As the years have gone on, I have increasingly made peace with my body. It has been an uphill struggle and if I’m honest, one I’ve not done fighting with. Most of the time, I can be seen giving zero fucks, taking selfies and strutting around like a peacock in whatever garment has made me feel rockin’ that day. Other times, I can hide myself away, hate what I see in the mirror and attempt to work on those bits I am yet to accept.
Just because I can sometimes throw caution to the wind and wear whatever the fuck I want to and get my limbs out like a well dressed octopus, it does not mean that the way I am is the correct way to be.
I am by no means as confident as I would love to be about my body. I still find it very hard to wear short skirts or anything above the knee without some kind of tights or leggings. I find it very challenging (although not impossible) to go out wearing a skin tight outfit that shows off my VBO (visible belly outline, for those not in the know). But here’s the thing:
It’s completely fine to not be confident about your body.
I know, it’s a pretty radical thing for a plus-size, body positive blogger to say to you. You’ll often see us bloggers, women in the media and on social media encouraging girls to stop caring about how others think and to start living unapologetically. I am a big vocalist for the body positivity movement (benefits of being a loud mouth Northerner!) but guess what? It’s okay to not feel the same way.
To me, body positivity is a journey to not only love your own body and view every little bit of it in a positive light, but it’s also a journey to view the bodies of others – no matter what size, shape, height, colour or type – and regard them as beautiful too. Sometimes it’s that last part that can be the most difficult.
Along my own personal journey, I’ve learnt to love bits of me that I found disgusting before. There are also still parts of me that I still find disgusting, but I’m working on that. It seems jarring to write the word “disgusting”… But it’s a true representation of what I felt about my own body. I felt disgusted with what I saw, I felt that other people would be just as disgusted as me when looking at my own body – I now know through the help of other women that I was so, so wrong.
Body positivity, however, does not automatically mean that you become the world’s most confident person. Your confidence can radiate from the inside, but when it comes to wearing a bikini, if you’d be much more comfortable chucking on a swim dress and a kaftan – that is just fine. If your version of confidence means that you are happy in your own skin wearing the baggiest clothes you could find, you rock it momma. Your own opinion of yourself should be your number one priority. That’s what body positivity has taught me.
It can be so easy to get lost in a world where everywhere you turn, women appear increasingly more confident with their bodies – especially if you aren’t the type of person who would strive to strut down a catwalk half naked. It is so important to remind yourself that it is absolutely fine to not have confidence in yourself from time to time, and remind yourself that this is an ongoing journey that only YOU can pick the final destination for. You can get off at “happy-in-my-own-skin-ville” or ride that train all the way down to “wear-what-I-want City” – you choose your destination.
Do not allow other people to dictate to you what they think is acceptable. Only you can decide what is acceptable for you, and that could be being a size 10 or below, or a size 30 and above, or anything in between. You are entitled to feel amazing whatever size you are, whatever anyone else may try and tell you.
Please don’t convince yourself you can only be confident in your body if you parade yourself around. You do not have to be a show pony and suddenly become an extrovert to achieve feeling comfortable in your own skin.
If today is the first day you’ve looked at yourself and thought you looked beautiful, talk about it. Tell others how great you feel, or if you’d rather not draw attention to yourself, write it down in a diary or make a note of it somewhere. On darker days, refer back to that note and remind yourself that you can and you have felt beautiful and it’s not something that is unachieveable.
De-clutter your life of negative influences and redecorate with positivity. Look for body positive bloggers, body positive websites such as Tumblr and surround yourself with people who will build you and support you. Once you stop worrying about what people who don’t matter think about you, you’ll find your days brighter and your heart glad.
Remember babes, do not let other people tell you how to define your self-worth. This is your story, only you get to write the endings of your chapters.