It’s another week and therefore that means another It’s Time to Talk post and today is all about Body Confidence. If you haven’t had the chance of looking at my last post for this series, you can read all about Living with Anxiety here.
If you have followed me for a long time or are one of my friends, you will probably know by now that I am not the thinnest person in the world. All I can say is, I love food and I don’t like running but I still do exercise when I can. Anyway, body confidence has been a big issue since I can remember. I remember going shopping with my aunt and just feeling so shit about myself because I thought I was a smaller size.
I never really cared about how I looked to other people, I thought I looked fine but obviously in the back of my mind, I was upset that I couldn’t wear designer clothes like my friends. I started to realise that I wasn’t the same and that my body was different. I still liked my body but I didn’t really care about it.
When I hit the age of 16 and going into Sixth Form, I was still getting bullied about the way I looked. I still wasn’t a normal size for those who I went to school with. It hurt because I wanted to fit in but in the years before, the people in my school alienated me and made me feel like I wasn’t normal. I did have some amazing friends though and they stuck by me through everything. At this point, I knew I hated my body. I would wear baggy clothes so no one could see me. I used to stay up in my room most of the time to do work or just to hide away from everyone because I hated the way I looked. I thought that the way I looked would affect other people’s perceptions of me so I tried to spend as little time around anyone as possible. When we had our leavers ball, for once with all my school friends around me, I felt pretty and like I fitted in for once.
I didn’t really have much confidence about my body or my life until I left Sixth Form. I felt like I didn’t fit in there in some ways. When I came to Uni, I realised I could start again. Make new friends, start actually loving myself for me and hoping other people did too. As I came to Uni, I wanted to be able to not only get better mentally but to gain some confidence and delete the anxiety of how I look at myself.
Over the last year and a month, I have gained so much confidence and there was a peak in the summer where I would just wear a long skirt and my strappy sports bra because it was hot but I also had that confidence to do that. For once in my life, people didn’t laugh at me, they just talked to me normally and that is when I felt the most confident.
As I sit here writing this, I am feeling very crappy as I am very ill and although my confidence isn’t with me right now, I know that it is there. There are some parts of me that I try to hide, like my stomach. I really hate it and it’s one of the parts of me that I want to change and hopefully, I can.
In regards to the wider world, I think it is very hard to gain body confidence especially if you have been bullied because there are always those horrible memories of it happening and how you felt during that time. I remember posting a photo with must of have been what, half of my stomach? I literally was so anxious that someone would comment something mean because it’s happened before. It is difficult to see yourself in a different light after seeing yourself negatively for so long. It takes a toll on you and your brain has been programmed to tell yourself not to post that photo because there’s skin showing and no one wants to see your skin.
The media doesn’t help with portraying society’s image of a normal body, it teaches us and the younger generation what to look like and especially to me who is a plus size girl, it hurts to see that the media portray a “perfect” body. It doesn’t give us much confidence within ourselves because we think we aren’t normal.
The media and society need to see that everyone is different and unique and no one has a perfect body, we’re all perfect in our way!
If you’re not confident with your body, don’t worry! It takes time to build it up and it may take days or it may take months but just know that hopefully, it will come naturally. In the meantime, just enjoy being yourself internally and hopefully, body confidence should come soon.
I hope this helps some of you and if you want to talk, hit me up on Twitter!