The glorious summer is nearly over, now. Which means unless you’re still sunning it up in foreign paradise you won’t have to worry about the beach body advertisements, the “how to get the perfect figure in 20 days” slogan features, fad diet promotions, and every other trade name that likes to claim unless you fit society’s ideal, you’re not worthy of having fun, of being yourself, of embracing the body you live in.
Now we’ve swapped shorts and camis for jeans and blazers, we can cover up and pretend like we don’t exist, right? Wrong.
In a world full of Kardashians; lip fillers, implants, and extreme photo enhancing, it is difficult to constantly form a pattern of loving yourself freely without the burden of pressure and shame. From personal experience, it’s even harder when you have impediments along the way of the self acceptance journey – not that I think I could be bothered being one of those hardcore fitness gurus even if I was fit and well enough to exercise every day, but it’d be nice to be able to be pumped to go to the gym without that inevitable looming sense of pain, you know?!
Endorsing self love is toilsome, but it’s doable, and we have to challenge it. It’s time we normalised, normal bodies. Embrace our flaws. Quit being too hard on ourselves. Celebrate ourselves when we’re feeling sexy and sassy and everything else that comes with feeling yourself just as you are.
A bit of an assertive introduction from me, there, I know. But if there’s ever a way to make an entrance into something new, it’s to be an advocate of confidence – holding your head high and championing individual diversity. So, before I carry on, let me say hello! I’m Bridie, a 25 year old teen stroke survivor and blogger of 5 years who is all about pro-realism and being proud of the body you live in; the body that’s battled indestructibly, carried you through the good and bad to the position you’re in now, and lived a human experience full of memories along the way.
I knew I wanted my first piece on Liability to be related to body image because it’s a subject I’m really passionate about. It’s a struggle for me every single day trying so hard to find beauty and comfort in my own skin, but I’m not alone. I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t go through the rollercoaster relationship with their body, constantly comparing, quashing themselves back down to the bottom. It’s why it’s so important to lift yourself up!
No matter whether it’s a spur of the moment thing, or whether it becomes a regular occurrence; if you’re feeling it, flaunt it. Appreciate yourself to the max just because you can. Post as many photos as you want on social media, work those angles, stand by the window and let the light accentuate your face. Sing into the mirror, shake those hips, do the hair flick as you’re strutting around the room. Live in the moment. Put on your fave outfit and let loose. Compliment yourself without feeling the need to sabotage and discredit yourself a second later.
We spend enough time making ourselves feel rubbish and exhausting ourselves emotionally so why not share those times you see your reflection or a photo of yourself and think wow, I actually look pretty? The way your skin glows, or your hair falls off your shoulder, or your eyes sparkle? Don’t think about picking out your faults, think about those little imperfections that make you one of a kind. Those marks on your body that show signs of a good (albeit clumsy) time, the scars and the stretch marks that show exploration and growth, strength and bravery. Those skin blemishes that show adventure and maturity. Those curves that have been with you on your learning curve. Those dark circles that pay homage to the late nights full of frolics. All of those features merge together to represent your life so far. Your body enables you to live that wonderful worldliness every single day.
Ironically, just as I was writing this, I got a junk weight loss email saying ‘show off your body again’ but hell no to that. There’s no ‘again’. Show it off whenever you want, no matter what. Not just because it’s nice to be kind to yourself, but because there’s nobody else like you. Your body is yours and yours only. There’s nobody else in the world with the same one, and truthfully – who wants to be that unoriginal carbon-copy?
If there’s ever a motto to live by: start loving yourself for everything you already are, not hating yourself for everything you aren’t.