot of people, their height can make them feel really awkward. How has being tall affected your sense of body image and self perception?
Maddy: I've always loved being tall! Like I adore it. I think it's the most fun. And I know that a massive reason why I’m so confident in my height is because it was always celebrated when I was younger. It was always people saying, “look how big you've gotten!” And then when it came to school, I got into the netball team and I played for a long time and was given opportunities because I was really tall and they were opportunities where I got praise as well. So I feel like that had a huge effect. People have complimented me on it and I've really enjoyed it and I have embraced it. People sometimes say fake it till you make it. I don't think I ever faked it. I always liked being tall. I always wanted to make sure I was standing up. It made me feel powerful. I think I leant on my height as my power, because when I was getting taller than the boys, I was a bit like ‘what you gonna do’?
Sofie: So you've obviously talked about all positives and about being tall and how much you love being tall, but since leaving school, have you experienced any negativity about your height?
Maddy: Few and far between. I don't know whether it's a coping mechanism, but I rarely remember really nasty things. And I think it's because I really try to not give them my brain space as best as I can. I can recall silly little things like, I bought a pair of boots that I really liked, but they had a bit of, like a normal sort of boot heel on them. Anyway, I put them on and I'm suddenly about six foot five. I was in a pub sitting down and then I think I stood up and I heard some comments from the next table. I don't remember exactly what was said, but it was a group of men and they made some comment about my height. But I also remember once I was trying on heels for my prom. I was putting them on and I turned to my mum - she's five foot four! - I said “oh mum, do you think these are maybe a bit too tall?” And this woman, and I have no idea who she was, she went “too tall for what?”
Sofie: Aww I love that. That's really made me giggle. The final question is, would you say that you love yourself?
Maddy: Oh my god yeah. We're obsessed. We love her. We do talk about her like this though, which, I don't know what person that's in. No I do. I do love myself. And I think that's helped me in times where I've thought my body looks different to what I'm used to, for whatever reason that might be. I've been able to know that I love myself and that change in my physical appearance doesn't change my worth. And that all stems from having that central love for myself. Because if you don't love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love anybody else? That's my profound statement that I've stolen! But I think, especially now I've seen that me presenting my relationship with my appearance has hopefully made other people confident in having a good relationship with their appearance, we love her even more, you know. And I think everyone else should. Not love me…love themselves!
Check out more from Youth Rising, here.