Positive body image

Obtaining a positive body image

I do not have a positive body image. My thighs rub together- there, I said it. My 'thunder thighs', my 'chunky monkeys', my 'tree trunks'- they touch when I walk. I don't have an enviable gap in my legs that you could fit a bus through, but I do have a great big hole in my favourite jeans where the fabric has worn through. Annoyingly, this is the second pair of the same jeans that it's happened to in about five months. The sensible part of me said, “send them a picture! Write a complaint!” but the self conscious part of me shrunk away, thinking, “what if whoever reads it sends it to everyone in the office, and they all sit there nibbling their salad leaves laughing at the poor fat girl whose massive legs have worn holes in not one, but two pairs of jeans?” My finger hovered over the send button, pondering over what meant more to me- my pride and dignity, or the chance of a £10 voucher. Naturally, the chance of a freebie won, but I still felt completely embarrassed.
I've been 'plump' since I was about five years old, so I've had my whole life to get used to the teasing, the name calling and the feeling of insufficiency that comes hand in hand with being overweight. I've also always had big legs, and always had a complex about them. On holidays I wrapped up in sarongs and long t-shirts, staring jealously at the girls in skimpy bikinis with their long, bronzed limbs. In swimming classes I tiptoed to the edge of the pool before dive bombing in, throwing the towel mid-jump, hoping no one would see me in my ancient cossie. I've spent my life hiding my body, ashamed of it's lumps and bumps, wishing I could be like the popular girls, the models that graced the covers of magazines, and the actresses I adored. The message is all around- you'll be more successful in life the slimmer and prettier you are. For a swarthy, overweight, uni-browed adolescent that's hard to take in. I've wasted a lot of time and energy hating parts of myself because society made me feel like I should. I felt like I should be more concerned about preventing cellulite, or how to lose a stone in two weeks, or what to wear to bag myself a love interest. I, like many other young and impressionable people, have spent time formulating ways of becoming someone I am not to feel I could would be worthy of love and attention. My self esteem has been at rock bottom from constantly comparing myself to other people, and continued to be for a long time.
I know there are plenty of other women out there just like me, who share the same insecurities- the women who still can't let their other half see them in the buff without covering up their wobbly bits, the women who feel self conscious or second best in a room amongst other women; all because of the media's perception of beauty that is in our face everywhere we turn.
Some people are naturally slim, whilst some people are naturally overweight- not just because they like cakes, but because of underlying medical problems such as hormonal imbalances. Some people are perfectly happy with their bodies whatever shape they may be, whilst some people are constantly trying to lose a few pounds. I used to be one of the latter. Then I got a grip and threw the proverbial two fingers up at anyone who tried to make me feel inferior for being me. I suggest anyone else feeling embarrassed or ashamed of their bodies does the same.
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  1. This is a lovely post. So surprised I am the first to comment actually. You are beautiful and know not to take notice of what others may think... that is a winning combination right there.

    ellie | mantrapixie | x

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, I suppose people must overlook this post! Thank you for your lovely words x