So. A little dose of realness.
I drafted a whole post about how I was in a dark place when I gained weight at university. I was in big friendship group of gorgeous girls, with the majority of them being very petite. They would all share clothes and look so beautiful, and all the clothes would all fit perfectly on one another. But the thought of squishing myself into a Topshop bodycon dress made my insides shrivel. I wouldn’t look like they did, and comparing myself through fashion was my first encounter with body issues.
I concluded in the post that I had learnt to accept myself and love my body how it is. And as I was reading the words, they just didn’t ring true with me. I don’t know if I wrote that more because I wanted it to be what I felt, or because I try so hard to be body positive. The world is changing and I’m seeing more and more women of every shape and size and it is so refreshing and wonderful and I love it. And a fair amount of time, I do like my body. I am positive about it.
Or at least I am when I’m on my own.
I’ll get ready on my own, with my music and makeup and I’ll put on an outfit that I feel like a solid 11/10 in. And this will be the case more often than not, but sometimes the very second I’m around someone with a different shape to me the whisper will creep in. ‘She’d look better in this than you do’, ‘it would fit her the way it’s meant to fit’. And this fashion comparison is my biggest demon when it comes to how I feel about myself. And it sucks.
Being 5ft4 and a size 10/12, I’m not a big person and I know I’m not. But I’ll feel like a shapeless blob on these occasions, and immediately think that that the outfit I’m wearing is too tight. ‘She’s much slimmer than you and her outfit isn’t nearly as clingy as yours’. And it’s something I’ve dealt with, and I know others have since I was a teenager. And whilst I always strive to feel confident in my body just as it is in that moment. Sometimes I fail.
Being body positive is something that all of a sudden if you’re over a size 8 you’re just meant to be. Now that the stigma of actually having a little body fat is lifting, we’re all of a sudden meant to just ‘love our bodies’. It seems to be if you’re slim you’re not meant to have any complaints and life is wonderful for you, how dare you not adore your figure. And if you’re anything above slim, you’re expected to harp on about it and do ‘unfiltered photos’ where your cellulite hasn’t been edited out.
That’s not how it works. Just because it’s now deemed acceptable for everyone to wear what they want, doesn’t mean we all have to wear playsuits that ride half way up our butts and go braless to every occasion. Because shocker, anyone who wants to do that has ALWAYS been able to do that. Not just in the last year or so. If someone has the confidence then they will, more power to them. And anyone who doesn’t want to, doesn’t have to.
Whatever your shape, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have hangups. It doesn’t mean that you look in the mirror at yourself and love every single part of it. Being positive is about acceptance. It’s accepting your body for how it is, and not judging yourself or someone else based purely on what size jeans they can squeeze into. It’s not about total admiration.
Bottom line to this rant, even the happiest person in the world will have a down day. That down day doesn’t have to be all that’s focused on. And the same goes with your body. It’s okay not to be the pin up for body positivity, as you’re only human. I don’t think I’ve ever met a single person who is 100% happy with any part of their life, not just their body. And that’s just being human, always striving and yearning for better.