I found a photo sitting in my drawers the other day; back from when I was about seven years old, my top knotted up into a crop top – as was the fashion in the early 00’s, my bare stomach sticking out and my pyjama bottoms rolled up to create shorts. I didn’t care that my belly looked bigger, nor did I care about baring my thighs and stomach to all who would dare to see.
From the age of fourteen, I started to become more conscious of what I was wearing and what parts of my body were on show. I started gaining weight; whether that be from puberty or quitting dance I will never know but as my body started to grow so did my anxiety and my hate for my body. Most of the time I was wearing unfitted clothes which baggy appearance just made my oversized body look worse, emphasising my broad shoulders and big bust although at the time I didn’t realise this and just wanted to be in something that didn’t make me think about appearance. The main moments I did show more than usual would be on holidays where it was just too hot to wear trousers; I remember a few people poking fun at my weight and dismissing my courage to show off my legs…’Tree Trunks’ they called them.
From the age of fourteen to my present age of twenty-one I have gained near to seventy pounds from anxiety, depression, bullying and overeating and reached an all-time low in self-confidence; the fact is I have absolutely zero. When doing a job like blogging, in particular fashion blogging you have to have a certain amount of confidence in your style and in your own body to be able to style outfits and produce pictures for your blog that encompass your theme or direction. I’ve done outfit post’s in the past but as I slowly gain more and more weight I feel less and less comfortable to post pictures of myself on my blog. Recently my boyfriend took pictures of my outfit to be able to post on my blog at a later date, I thought I was doing a great job and they would turn out fab. However, I was met with the opposite. I thought I looked good, I was so happy with my outfit and how it looked I thought ‘I can’t wait to feature this on my blog’ when in fact after the seeing the pictures I could see every pound of fat I had gained and how awful I looked compared with when I was lighter.
After chatting with some fellow bloggers, I came to realise that the only one seeing monstrosity in my images was myself, and it was in fact my own views on body image that needed to change. Although I am still not fully confident with my body I have come back to a point that I enjoy/want to take fashion images for my blog, and there are now moments in life where I will stop by a mirror and instead of thinking ‘disgusting’ I will actually be proud of my 5″2 figure. Below are some tips I have found have helped me embrace my body and helped me on my way to becoming confident, I hope these will be helpful for you too.
Create a Playlist
Whether you use Spotify or Itunes (although Spotify is a personal favourite of mine) find a few songs that make you feel empowered, or that you make you want to dance in your underwear. These songs are for those times you’ve had a particularly rough day or have just been feeling insecure, so go ahead put on some headphones and dance around your living room or even better go for a walk! Getting out in the open air away from negativity is a great start to feeling much better and also you’ve got the added bonus of getting fitter as you go. Recently as well as listening along to my ‘strong’ playlist (you can have a look here) I have also been enjoying Pokemon Go (nerdy I know), apart from finding and catching wild Pokemon on the road you can also hatch Pokemon eggs by walking a certain distance which is a great motivator for those of us who hate exercising; you forget you’re getting fit because you’re having too much fun trying to throw a Pokeball.
Take time to look in the Mirror
By this, I don’t mean attacking yourself mentally, instead take the time to appreciate your positives. The best thing to do is to do your hair and makeup and stand in the nude in front of your mirror where you can appreciate your body in all it’s glory. While I’m sure we can all pick out 3x the amount of negative comments, just focus on a least one good thing about your body. If you’re struggling why not ask a supportive friend or partner what they love about your body, remember they can see what you maybe you can’t. I used to look in the mirror and not see anything I liked (I had that struggle too) however, I asked my partner for his favourite parts of me which of course were boobs and bum (typical) but also my curves, a defined waist (even if it is padded with a bit of tummy) and my smile. So instead of only thinking about what I hated, I instead tried to focus on these things to see the beauty that somebody else saw, and it actually started to work. I started to believe these were my best assets that I should embrace these parts of my body and not hide them away. Even if it’s a small step forward it is still a step forward.
You are Individual
Now with the rise of a constant media presence, we are constantly bombarded with images of models and celebrities who are looking every type of perfect making us feel awful about ourselves; whether it be our weight, shape, height, skin colour, right up to the tiniest details. However for one we have to remember these people have money and lot’s of it, enough at least to hire a personal trainer, a nutritionist and hell even maybe a skincare and makeup specialist. Their job is to keep looking good to make us love them and feel jealous essentially. However the majority of us like a takeaway on a Friday night or don’t have 8 hours a day to train at a gym, so, in all honesty, we are never going to look like they do. You must remember all these people have their own insecurity’s and theirs are publicised on the front of a magazine cover for all to see! You may be 5″8 with lanky legs, a few spots and a boyish figure with zero boobs going on; a person who idolises petite cute girls with a curvy boy with boobs and a bum. What you may not realise is that petite girl may be idolising your model-esque figure and wishing she had a few spots instead of full-on acne; It’s a huge cycle where people want what they don’t have. Everyone is unique with their own ‘best parts’ whether that be their smile or the way they crinkle their nose before sneezing, their curvy body, or their long slim leg’s; it doesn’t matter what someone else has just know that you are the only you out there and embrace your body as only you can.
I hope you enjoyed this longer post today, I wanted to write something with a little more meaning than my usual post’s so let me know if you like this style of writing!
Have you ever/ Do you suffer from confidence issues? If so let me know all about it in a comment and if you’ve got any tips for gaining confidence leave them down below too for others to read!