LET'S TALK: BODY HANG UPS

Monday, July 06, 2015 Holly 6 Comments



Body confidence issues hit me hard during my early teens. At 13, I would direct a load of body confidence induced self hate towards myself on a daily basisSparked by comments from young boys who didn't know any better, jibes related to my flat-chested exterior and general thinness sent my negative self perception spiraling. 

I vaguely remember falling to sleep, vowing to do anything in my power to alter my outer appearance. At it's worst, I remember (much to my parent's dismay) refusing to wear dolly shoes and sandals in the summer, instead choosing to wear UGGs and trainers with boot cut jeans in the heat - so that I could hide what I thought were by hideously skinny ankles and legs. I would frantically Google 'How to make your boobs grow' and desperately try to form some sort of cleavage with the ultra padded bras from Primark. 

The gaunt and flat chested - 'ugly' image I had of myself couldn't have been further from the truth. At size 6/8 with a nutritious and regular diet, despite my small chest, I was a healthy 13 year old. 

Sadly, although the body hate slightly wore off in following years I would still constantly pick at my flaws. We all know that scene in Mean Girls where they take it in turns to verbally pick out something wrong with themselves? At 16 I'd do it every time I looked in the mirror. The scary thing is that this was the norm; my friends would do it too. In fact, so many girls would project their body hate onto other people too. Thinking back, I remember mentioning to a friend that I thought a girl we both knew was pretty and she responded 'yeah, but she has got really fat legs'. Another time, when I was about 16, a close friend told me that I looked too skinny with my hair straight. Cue months of religiously curling my hair every morning. 

I can't even begin to imagine how hard it is for younger girls now. The widespread popularity of social media and rise of 'Instababes' is sending a relentless stream of airbrushed, unrealistically perfect images  to our phones, tablets and laptops 24 hours a day. It's no wonder that hospital admissions for eating disorders have risen by 8% - with the most common age for admission being 15. 

I feel as though now there's even a taboo related towards speaking positively about your appearance. It's far more acceptable to say how much you hate how you look today, than talk about how much you love your body - and that's just not okay


Changing Self Perceptions 

Now, at 20, my friends practically have to force me to wear a bra. My uber padded Primark push up bras have long since been thrown out; I love my small boobs and wouldn't alter them for the world. I feel great about my gangly legs, arms and prominent collar bones. My body physically hasn't changed much, but my attitude towards it has and that's what has made the world of difference

It's taken a total shift in mentality to banish my body hang ups. I've learned to accept my appearance for what it is and appreciate the different aspects of 'beauty' in other people too. 

I've found that getting into the routine of waking up and looking the mirror, thinking 'I look good' (even when you have no makeup on) is so important. Despite the taboo in thinking and speaking positively about your own body, it really is not vanity. It's appreciating your own uniqueness and having self worth - letting other people know that you know your own value. 

Accepting that there is beauty in diversity is a great thing. There are so many different variations in beauty ideologies that it is impossible to embody them all. Stop comparing, stop being negative and start looking in the mirror and actually appreciate the person that is looking back at you. 

Which brings me on to my next point. I wish someone had told me when I was 15 that it is so important to surround yourself with positive people and avoid friendships that involve pointing out flaws in yourself or in others. Speaking negatively about other people's appearances will just make you look and feel bitter and make it acceptable for people to do the same about you too. 

 "Healthy emotions come in all sizes.

Healthy minds come in all sizes.

And healthy bodies come in all sizes."
 
- Cheri K Erdman 

I think that as long as you eat well, sleep well, and just consciously try to avoid thinking or saying negative things about your own or other peoples bodies then you will feel a shift in body confidence. Giving you time to focus on what is actually important.



H x 

  


6 comments:

  1. Great post! I'm trying to eat well as I'm not confident at all at the moment :( x
    Glossy Boutique

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    1. Thank you! Such a shame to hear that you're not feeling confident! Good food will definitely be sure to pick up your mood!! :) xx

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  2. This was a lovely post with a wonderful message. I couldn't agree with you more about the increasing pressures on today's young girls thanks to social media, I just hope that enough positive messages will cross their paths to help them realise they're just lovely the way they are (like this post!) :)

    Have a nice week, Holly!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice

    x

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    1. Hi Gabrielle,

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment! Like you say, hopefully younger girls will come into contact with positive messages and 'real' images of women more often in the future!

      Have a lovely week too!

      H x

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  3. Lovely post, and so pleased those days of hating your body are long gone. Awesome stuff. I think I'm healthy in that I eat okay and exercise a bit... but I still hate my body. Today I took a leap and am feeling very self conscious - I'm wearing a pair of trousers that I've had for over a year but have only worn once because they show off my figure rather than being my usual baggy style. Half of me wants a friend to say I look good today. Half of me wants no-one to notice.

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    1. Hi! Thank you for your comment. I'm really sorry to hear that you're feeling self conscious :( I'm sure your trousers will look amazing on you! I promise no one will look at you and think anything bad! You just have to be your own best friend and tell yourself how good you look when you look in the mirror! :P

      Have a lovely week ! x

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Holly xxx