I’ve never had a great relationship with my body. Years of being bullied as a teenager and an unhealthy obsession with mainstream fashion magazines resulted in me constantly thinking I wasn’t good enough.
Now I know what you’re thinking. Yes I’m slim. And yes society as a whole sees my body type as ‘acceptable’, but I’m not talking about society, I’m talking about how I’ve felt in my body for years.
I was teased by family and at school when I was younger for being shy, for being a weirdo, for being too skinny, for being too tall & generally a bit ‘lanky’, which is hilarious as I’m only 5″6. But as funny as I now think it is, it wasn’t funny at the time. I spend a good part of my youth hating the way I looked, and trying to change it, or take ownership of it as much as I possibly could.
Like most teens I dyed my hair, I got tattooed, I explored punk, goth and vintage fashion, all in a bid to make me feel at home in my own skin. I honestly thought if I could be in control of what I looked like on the outside, I could change the way I felt inside.
I know that’s not the case. But it’s taken me a long time to get here.
Recently I came across some photos of our mini honeymoon, and I instantly thought how good I looked, how healthy and most importantly happy I looked. But you know the most upsetting thing? I remember thinking at the time I was too fat, that I wasn’t toned enough, that I didn’t look good enough.
Good enough for who?
Finding those photos was a wake-up call. It made me realise just how much my self-loathing was damaging my view of some of my happiest moments in life.
I’ve spent a lot of my adult life trying not to conform, I hated the thought of being like everyone else when I was growing up, and yes that stemmed from being bullied. I always thought if I was going to look different I may as well fully embrace it, a big fuck you to society. And yet here I am, worrying that I’m not skinny enough, that I don’t work out enough, that I need to look a certain way to succeed, that I’m not good enough. And I hate to say it, but recently Instagram has played a massive part in my self-loathing. Well no more.
I’m taking back control of my body, and yeah, I might not have a flat stomach, or a bubble butt, or be able to deadlift my body weight. But I’m me, in all my messy glory. I’m trying to appreciate what I have, and not let society dictate all the things that are wrong with me.