We all strive to be a perfect beauty that does not exist. What we see in magazines is not real. We pout, we pose, we exercise, we diet. We are never happy. We take pictures and then we delete them because we don’t like them.
“There’s that wonky nose” “Urgh, that double chin”
“Oh my god that lazy eye that doesn’t react quickly enough to the flash.”
“Oh my broad swimmers shoulders, quick lets crop them!”
We add a filter because our skin is bad or the lighting was dreadful or we look pale today. I’m guilty of it all. I will no doubt, continue to do it.
When I was young, I used to think I was missing out on something because I wasn’t skinny after the age of 12. When I look back, I feel like I wasn’t present for half of the time. Always worried about what others thought. Always thinking about what I needed to to do be worthy. I spent most of my teenage years trying navigate having a body I thought was bad. I was told it so often, I believed it. You would be hard pressed to find a picture of me as a teenager. There are a few though that I can look at now and realise, how right the Graduate that wrote the words that Baz Lurhman turned into a famous song named “Sunscreen”, actually was.
“You are not as fat as you imagine”
My 19 year old self didn’t believe that. My 35 year old self knows now that I wasn’t. There’s probably another line in that same song somewhere that gives you advice about that very type of situation too.
I became exhausted from trying to redefine myself or hiding who I was in order to protect others from….me. From the hype in those glossy magazines on thinness, sexy abs, pleasing partners, beach bodies. They had me thinking I deserved to be unhappy for being who I am. And then, aged 23 I realised I was the only one missing out on not loving who I am. Bingo! As soon as I started doing that, life got a whole lot better. You can’t buy it! It doesn’t come as a bonus with any particular body type. It’s about self love. Loving and accepting who you are. It is yours when you want and oh my, does the lens change when you do! Suddenly I already had what I needed. I wasn’t going to miss one more moment of my life. I wasn’t either giving in to societal expectations or outsider opinions. I’ve been big, I’ve been small. I’ve been in between. I’ve got the scars to prove it all. But I live, I love and I laugh. Some days are and always will be hard. Every day is a battle but it’s a battle I’ve been winning since I was 22. Recently I’ve struggled. There has been too much temptation and lack of routine. It’s a Summer of new beginnings and adventure. That can’t be an excuse but it’s not helped and I’ve not been loving myself quite as much as I should have. Then, yesterday on the way home from London, a friend took a picture of me. It’s not the best picture of me, it is a bit dark and it’s a bit blurry too because I’m a gobby cow and couldn’t keep quiet so I was moving whilst it was being taken. However, in that picture I saw me. It made me happy. It made me smile and it made me realise, I love myself and I love who I am.
When someone takes a picture of you like this and you see your character with your smile lighting up your face and making your eyes sparkle, you realise, in a split second, that that is you. Not “the pout”, not “the pose”, but “the you”, and you like it. You’re winning. You’re beautiful. Not stereotypical beautiful, but beautiful all the same. “The imperfect perfect”.
Nobody that matters will care about your lumps and bumps or your perfectly imperfect body. They see your glorious soul shining out and they see you for who you are. Who really needs to be an unachievable “perfect” anyway? Be you. Be yourself. When you are, the right people that you need in your life, will be attracted to you. I don’t just mean lovers. I mean new friends too. The likelihood is, they already are because they saw who you are, long before you did. #Beyou #Positivebodyimage #Beyourself #Wartsandall