Sunday, 18 October 2015

BODY CONFIDENCE

(This photo was taken back in 2011 hours before my prom)

Recently I have seen a lot of body confidence posts floating around which has got me thinking. so I have decided to conjure up my own post. Firstly, let me start by telling you a little bit about myself, I'm 19 years old, just under 5 ft 9 inches and a size 18. That would by definition place me on the PLUS SIZE scale. So where did my weight come from? Well, weight can come from a lot of things genetics, diet and metabolism all factors which should be taken into account before we point fingers and call someone lazy- but for me it's because if you put a salad and a pizza in front of me, I will always pick pizza. I also hate exercising, I'm active and walk A LOT but the day you find me in a gym I can promise you I am ill and you need to call for help. Now, I know for my well-being this is quite clearly something that I need to work on and it is something that I have recently been trying to improve. However, it disappoints me to think that we now live in a world that is so obsessed with looks, trends and weight for both men and women. I would hope that being a developed generation we could now focus on more important factors such as intellect, education, politics and above all our happiness. We should also address the distinction between the person you are and the body you wear. For me, I have always felt that no matter how good you look if you are a nasty person I am not going to want to be your friend but if you are a nice person then you could be a size 30 and I couldn't care less. Appearance and personality are two individual factors to a person and that is the most important thing to remember.

So when did I start gaining weight? Well, I have always had trouble with my weight from a young age. I have always been the biggest in my family and that has always been vocalised growing up. I find that my weight is mentioned quite a lot especially amongst my grandparents, which is fine because I get that they worry about my health. However, what is not mentioned are all the amazing things I have achieved in my life such as being the first in my family to go to university and I personally find that quite shameful on their behalf- that being said I don't blame them as I know its just an inevitable outcome of societies values. We live in a world whereby if I went home a size 12 I would receive more compliments than if I were to go home with a first degree. If my family read this they would probably be heartbroken because its not an intentional thing but just something that has become a natural topic of conversation. People have become so consumed with the idea of weight loss, the media has produced a world obsessed with diets, myself included. Growing up I was constantly on and off crash diets which now I find unnatural. It is not normal at the age of 15 to be living off liquids and only drinking weight-loss shakes for my 3 meals a day. I was consuming no solid food for months, how ridiculous is that. Now I am the first to put my hands up and say I need to become healthier and fitter but I have gotten to the point in my life where it is no longer my main focus. I would rather buy fresh fruit and veg every week, become more active and make home-made meals than I would go on a silly diet because there will be a point when that crash diet will have to come to an end. I'm not looking for a quick fix but a lifestyle change. Whether that means that it will take me two years to get down to MY ideal size rather than 3 months, then so be it.

Something happened the other week which really shocked me, as I was packing up to move out I came across a diary which was dated back to when I was 12. On the first page I had made a list titled 'Things I hate and want to change about myself', it went over 3 pages. There wasn't one part of my body which I didn't want to change something about, right down to the shape of my belly button. I can laugh now because it sounds ridiculous but actually thinking about it I can't help but feel uncomfortable that a 12 year old girl had wrote a list of reasons to hate herself. This was 8 years ago and since then the beauty and weight loss industry has reached a massive climax. Society hasn't got better, it has got progressively worse. So what must the 12 year old girls of today be feeling when they compare themselves to the photoshopped models in the magazines, I can only imagine! Even now looking back to when I was a little older and about to start college my whole outlook on my body was alarming. I remember when I went to prom, I had spent weeks preparing for it I had even designed my own dress and had it custom made. The morning of my prom I spent all day getting ready, I felt a million dollars and I remember feeling on top of the world. I had such an amazing time but the morning after my facebook started flooding with notifications from photo's I had been tagged in- what my friends thought was innocently sharing memories of a good night actually caused me tears. I was distraught I looked massive in my dress, I had a big double chin and huge bingo wings, suddenly all the good memories from the night before escaped my mind, all I could think about was how bad I looked in the photos. Looking back now I shouldn't have let this bother me as much as I did. A bit of extra skin under my arms shouldn't have ruined what was such a good night, a night I had prepared for months ahead and a night that my mum had put a lot of money and effort into. I shouldn't have forgotten about how beautiful and amazing I felt as I looked in the mirror that night. 



The problem is judgement, people have way too much to say for themselves regarding how women should look but who is to say what is right and wrong. There is no perfect size! I guarantee that if I handed out a questionnaires asking what the perfect body looks like, no two set of answers would be the same. So, what makes it okay for magazines editors to dictate to young, impressionable girls that there is a certain way to look and if they don't look like that then they aren't good enough. We should be telling girls that they don't need to look a certain way to achieve what they want to in life. We should be telling them that we now live in a world where looks don't mean everything and actually with drive, aspiration and a good education they can be what the hell they want to be.

Stretch marks...bingo wings...love handles...many of us think that we are the only one with these flaws but the truth is most girls are quietly worrying to themselves about the exact same thing. This is where all you bloggers come in. I truly believe with the blogging sphere growing we now obtain a lot of power to drive a change in society. It's time for a change. It's time for people to know that it is okay to love yourself and feel confident in your body because unfortunately it is in our very nature to find fault and no matter how we look or what we change we still wouldn't be 100% happy. So let's just learn to love who we are and find things we do love about ourselves. I think that we need to see a rise in bloggers who are willing to let down their guards and tell their audience about their worries and problems to show girls/boys that they aren't the only ones.Everyone has problems with their bodies and things they would change, you aren't the only one. So girls its time to look in the mirror and love yourselves once and for all!

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