I’ve wanted to do a post about body positivity for a while, so here I am. As always, I don’t plan these things so I have no idea what’s going to be said because I have so many conflicting views on this subject. Let’s just see.
Body image is something that, to be honest, is constantly on my mind and, speaking to friends, it seems to be constantly on their minds too. I’m not sure if this is just to do with the circles I move in (media/performance industry) but I would say that as a generation we are OBSESSED with the way we look.
And (for the most part) I hate it.
The reason I’m writing about this today is because I’m going to Ibiza in 4 weeks and I’d like to lose some weight before I get on that plane. There’s a part of me screaming at myself NO, YOU’RE PERFECT – LOOK AT YOUR CURVES, YOU’RE AN ABSOLUTE BABE! but the other part of me wants to lose a stone so I can skip around with a flat stomach feeling smug and fantastic.
The rise of social media has been, in my opinion, detrimental to the way we view ourselves. That’s not to say that I don’t love instagram but I think it’s dangerous in two ways:
1) WHAT IS REAL AND WHAT’S NOT?! I downloaded Facetune the other week just to see the hype and can’t believe how easy it is to change the size of your body. The pictures look 100% real and it’s so quick and easy that it’s become a huge, normalised part of editing. I swiftly deleted it but it’s made me super aware that we’ve got photoshopped celebrities AND photoshopped mates now. Help.
2) Bodies. Faces. Products. Everywhere. Instagram is swarming with ‘Influencers’ at the moment, normal people who are being paid to flaunt themselves on IG with the latest trends, fad diets, or whatever and I’m like… this is great (YOU LOOK AMAZING!) but… is this it?! I really don’t mean that to sound as awful as it does because I’m obsessed with some influencers out there but still, I think it’s a crap aspiration – it’s boring. What are you influencing exactly? I think it teaches girls, yet again, that the most important part of you is the way you look and what you buy rather than what’s going on in your head and I’m so over it… whilst also being totally sucked in… it’s a mind fuck.
Even the whole Body Positivity movement (which I think is a fantastic FUCK YOU to all the impossible beauty standards out there) is flawed because it’s STILL concentrating on your body like it’s the be all and end all to our existence. Isn’t there something ELSE we can concentrate on? Seriously? There’s all this energy being poured into how we look. All. Of. The. Time. It’s exhausting.
I lost a lot of weight in 2016 due to stress, I wasn’t eating healthily (TBH, I wasn’t eating full stop) and lost 2 stone within 2 months – but I felt more confident than ever. Was it because I thought I finally looked like the images I’m faced with on a daily basis? Was it because I genuinely thought I looked better? I don’t know. Now I’m super happy and healthy (that’s a recent pic of me below), but I’ve put most of the weight back on and rarely post selfies anymore. Maybe I don’t feel the need for validation (I don’t know if I was looking for it back then or whether I just wanted to show off my abs tbh) or maybe I just feel a bit crap at the moment and want to get back to a smaller size. I don’t have the answer.
I rarely wear makeup to work because a) it’s time consuming and b) cost. I’m not wasting my £35 foundation on an office day! But sometimes I feel guilty, as though I haven’t made an effort, and then I think… hang on… that’s ridiculous. I can’t believe we’ve been socialised to think that not plastering over your face with products means that you’re being lazy. When I think about the concept of makeup it frazzles my little mind. Again, who are we doing it for? Do I cover up and contour my (perfectly normal) face because I WANT to, or do I do it to fit in with today’s idea of beauty? If makeup was suddenly deemed unattractive and fresh faces were the new trend, I would absolutely be on that bandwagon. To see young girls covering up their skin makes me sad. Yet, at the same time, I love makeup for the creativity and slather my face in glitter on a regular basis. It’s a huge grey area for me…much like bras and high heels but I can’t be bothered to get into that right now.
Anyway, the point is, when I get to Ibiza, I’m going to post photos of me in a bikini having a great time and whether I’m a Size 12 or a Size 8 I’m still going have the same experience – so who actually cares? However, I am going to the gym in a bit to get healthy and hopefully shift a few pounds… but I do love myself and my body (most of the time) – I swear.
It’s a minefield out here. Urgh.