As I sit down to write this tonight, I’m feeling like a total hypocrite, unworthy of this blog. See, I have a photoshoot coming up. It was actually scheduled for 3 months ago but because, well, life, I had to keep putting it off. I’ve now run out of excuses and it’s back on. And I’m freaking out about it.
Here’s where the hypocritical part comes in:
So you know how this blog is all about positive messages, embracing ourselves as we are and all those other lovely thoughts? Right now the only thing running through my head is, “You’re too fat to do this photoshoot”.
See? If I could fire myself from this blog, I would. But that would be fairly counterproductive, so instead I’ll try and write about it.
Chapter 1: Instaperfection
I love Instagram. It’s become the equivalent to a chocolate binge. It starts out fairly innocently; just a small craving. But then you decide to buy a family bag of Maltesers and pretty soon you’re inhaling them, one after the other, until… oops. One left. Cue: stomach cramps.
On Instagram it starts with the casual scroll through your feed, but then you see someone incredible – perfect hair, face, body, outfit – and you do exactly what you know you shouldn’t… you click through to their account. BAM. Miles and miles of perfection. Suddenly you’re thinking, “My feed should look like this! Maybe I should start dieting and invest in a new wardrobe?!” But that idea’s quickly shut down when you realise that you’d need to do a hell of a lot more than buy a few outfits to achieve that bikini shot they took in the Maldives.
Reality sinks in and you’re left with a nasty hangover, questioning why you’re even bothering with social media, let alone a blog.
Chapter 2: Baby fat
If I’m being completely honest, it’s not all Instagrams fault. I was struggling with this stuff well before I had an IG account. In fact, I remember first becoming aware of my weight when I was about 11 or 12 at my first “competitive” dance school. I distinctly remember a time when my dance teacher made me (as in, publically announced in front of the class) swap my costume with one of the “smaller” girls. And no, she didn’t mean shorter. I was one of the shortest.
So should I blame her for that?
Or maybe I should blame the magazines I read..?
Or is it time I got the hell over this (I am nearly 30 after all) and took responsibility for my body image?
Thing is, it’s not like I’m nice to myself when I’m on own, offline and with no fashion magazines in view. I’m actually quite horrible when I think about it. I’m always picking on myself like the (dance) school bully used to, seeing myself through… whatever the opposite of rose coloured glasses are. Let’s call them ugly glasses.
Chapter 3: Me, the bully
So here’s what we’ve learnt so far:
- Instagram does nothing for self-confidence
- People are mean – kids and adults alike
- We’re probably no better than the meanies mentioned above which means…
- Our poor bodies don’t get much love (well, I know mine doesn’t)
Awesome. All looking positive so far! *cough*
Here’s what I’m thinking based on the above assessment:
Instagram (and social media, magazines, television…) ain’t gonna change anytime soon.
You can’t rely on other people to say nice things about your body (firstly, it’s inappropriate, secondly, they’re too busy worrying about their own body issues to notice yours).
Which means that you are the only person who guarantee body love. Therefore we need to figure out a way to STOP BEING HORRIBLE TO OURSELVES.
Chapter 4: The action plan
Clearly, this isn’t going to be an overnight fix. I’m getting awfully close to my 20 year Body Dislikeaversary. (Just roll with it… I’m making this up on the fly.)
My gut feeling is that 20 years of bad habits are going to be challenging to erase. But it’s worth a bloody good try!
If you’re still reading this because you’re experiencing the same struggles, let’s make a pact. We’ll call it the #nomoreuglyglasses challenge. And we’ll try the following:
- Try NOT looking at Instagram for the next week if you can bear it. Also avoid any fashion magazines or TV shows/movies that give you the body blues.
- Grab a lip pencil or liquid chalk marker and write any of the following on your mirrors: “You’re awesome.” “You’re a babe.” “Dayum, girl!” “I look amazing.” – or variations on that theme. Your partner/housemates may laugh, but secretly they’ll be thankful for the daily mirror pep talk. 😉
- When you’re in front of said mirror, start training your eyes to go to the bits that you love. I know, I know. How are you supposed to get past the rolls, the cellulite, the stretchmarks, the freckles?? JUST DO IT. Take a look at whatever it is and say, “hey, I like you!” and smile. It’ll probably feel totally fake and stupid at first, but let’s see if we can turn it into something genuine in time.
- If you have any clothes that are giving you bad vibes when you wear them, THROW THEM OUT. Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat. And if you want to do some extra homework, you can read about my own wardrobe detox here. Spoiler alert: it was awesome.
- If you want to look instantly sexier, thinner and more confident, walk with your chin up, your shoulders back, and a big smile on your face. Sounds obvious, but hey, if it was that obvious, why do I keep seeing people walking around with hunched shoulders, looking at the floor? Just sayin’.
Chapter 5: Fake it ’til you make it
You’ve (okay, we’ve) had the wake-up call, got the homework, and now it’s time to put it into action. If you’re ready to join me on this little mission to end some of the self-body-hate, leave a comment below or on the Facebook page!
And my promise to you is that I’ll be going ahead with the photoshoot, unwanted curves and all. Because I really don’t want to be a hypocrite. And I also know that skinny ≠ happy. But happy = beautiful. Right?
So go be beautiful.