Updated: Nov 18, 2018
FLAWS AND ALL?
We’re living in a very strange and awkward generation where on one side of the Internet people are screaming LOVE YOURSELF & YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL NO MATTER WHAT! While on the other side we have more and more people telling us what we should be eating, drinking, wearing, listening to, engaging with etc. all whilst we’re exposed to countless images of what our bodies should look like. And the worst part of it all is that even when we know most of those Instagram bodies aren’t real we still aspire to them… Have we all gone mad or is it just me?
LOL am I the only one? Okay just me? … Awkward!
Well in all honesty it’s the truth… at least my truth anyway. My body is something that I have struggled with for my entire life and I have constantly been in a battle between “love yourself girl, just look at how fabulous you are” and (looks in mirror) “Eww Nissy look at how disgusting you look. You need to get it together!” It’s a dialogue I think a lot of women have either had with themselves in the past or continue to have, and it’s a dialogue I can’t seem to shake despite the fact that I can confidently say that things are far better than they were when I was younger.
I literally don’t remember a time growing up when my weight wasn’t something that I was deeply obsessed over. When I was a lot bigger than I am now I couldn’t even stand to look at myself in the mirror. And then when I lost weight I had a genuine fear of putting that weight back on. It wasn’t healthy nor is it normal. However, as I’ve grown older and grown deeper in my faith and in understanding myself, I’ve really had to re-adjust my thinking. I’ve had to force myself to address these deep-rooted issues and think about how and why I perceive my body the way I do, in order to ensure that losing weight or “being in shape” isn’t the be all, end all of my existence. I’ve had to have genuine conversations with myself and remind myself that I am more than this shell! Yes I have rolls, excess skin, stretch marks, the lot, but does that make me any less beautiful? Umm hell no!
Now, let me just clarify: I’m not saying that if you don’t like something just sit there and accept it. I have always been a firm believer in: if you don’t like something, don’t complain, just do something about it, especially when you have the opportunity or resources to do so. However, it’s the reasoning behind it and the intention that is my main concern. For example, why do I want my body to look a particular way? Is it because I want to do it for myself? To be able to look in the mirror and be proud that I put in the work to attain a body that I am comfortable with? Or is it because society tells me that I have to look a particular type of way in order to be considered beautiful? Or even, because I want to look like the girls on Instagram?
And in all honesty I still can’t fully answer those questions. But what I do know is that I am a few things: I am amazing, I am intelligent, I am definitely fabulous and my body certainly doesn’t define who I am, nor does it determine my beauty! While I have days where I still struggle with my body image, I know that I will continue working on myself to ensure that there are more days where I recognise all of these things within myself. So this one is for you: the girl who wishes she could just look like everyone else in school, the mum who hates her body after having her beautiful babies, the guy who can't stand wearing anything unless it's 3 times bigger than his actual size and to me: the woman who's yo-yo dieted her whole life and who fears putting on weight... we are fearfully and wonderfully made! This body is just a part of who we are, our existence is defined by things beyond the confines of societal beauty standards!
So I encourage you... take some time to affirm yourself every single day and remember that it's a battle that we can and will win, that's a promise.
Shoes: Sinmi Shoes
Coat: Marks & Spensers
Glasses: @estawavy on Instagram