When I wrote the draft for this body image blog post, I was sat round the pool in a glittering bronze bikini, my hair had been quickly pulled up into a messy bun and the only makeup I was wearing was lipstick (of course) and my eyebrows.
And I started writing this post, because despite weeks of secret bikini-induced anxiety, I was feeling pretty darn good. Surprisingly good. One of my goals this year has been to feel good about how I look at least 80% of the time. I don’t want to say 100% because let’s face it, even if I were to look like Rosie Huntington-Whitely I’d probably have hormone fuelled days where I would just wondered why I had to look the way I do.
Ever a fan of basic quotes, one popped up in Pinterest recently that read “If you wouldn’t say it to your best friend – don’t say it to yourself” and for some reason it really hit home. Hard. I’d like to clarify that I have some amazing best friends, girls that I don’t hesitate to ring or to send cringe worthy texts too. However I am pretty sure, like me, you have carried yourself through more times than any best friend could. While you might call your best friend in tears, you’ve also been there for yourself during the darkest, most distraught moments where all you can do is hide under the duvet, hoping the world doesn’t find you. You’ve got yourself through those moments, you deserve nicer thoughts. Nicer treatment.
Would you tell your best friend that she has thighs bigger than the entire population of Instagram? Or the fact she had desert last night means she’s *probably* going to fail at life in general? No? Then why say it to yourself.
I’ve been trying to practise this advice, and yes some days are harder than others. It’s an on-going battle but trust me when I say it is worth it. Making a conscious, active effort to be nicer to myself in relation to body image, has led to other accidental changes. It’s changed the way I view myself. I no longer fear getting my legs out because they’ve got scares. They’re a bit speckled and that’s that.
Body image has always been a bit of a tricky issue for me, like most people. My teenage years were spent wondering boobs, where you at? Feeling smug about having a small waist, and then promptly mourning its loss. In fact, you can read my first ever body image post here. *Disclaimer – I am not responsible to any eye injuries caused by my previous terrible photography.
Learning to redefine my ‘flaws’ has also led me to take a new perspective with other people. When I find myself getting annoyed with people (and let’s be honest, some people for whatever reason can annoy you) the habit of being nicer kicks in. I may be annoyed but I can take a step back and try to find something positive about them, if not the situation.
I can’t sit here (post-holiday) and tell you that if you just try to be a bit nicer to yourself you will feel fine and sassy every single day. But I can promise you this: even if some days you can’t be nice to yourself about how you look – just try to catch the negatives, recognise that you’re being negative, and let it go. Don’t feel guilty about being mean, we all do it. Just realise one thought does not make it your truth.
If you can make even the tiniest effort to be nicer to yourself, or at least realise the moments you are being less than positive you might find that your world slowly starts to fall into place. Or at the very least you may actually enjoy getting your bikini out, because dammmnnn gurl, you look fine.
*Notebook in the featured image was bought from Sainsbury’s and similar can be found here.