Hey you, you beautiful thing!
As promised, here’s part 2 of my… erm ‘Me’ series, ‘The trouble with me is’.
Last time I spoke more about the mental side of how I beat myself up daily. Most days without even realising. On this post, I’ll discuss the body side, or physical… either works well.
As I mentioned in my previous post, we’re under a lot of pressure and influence daily. It’s massively present in the media in which we read, or ‘gloss over’, on TV and of course on Instagram. Not a moment goes by without seeing a hashtag #fitstagram #dietlife or #fitfam slapped on a post with perfectly sculpted/toned muscles, tans that make David Dickinson jealous… you know what I mean. And I would be a big fat liar if I said ‘I wasn’t jealous’ – I’m not jealous of their body shape (well, maybe a tiny bit) but more so their commitment to direction, something I lack massively and my dietary education had been messed about with, by foolish yo-yo dieting.
Dieting is where my problems mostly stemmed. In a post I wrote for Kiki Blah-Blah (when I was in a slightly better place mind wise) I delved into the beginnings of how I came to know ‘I was fat’.
A n d t h e n c a m e t h e b o d y p o s i t i v e m o v e m e n t. . .
I recall watching a documentary on Channel 4 (thanks for coming to Brum guys, we’re amazing here *wink*) on Yours clothing. It showed the ins and outs of scouting for plus-sized models in an area awash with ‘normal or average sized’ models, and it was then that I witnessed this fabulous woman emerge on my screen. Tattooed to the goddesses, hair beautifully auburn and enough sass and class to make me pee in my pants… well, knickers.
T e s s H o l l i d a y b e c a m e a n i c o n i n m y l i f e. . .
Alongside Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and Jessicka Addams, I now had another icon on my list and she was a plus-sized beauty! This feisty woman spoke about the fashion industry, the changes that needed to happen, and then worked a photo shoot like no other. It was at this point I began to look into the ‘Body Positive’ movement and what it entailed.
Popular misconception? ‘It’s only for bigger people’ It’s not at all! And whilst I am still learning daily in the subject of Body Positivity, there are some key things I know:
B o d y P o s i t i v i t y e m b r a c e s a l l s h a p e s , s i z e s , s e x e s , c o l o u r s , r a c e s , s e x u a l l i t i e s a n d r e l i g i o n s . . .
It doesn’t discriminate. Period. I’ve understood that it encompasses an appreciation for all bodies regardless of what they look like. Hairy? I respect you, Varicose veins? I respect you, Slim and toned? I respect you, Melanin on fleek? I respect you, curvy asf with tiger stripes? I RESPECT YOU. The list goes on and on… but why couldn’t I love myself? RuPaul always preaches ‘If you can’t love yourself, how’n the hell you gon’ love somebody else?’ I always had a plethora of love to shower my peers with. However I would beat ME up behind doors about it.
This post would soon end up consuming the entirety of the internet (think the IT crowd) if I listed my issues, but I’ll write some of the main ones.
My hair, my arms, my nose, my crooked face, my teeth, my smile, my breasts, my stomach/belly, my thighs, my calves, my ankles, my feet, my toes… So… all of me yeah? Yeah.
But why? Why have I programmed myself this way to self-loathe so badly? I guess my only answer is, life.
I was that fat one. My thighs got likened to horse legs because of the curve they had on the top… my thighs always had met together since I was a child, then went their separate ways at the calves. It didn’t look ‘normal’
But what the f*ck is normal anyway?!
This self-hatred I carried for myself tore me apart. Shopping trips became nightmarish, my husband already knowing what would happen…
Zara finds a nice item of clothing, tries it on, it either doesn’t look good OR doesn’t fit over her awkward body, time to leave the shop in a foul mood, go home and cry.
And this would happen over and over again.
‘Oh it’s just a mum-tum it’ll go away!’
It didn’t. And that ‘mum-tum’? had existed since I was around 10 years old. It wasn’t a bearer of babies under tummy, it existed because it was a part of me. In all the sizes I have been that I have been aware of, that mummy-tummy stayed. from 14 – 22 at my biggest, it lay there like a beached whale on my stomach, preventing me from wanting to wear anything nice,
B e c a u s e I b e l i e v e d I d i d n ‘ t d e s e r v e t o w e a r n i c e t h i n g s .
Mean, isn’t it? It’s honestly baffling how my mind has done this, yet body positivity shone this light in the darkened cave I was trapped in, ways to see that these ‘media created imperfections’ were indeed, my life and I needed to love them before I could even attempt to move on.
I still learn daily. 2017 was an AMAZING journey of growth for me until an ankle injury halted my exercise regime and I gained a lot of weight (again) so now? 2018 is not a new journey, but picking up from where I left off. Finding the little avenues to help me grab those crystals ala crystal maze and unlock those doors to inner happiness. I’ve tried to adopt a more positive approach to life and even created my own hashtag ‘#workwhatyouown’ and began rolling with it… LITERALLY!
Have I had trolls? Yep. Threats of nasty things? Yep. Do I care? Nope. My life is for being happy, and it’s as simple as that. I hope this time next year I can read back on this post and think who was that Zara being so mean to herself? I dare catch her saying this sheet ever again!
I better not catch you doing the same either!