The How Dare She? Series

In 2018, my (then) 15 year old daughter and I started How Dare She? a social enterprise dedicated to creating a platform where women were encouraged to do the things they’ve been told they shouldn’t. We wanted to be part of something that builds women up, not tears them down, and we wanted to amplify the voices of women you don’t always hear from. We did just that – delivering a platform, a process, and a (full mentoring, editing, and publishing) support crew for women who would have never otherwise told their story. This is one of those stories.

by Ashwini Bahadoor​

When I was a teenager, I used to feel like a babushka doll.

I was fat you see.

I still am, but back then I only felt like that outer shell of a babushka doll, because that’s what I thought everyone always saw.

For me, being fat came in a package of low self-esteem and loads of insecurities.

Having been body shamed countless times by family members, friends and work colleagues, I kept myself locked inside that doll, never showing anyone what my true worth is.

Ultimately, as I kept hearing how fat I was, I started believing that fat is indeed all I am and all I’ll ever be.

The shame, oh the shame of self every time I needed to go shop for clothes, or every time I wanted to have cake instead of salad or every time I came across a guy I even remotely liked. The shame of self was probably the hardest struggle.

After yo-yoing between countless diets, trying numerous weight-loss pills and several gym memberships, I gave up on myself,

and so did my body.

At this point, I was already in my late twenties. I had been ‘clean eating’ and exercising for several years but after a health scare where my immune system was waging war on my body, I had to get countless medical tests done which lead to me being diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). While it’s not a life and death situation, it sure doesn’t help with weight-loss. It wasn’t until I had the validation from a doctor that I actually am a really healthy person that I realised I don’t have to keep feeling ashamed of myself. That I actually am doing the best that I can and that I am worthy of loving myself.

I have a message for the teenage me and countless girls trapped in a cycle of self-loathing.

  • I dare you to be unashamed of yourself.
  • I dare you to eat that cake.
  • I dare you to defend yourself with all you’ve got.
  • I dare you to stand up for yourself.
  • I dare you to stop wishing you were invisible.
  • I dare you to voice your opinions
  • and I dare you to be fierce in loving yourself unconditionally and unapologetically.

Easier said than done right?

​I thought so too, and I even have a theory for that:

Somehow, in this world that we are living, people tend to associate fat with ugly and those who are fat tend to believe that.

I did too for most of my life until I had the realisation that my body, as big as it was, had enough space for me to be both fat and beautiful simultaneously.

My story doesn’t have a Prince Charming that came along and made me realise my worth.

I had to be my own knight in shining armour and I am so very proud of myself.

It takes a lot of courage to break through the beliefs that you’ve lived with all your life. Therefore, I dare you to forgive yourself regularly, to stop being so hard on yourself, to eat that piece of cake, to wear that figure-hugging dress and rock it and most importantly, to give yourself another chance.

So, while I wait for my Prince Charming to sweep me off my feet (someday), I would like to share what I tell myself every day to all the girls who have a body image issue:

Chin up princess, let’s face the day with a tonne load of self-love.

I’m Jay Crisp Crow

and I started a life-revolution with a need to write things, $0 in the bank, a borrowed laptop, and a disability – all driven by a desire for the amplification of women’s voices

Now, I teach women all over the world to write what they mean, sell all their things, and know that balance is absolute and utter balderdash

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Don’t Tell Me What To Do – The Podcast

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Loving the pants off…

for life

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My labels include:

+ she/her

+  “Oi, Mum!” to three glorious humans including a rev-head, a world-changer CALD, LGBTQ+ (as she says, she belongs to most of the alphabet), and a ballroom dance loving small redhead

+ lover of a Viking

+ “High Priestess of copy” + “Australia’s conversion copywriting queen” (someone else said those things about me, so it’s OK to use it to label myself, even though I don’t really related to ‘building an empire’ – I’d much rather we all get to sit on a throne) at Crisp Copy

+ podcaster

+ speaker

+ fat-content + feisty + brave + tired + too much

+ don’t tell me what to do

 

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“…I don’t just highly recommend Jay for her speaking, teaching, and presenting prowess, I strongly take you by the shoulders and shake you for not having signed her up already…”

 

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Women’s Business

Women’s Business

The How Dare She? Series In 2018, my (then) 15 year old daughter and I started How Dare She? a social enterprise dedicated to creating a platform where women were encouraged to do the things they've been told they shouldn't. We wanted to be part of something that...