Body positivity | My relationship with my body.


There are so many body positivity  campaigns around at the moment.

Little Mix, Stacey Solomon, Jameela Jamil, Loose Women  & several other bloggers to name a few, as well as brands who are now opting for unedited pictures of models like Boohoo & Mothercare.








All trying their hardest to cancel out years and years of the media, magazines & the fashion industry only showing us what they deemed to be the perfect body.

The perfect size.

The perfect shape.

We all know that perfect doesn't exist.

But yet still we seem to be striving for it.





I've always considered myself a strong, independent woman in the sense that I've never felt the need to wear the latest fashions or have never been one for beauty regimes, make-up trends, fake tan or fake nails.

I'm a petite 5 ft 2 and always new, right from teenage years, that I couldn't get away with trends straight from the catwalk. Clothes that have been modelled by elegant women of giraffe like stature. 

No, I quickly figured out that certain lengths (midi) made me look stumpy and lots of clothes swallowed me up entirely, especially as I spent my teenage years to mid-20's a tiny size 6.

I'm extremely pale in colour and there was a time where I wished, more than anything to tan beautifully like my younger sister. 

But I soon realised, this skin is what I had been given and that I was terrible at applying fake-tan so I was just gonna have to suck it up and get used to it! 

~

Nowadays, 3 kids down, 4 years post the last (& final) baby, my size has levelled out and I am now officially an 8-10.

An average size you might think.

Yet for me, used to being a size 6, being a size 10 feels big.

I feel that my height is very unforgiving of a bit of extra weight.

That me being a size 10 looks much larger than a size 10 on most other women.

I'm 9 years into motherhood.

9 years into my 'new' body. 

My new 'normal'.

Yet it still doesn't feel normal. 

It still doesn't feel like me.

~

Growing up, I think I actually hated my body.

Quite often comments were made about my size.

I was so small that people would say things maybe they thought were innocent.

"You need to get some food down you, you do!"

To my mum "Don't you feed her"

"You need to get some fat on you"

"You're so skinny"

"You're so Scrawny"

SKINNY SHAMING!!!!!

It's a thing. A real thing. A thing that is equally as damaging as fat shaming.

Yet, where fat shaming is something that is highlighted as wrong & not socially acceptable behaviour, skinny shaming is OK?

Skinny is a horrible word. 

Scrawny is a horrible word.

I'm not easily offended. And I can't say that I've ever been offended by those words as such, but there are much nicer words to use to describe someone's build - Petite, slender, slight.

FYI - I ate. I ate A LOT. I just had a super fast metabolism and a small frame.

I honestly believe it just got to the point where I was ashamed or embarrassed of my size and shape.

I thought that being 'skinny' meant that I wasn't womanly. I wasn't curvy or voluptuous and therefore, I wasn't sexy. 

I had the body of a girl. 




WRONG. 

I didn't at all. 

I might have been a size 6, but I DID have curves. 

I had a tiny waist, but I had boobs (all be it in proportion to the rest of me, I was no Dolly Parton here, but I wasn't flat chested either) and I had hips.

But, if I were flat chested. Who gives a F**k? 

No one should.

No one. 

I just wish back then. Back when I did have a perfect body, that I realised it. 

That I loved it when I had chance.

That I appreciated it.

Hindsight is a marvelous thing, huh!

Now, I feel less than perfect.

Ravaged by age.

Which I know is inevitable for everyone.

Holding weight on my middle, where I wouldn't normally.

Bloating. Forever bloating. If I so much as look at an unhealthy food my stomach bloats.

Cellulite popping up everywhere.

Ravaged by children.

My stomach is covered in stretch marks from the very top to the bottom, every single inch.

I was so small, and carried such large babies (9lb 7.5 oz the largest!), it was always going to happen.

And I do feel so grateful for the children.

I do remind myself that without those stretch marks I wouldn't have my children. 

That some people would kill to trade places with me.

And of course, I'd never swap my children to have that perfect pre-kids body again.

I do feel lucky for what my body has achieved.

I feel lucky that it is fit and healthy.

But none of that helps when I think of my body.

And I say 'think' because I don't look at it.

I don't touch it.

My husband has never even seen my stomach.

He came into my life after already having two children.

Once the damage was done.

I flinch if he accidentally brushes his hand on it.

It makes me feel repulsed.

And it's not because of my husband.

My husband loves me, warts & all.

He finds me sexy.

It's all entirely me and my own head.

~

I am trying my hardest though to battle this.

Because I have a daughter. 



A 9 year old daughter, who I owe it to.

I owe it to her to show that I'm not ashamed. 

No-one should feel ashamed of their own body. Ever.

Even now I can see the insecurities coming in.  

She's starting to become aware of changes in her body and the differences between her and her peers.

You know, the differences that simply make you, you!



She's athletic and does dancing and gymnastics so has a muscly physique - or if you're her, see that as a big bum.

She is pale like me and dark haired so her arm hair is showing much more than others. 

And they've mentioned it.

She hates he nose. She thinks it's big.

How scary that they can start to hate parts of themselves so early on in life. 

When they should be care-free.

So it is imperative that I don't teach her that these things are things to be ashamed of.

That they are anything but normal.

That my mum-tum - podgy, stretch marked tummy is anything but normal.

It's a work in progress, but she does see my tummy.

I have never hid it from them.

I have never made a big deal out of it in front of the them. 

Any of them. 

Because the boys need to be shown too. 

They need to know that every body is different. That there is no 'perfect'. 

They need to learn how to build a woman up.

One day it might be their girlfriend or wife feeling less than perfect.

And the funny thing is, they've never even batted an eyelid at it.

It's just normal to them.

They've known no different

This is just me.

And they know that the marks are from when I was pregnant and my tummy stretched to carry them.

They understand.

And they really don't give a shit.

~

Last year was the first year I wore a two piece at the beach (albeit high waisted bottoms!) and actually went into the sea with my children. 

I felt incredibly uncomfortable and ended up keeping my top on, but I showed nothing but confidence on the outside.

I even had my picture taken.

My daughter took them. 

Candid moments of life from her perspective.

She loves them.



I hate them.



I feel huge & dimply.



But it's for my kids. 

To show them.

Dimply is me.

THIS is me.

And that's OK.

To give them the memory of Mum being care-free and enjoying time with them rather than worrying about what she looks like. 


Of everything regarding body image, I may hate my tummy, but I have always had a healthy relationship with food and that is something that hopefully I can pass on to my children too.

I have never dieted. 

Despite the fact that I hate my tummy, I have never felt that I should starve myself or deprive myself of food. 

I am fully aware that it is a result of age and child-bearing and that eating well and some exercise is what it needs. 

But even then, I'm not going to be happy with it and it's still going to be covered in stretch marks.

 I have always enjoyed food. Healthy food like fruit and veg but also treats like cake.

Man, I love cake!

Everything in moderation is my motto.

I eat healthy, I enjoy a treat and I keep active.

And that goes with the children too.

The eat their (healthy home-cooked) meals, complete with vegetables, and they get a pudding every day.

And well, they're kids, they're always active!


I'm hopeful that I will learn to love my body again some day. 

That I will believe the mantra I say so much.

That 'this is me'.

And that's OK.

That although I'm never going to look like a Kardashian, I'm actually alright. 

A pretty average representation of us normal folk outside of Calabasas.

And it's really not that bad.


Showing images of women of all shapes and sizes, unedited in advertising campaigns and magazines can only be a good thing. 

The more I see pictures of women with cellulite and wobbly bits, the more I feel better about mine.

The more I see that I am the normal one.

I am real.

Photoshopped or filtered images aren't real.

They are not, nor ever will be, accurate representations of women.

And I'm not the only one feeling this way.

The response to Mothercare's campaign says it all.

There are literally thousands of women who all NEED to see this.

See real images of real mums.

And know that the tummy and stretch marks are normal.

That they are beautiful.




So whilst we are going in the right direction for future generations. 

For my daughter.

I can't help feeling that instagram & the like, in general are still really unhealthy places with regards to body image with heavily edited and filtered images.

And it's sad.

So let's keep making the changes.

Join the revolution.

Ditch the inhibitions.

LOVE YOURSELF!







No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
view sourceprint? 01 09 10