On body confidence …

Trigger Warning: this post deals with childloss and talk of weight.   Please do not read if this affects you badly. 

Over Christmas, a very good family friend heard I was lurking in the lounge at my Mum’s house.  Her first question was ‘Is she wearing clothes?’

You see, being a lingerie blogger means that I’ve become none for being in various states of undress.  Jokes such as ‘I almost didn’t recognise you with your clothes on!’ have become kind of common place amongst some of my dearest friends and family.   I suppose, in a way, seeing pictures of me prancing about in my pants (almost daily) has given people an image of a confident, bouncy, twenty-something who feels both empowered and  an at one with herself.

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For the large part, this is true; I have always said, and maintain my belief, that there is far more to life than a number, whether that be my weight, my clothing size, my age, or my salary.   We all put far too much value on these things and we shouldn’t let them dictate our lives.

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That said, I am human and I have down days.   Currently, I feel like I’m in a down year.   I’ve not really felt well for a while now; a mixture of personal and work stress coupled with a string of viruses and living with a neurological condition has taken it’s toll and so my confidence in myself and my body has fallen.

I have also gained a lot of weight and lost a lot of my physical ability.   In the near 18 months since losing a child and having a neurological procedure cause me long-lasting problems with my left side I’ve struggled with both my mental and physical health.  Working full time and travelling a lot with works means eating out a lot and being exhausted and over emotional often results in emotional eating.    I’ve also been unable to exercise and I’ve lost a lot of the stamina, flexibility and physical prowess that I’d grown to pride myself on.  Rationally, I know this shouldn’t matter – I am here, I am getting better, and I am strong.  Irrationally, I feel like I’ve lost a lot and at times, I scarcely recognise the girl in the mirror.

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Recently, I was trolled on Instagram.  A sad and lonely person felt the need to tell me that I’m not beautiful, I’m fat.   It didn’t actually bother me – I don’t see the two as mutually exclusive.   I see beauty as being something within (to use a cliche).  Beauty to me is passion, intrigue, kindness, loyalty, understanding, an inquisitive mindset … it is a smile, a laugh, a raised eyebrow.   Beauty is character  – not looks.

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What does distress me though, is comparison to others.  Online, I exist in a world of plus size bloggers and models, body positivity and body confidence.  For the large part, this is a supportive, creative, and fostering empowering community.

That said, it is often that community that distresses me and makes me question my own worth and my own body.   The front girls of this movement are toned, curvy, cellulite and roll free women … yes, they are larger than your average size 4 model, but they do not represent a plus size market.   In fact, many of them tell us that plus size is a dirty word that shouldn’t be embraced.   How can us fats, even us smaller fats, really be expected to glide high and not doubt ourselves when even the women who are meant to represent us, tell us that our bodies are not worthy – that a word we have claimed as our own, is dirty?

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And where am I going with this?

I’m not really sure, I just feel it is important to be honest about my feelings – to show that, despite the glamourised images you see here, I am human.   I have doubts and issues, I will strip off and show all my lumps and bumps but, sometimes, I feel like shrinking into the corner, preferably behind a curtain or blanket where I can’t be seen.

We all get down sometimes and being different is hard.  We are preconditioned to pull holes in the fabric of our being – to criticise ourselves for not being the person we follow on social media, for not being perfect, for not being thin, or curvy, or for not having cheek bones. And that’s okay – we are only human.

I think what is really important is to remember that we are strong and that we are beautiful and it is our imperfections that make us this way.

C x

 

17 thoughts on “On body confidence …

  1. Hello and good morning! Reading this post makes me sad cause I understand what it is like to lose confidence suffering with anxiety. I wanted to say that in my eyes and in many others your beautiful and a massive role model to other women. What you do on a daily basis takes alot of courage.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. oh darling:( I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way. I understand what you mean about the community still being at odds over the word ‘fat’. For what it’s worth, I’m honoured to read your honest and emotional journey. I truly hope that things develop the way you want them to this year, and your confidence builds once again. Please surround yourself with other accepting, loyal, intelligent people that will nourish you and provide the boosts you need. I’m here if you need a friendly pen-pal! xxx

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  3. Bloody love you, and this post makes me sad, but proud that you have the courage to put it out there to inspire others with your story, and to unburden yourself of these thoughts. Still bloody love you xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amen sister! I feel so much of this, and wrote a similar post earlier this year. It’s such a hard head space to be in. And something that’s still haunting me.
    You have experienced so much trauma and so much pain, and yet I still think your relationship with your body, your courage and your message is so powerful. You are such a fierce warrior my darling. Remember that!
    http://Www.curvesandcurl.co.uk

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Putting yourself out there in words and photos is such a hard thing to do. It’s a sacrifice and every once in a while it’s good to take stock and take a moment out to see where you are. I hope you soon feel better in yourself and your year improves. ❤ xx
    x LoveLeah x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for such a thoughtful, reasoned and oh-so-eloquent piece. There is so much madness around and yet your words stand above it all. I hope writing the post has helped. K x

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  7. Hi As someone that was in care all my life often kicked from pillar to post but still survived and as i often say to others that say about it. i learnt to stand on my own two feet be/do my own thing and more important survive as me.
    Yes im not “skinny” either always been big and it’s not just females that get grief about it! plus i grew up with real breasts when was 13 looked around a 36B but kick me as you may but i will always bounce back and im stronger than you was my thoughts!
    Been dealing with Fibro&Raynauds for years can’t do what i used to do&love with sports as get tired quickly if not listening get exhausted which then takes many days to get over.
    Also found few years back have a Prolactinoma so had very high prolactin levels along with high E my T was low also then when they put me on T HRT ended up having a small stroke as well as breathing issues from T.
    Plus i also got a lot of breast growth went from a 46D/44DD to 42G/44F cup UK now fit into G’s&H cups now.
    Also got a diagnoses of Autism having Asperger’s which the T caused many issues with also!

    So im with you on many of the things you spoke about & Mental issues are real but many can never see like a broken leg but the brain can play many tricks on us as it is the be all of us as it shapes/controls how/what we do and interface with life.
    So others have to allow for the fact that we deal with things in a different way but it don’t make us bad people on the contrary we are often far better people as more understanding towards others so a better person.
    Ive have friends that respect me as i give them straight forward answers and advice which they know is good and taken to heart.

    Yes for me is/can be awkward with having breast growth as some know and understand while others i try to keep away from them and i do try to be discrete about wearing a bra even though worn for quite a few years now im still very self conscious about it plus some find easy to say about it like my medical people know about it but others closer don’t.
    But it’s these things that make us different people but also better people as i don’t want to be like everyone else i want to be just like me!.
    As i get asked who i am as many think TG etc etc as im sure you get the picture? but i just say im me no labels just me/myself&I.

    So no matter if Fat/Skinny/flat or busty/black/white/Green or in different/or any other thing that Media likes to poke it’s finger at? Just be yourself and be proud and strong holding your head up high for as one thing i always think “I’m better than that”

    To me your very Beautiful have an extremely photogenic face was one of the things i noticed when found this blog as i did lot’s of photography.

    So if your a strong/confident person no matter what size/shape/colour/creed/religion/looks others will always be drawn towards you.

    Many like to point at others as it defers from there own inadequacies and short comings!.

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