Getting Comfortable Talking About the Uncomfortable

On Saturday, July 24, 2021, Women Beyond and GASA held an online discussion entitled “Let Me Tell You SHECrets: Time to Get Comfortable, Talking about the Uncomfortable” with Dr. Adiyana Esti, Sex Education Advocate & doctor from Angsamerah Clinic and Jessi Tan, Body Positivity Activist and founder of Things Untouched. This discussion was attended by mostly college girls and some high school girls.

Since its founding in 2020, Women Beyond as a non-profit organization has focused on Professional Training & Coaching to empower women to become young leaders in their communities by fostering a supportive environment through networking opportunities, workshops and mentorship. Meanwhile GASA (Global Active Student Association) is an organization that aims to drive our next generation of students to increase their global awareness, participate in the international scope, and nation building.

On Saturday, July 24, 2021, Women Beyond and GASA held an online discussion entitled “Let Me Tell You SHECrets: Time to Get Comfortable, Talking about the Uncomfortable” with dr. Adiyana Esti, Sex Education Advocate & doctor from Angsamerah Clinic and Jessi Tan, Body Positivity Activist and founder of Things Untouched. This discussion was attended by mostly college girls and some high school girls.

Since its founding in 2020, Women Beyond as a non-profit organization has focused on Professional Training & Coaching to empower women to become young leaders in their communities by fostering a supportive environment through networking opportunities, workshops and mentorship. Meanwhile GASA (Global Active Student Association) is an organization that aims to drive our next generation of students to increase their global awareness, participate in the international scope, and nation building.

Moderated by Fika Deaputri, Head of Internal Operation Women Beyond, the session started with the introduction of each participant and their reasons for joining the discussion, where many participants admitted that they did not get the proper education regarding their bodies either from formal education, or from their parents. After that, dr. Esti gave a presentation about the female body anatomy and the details of the female reproductive organs and their diversity.

Furthermore, in the discussion, Dr. Esti explained the facts and myths about women’s reproductive organs. According to dr. Esti, the society must have the courage to start discussing reproductive health openly, without considering it as something taboo, so as not to cause confusion and misunderstanding.

For example, how often do we hear the term “bird” (“Burung” in Bahasa Indonesia) to describe the penis? Though there is nothing wrong with the word penis or vagina. This is why sex education is important, so that we can understand more about our bodies. Moreover, if given early, it can reduce and prevent the occurrence of sexual assaults in children as well,” said doctor Esti.

The session was continued with a discussion about body positivity by Jessi Tan, where many participants shared their experiences related to self-confidence, body exploration and how to express themselves through fashion. “Things Untouched itself is a beauty brand that has a vision to empower women through body positivity, where as dr. Esti said earlier, we have different body shapes, so actually there is no ideal beauty standard. This is all distorted by what is shown in mainstream media and social media,” said Jessi.

However, Jessi explained that there are still a lot of people who misunderstand the meaning of body positivity. According to Jessi, body positivity itself does not justify us to be “lazy taking care of ourselves” as an excuse of accepting ourselves “as we are”, but rather encourages us to grow as a better person inside-out. Therefore, we should be able to do everything mindfully.

After sharing and QnA sessions, dr. Esti concluded that we should be able to know our own bodies and not feel ashamed or taboo. By knowing our own body, we can learn to accept ourselves more and it will make it easier for us to identify if there is any problem. The next step that dr. Esti recommends if our body experiences something unusual is to immediately consult a doctor.

Though again, there is still stigma and discrimination that happened by the healthcare workers when it comes to reproductive health issues. Therefore, Angsamerah is present as an institution and primary healthcare facility to provides friendly services without discrimination and judgment. By training and educating the society, Angsamerah believes that people can significantly improve their health.

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