So… I have writers block so please forgive me if this post runs off down 10 different paths, but thanks to one of my beautiful readers who suggested to write about “how to love your body” we will be talking about that today… Even though I don’t have an exact answer or solid advice, I’ll try to maybe share some insight for you on my body confidence journey – because that’s what it is…
Us women are complex creatures, very rarely are we happy with what we have, if you’re a natural blonde you want dark hair, if you have straight hair – you want long hair, if you have big boobs – you want smaller, if you’re tall you want to be short… Well sometimes. But ask any woman what she loves about herself and most will struggle with the answer, ask a woman what she doesn’t love about herself – well friend, sit back because she most likely will have a lengthy list that she can go into great detail about…
I’ll admit I’m very guilty of this, I know with makeup I look decent, I’m very tiny but I hate my butt – I want it more toned, I wish my boobs were just a little bigger – I don’t want to get a boob job though, because honestly my body is trying to kill off a natural part of itself now, bloody hell the whole thing would probably shut down if I shoved something fake into it (THIS video put me off the idea by confirming this can happen), I hate my nose and because I have scoliosis – the sides of my stomach are actually unevenly curved. I have a love hate relationship with my hair but I really like my eyebrows – those things I feel are awesome. And when I say that all I can think of is THIS video (mainly the 1:50 point – HA!) such a ridiculous thing to like – but eh, they look good and they are all natural – sure I fill them in but no one else touches them.
I am confident with my size, I love being petite but I get annoyed that I can’t find clothes I love to fit me and I hate – loathe – the comments that come along with being thin – if you wouldn’t say a similar thing to a larger lady, please don’t say them to me and trust me I eat far more than you probably do. I like that I have really defined facial bones… Once again, another odd thing to like.
But that’s my point, we women are so self critical & focus on such strange things most people in day to day life don’t even notice.
So how do we learn to love our bodies? Ourselves? To stop the negative self talk?
By embracing ourselves, by acknowledging how strong and absolutely incredible our bodies are – I have grown my babies, birthed them and pulled them out of me and onto my chest. My body is absolutely awesome. We as women can do things like that. Women survive a surgery, where they are AWAKE and being cut open to birth babies – I honestly admit I would probably up & die of fear doing that, but so many strong & amazing women do that. Womens bodies are amazing. I am surviving my body trying to kill off a part of my insides, if your body isn’t doing that – it’s amazing. Ha, I’m joking, kind of not really – but in all seriousness, my body is doing great for surviving all that it’s been through.
Your body doesn’t deserve to hear that you don’t like your ass because it’s a bit too soft or jiggly, or you don’t like those stretch marks – you know the ones you got from growing the little people you love more than life, or that now post babies you don’t love your boobs as much because 18 year old you had awesome boobs but age, gravity, pregnancy and breastfeeding can change that. We need to shift our thinking, if you want to be toned or lose weight – work out and nourish your body with goodness, embrace the fact you’ve created humans and have been able to feed them, accept the fact we all age, change what you can but don’t hate yourself and don’t put yourself down.
Work out what makes you feel good and do more of it. Feel good with your make up on? Wear it. Feel hot in a certain type of shorts? Wear them, buy more of them. Feel confident being tanned? (Who doesn’t) Get tanned more often (fake, not natural) For me I feel good when my eyebrows are done, I feel people can tell if I’m happy or not and tell if I think they are an idiot (ha!) when I have defined brows so I try to do them daily… It can be a big thing or a small thing, but you know what makes you feel amazing, do more of it.
In today’s world we can change most things about ourselves (fortunately & unfortunately) and if you can’t change it (like my scoliosis – stupid thing) learn to work with it or love it. I don’t recommend going crazy with surgeries or injections to achieve your “ideal look” because the ideal end result will just continue to get more extreme and then the finished product will just look, not great. But heck if you can afford to and want to go get something done, do it. Get braces – whatever. But that all being said, you can do everything to change yourself physically but you won’t love yourself or your body if you don’t change your mindset.
I may have the list of what I don’t “love” but at the same time I don’t really give a damn about those things, they are so trivial most of the time to me. I often get messages on instagram along the lines of “how can you go on stories with no makeup on” – ok sometimes I wish I had thrown some eyebrows on when I’m on a rant, but mainly I don’t really care if I’m not wearing makeup – it’s not a big issue for me. I’m happy with my skin, sure I prefer it with a good layer of double wear smeared on it – but it’s my skin, it’s me. Like the rest of me, God made me this way, I’m tiny, angry, I have freckles, wild hair & good eyebrows. I’m happy with me.
Maybe that comes with age though, because 10-12 years ago I sure as heck wouldn’t have been so confident. I grew up being told I needed to go lay out in the sun and get a tan because I was too pale “remember undo your bikini top so you don’t get back lines” – I was like 13, that I was too pale to wear certain outfits, to “suck my bum” in because it was getting big, to walk with my shoulders back, stomach in and boobs out, things I don’t ever want to repeat to my daughter.
Anyway, 12 years ago, I was not in a great place, I was not surrounded by great people most of the time. I had immersed myself in a toxic world, I *and I cringe as I admit this* did bikini competitions – yes the girl with size 10A boobs – what in the world was I thinking. Idiot. Anyway, I didn’t place in a few competitions and I asked why and that answer went down the path of “you’re boobs are too small, you’re too short, you’re not tanned enough, you aren’t sexy enough, you need the bikinis that cost $100+, you’re hair isn’t right, you’re smile isn’t pretty enough” and the worst “you’re a bit too fat”.
Coming from a gross fat man himself who preyed on young girls who lacked confidence. I weighed about 40kg probably less actually. I hardly ate because I worked and partied far too hard, and I was being told I was too fat. FAT!
I pray my daughter never is involved in that world, it’s hideous. (FYI I placed 3rd in two competitions eventually)
That stage which thankfully was fairly brief in my life still took a toll on me. My confidence was shot, I tried to make myself feel better about my appearance in the wrong ways, I looked for validation from the wrong people and ended up in relationships I wish I never had, I found myself in scary situations and I walked away from great people because I felt I wasn’t enough. I of course had people trying to save me, but I couldn’t be. I hated myself, I was stubborn and thought the only way to feel pretty was to be wanted.. Sure I was powerful, I ran my life & I became so tough & hard but I was a mess. The best thing I did was leaving that part of my life.
Nearly a decade on, at this point in my life I feel confident in who I am, how I look and dress. It took years to overcome that point in my life and of course I have moments I don’t love how I look – but most of the time I am fairly confident. I know that my style isn’t for everyone, I switch between a Stepford wife & a redneck who has far too many denim shorts & camo caps and I’m fine with it, just like how I am fine with my body.
So I warned you this post was going to go down a bunch of different paths, moral of that one ^^^ don’t do degrading bikini competitions and don’t listen to predatory creeps or really anyone who puts you down. If someone has something negative to say about your body or appearance walk away – occasional loving, constructive criticism is one thing, destroying people is another.
The sooner we learn to love ourselves and our bodies and have a strong sense of self confidence and know we are perfect how we are, the better off we will be. We do not need validation from anyone, doesn’t matter who they are, we need to believe we are amazing. WE NEED TO.
We are safer when we know we are beautiful and we all are, in our own way – that sounds cliche but it’s true. I would’ve avoided a lot of damage from myself and others if I had believed I was fine how I was. But I understand its a constant battle. Even after having LuLu, I was told to buy the garments “to get my figure back” quickly, that for my 30th I could get a boob job, sent links for work outs and told to watch what I eat. My end pregnancy weight was about 10kg less than what an average woman weighs not pregnant – but I was still reminded of how big I was. I understand why so many women & young girls struggle with body confidence, to some people we can never be perfect, it’s exhausting and heartbreaking.
I was told if I cut my hair off I would look like a man and I would lose all my beauty, so you know what I did? I cut off my hair. Because FUCK people and their opinions. And I love my hair short, of course sometimes I want long hair again, but not for more than about 2 minutes. I will do what I want when it comes to myself, I am stronger now than I have ever been in my life and being confident, even slightly cocky with our appearance is important. We are taught as women not to be “up ourselves” that you can’t think you are hot because it’s “wrong” – it’s not. Love your darn self! Because people will always try to rip you apart, you just need to be that extra kind of strong to survive.
I am sorry I don’t have any tips to share with you, because it’s a constant learning journey with our bodies and minds. We are all so individual, but the main thing I want to reinforce is be strong in yourself, change what you can if you really want to, love you for you, love your flaws, love your best bits & work out makes you feel damn good and do more of it. And if you have a daughter, let her hear you talk positively about yourself, teach her to be strong, to be active, to eat healthy but also eat the chocolate cake, that life is about balance and that she is so incredibly beautiful exactly how she is.