Sometimes, when I look through a magazine or am scrolling through a store online, I am pleased to see normal women (commonly known as a real women, but I really dislike that phrase), but by normal I mean- the average woman. The woman you can relate too- not a super model with a stick thin body and legs going on for days. I mean the woman who catches the metro, buys flowers from the local flower man and is wearing flats on her commute to work, not 6 inch heels.
Then there are other times, when I am scrolling through Instagram and I’m trying to find this said woman. I’m trying to find the average woman- who is inspiring in her own way- and for a while I struggled to find her.
We are a generation obsessed with social media, our image and ourselves. We are a generation of sharing and boasting- look what I’ve done, look what I’ve got, look what I’ve got planned. Look at me. We want to share who we are with the world, what we stand for, our interests, our experiences- and its so lovely that we are such a connected world.
Even if I haven’t seen friends, due to busy schedules and there not being enough days in the week- I know what they’re up to. Friends who live abroad, and time zones prevent us from talking regularly; I love being able to share moments with them even though we are miles apart. And when I think about social media like that, I love it. The same when I think about how it has the potential to influence and inspire, allows people to have a voice, find like minded people- it gives us a voice- a voice that can sometimes go unheard in the day to day life. A conversation starter that may never happen in daily life, but someone on social media wants to bring to our attention. But whilst I love its ability to influence, I also hate its ability to influence- especially when we talk about body image.
The one day as I had my Instagram slot (yes I have social media slots now or else I’d be constantly on it), I scrolled and scrolled past woman after woman with the ‘perfect body’, the perfect style, lifestyle,life and I sat there and aggressively whacked my phone down. I’d had the most lovely day and from 1 minute of being on Instagram my day was now ruined. I decided, in that moment, that I hated my body, my clothes, how I came across on social media. Why did I not have perfect teeth, why did I not have immaculate nails that weren’t chipped. I lay on my bed, in my room which is exactly the way I want it be, stared at the clothes that I have purchased and love and decided I hated it all.
I didn’t go back on Instagram for a few days after that- I had now decided it was toxic. But Pebble (that’s my pet house rabbit by the way) was looking cute, so I just couldn’t resist posting a picture of him. And it happened again, all these beautiful people with perfect lives and dream bodies. But then I paused. Why am I torturing myself like this? Why am I following people who don’t inspire me or make me feel good? I’d get out of a relationship if I was unhappy, I wouldn’t be friends with someone who was horrible to me- so how is this any different? And I did the unthinkable- I had a mass unfollowing. I unfollowed these people with lifestyles so far fetched than my own, who made me feel awful. I unfollowed people who looked so perfect with their £60 a pop product and I unfollowed all the ‘look at me and what I have’ people. And honestly? I felt much better. But I wasn’t finished there. I needed new people to follow- I needed to feel inspired. I needed people who radiated happiness, who loved their body and their lifestyle and were basically a lot more humble and down to earth.
I have days where I love my body, and I’m very grateful for the fact that my partner thinks my body is the most glorious thing he’s seen (so that’s a great confidence booster), but because I used to have puppy fat when I was younger and heck my nickname through high school was pudding- my body confidence fluctuates. I come across confident, purely because of the way I dress. I like loud prints, I love bold colours and I love looking chic in all black and all white too. I love having fun with fashion and I feel the most confident when I have an outfit I love on. I wear crop tops with high waisted trousers when I have a belly, I wear mini skirts even though my legs aren’t stick thin and my bum is probably too big to wear them- but as my friends and family say- its the way I carry myself. Although I probably will always have a battle with my stomach, I don’t hate it anymore and wish it to be flat. There’s no way I could have natural 34G’s (my bra size) without having a bit of meat on me. I am healthy in both body and mind I just so happen to have a nice little pot belly.
But as I was on this quest on unfollowing/following I came across such a wide range of beautiful curvy woman who are so empowering and made me feel good. I now go on Instagram daily and am not filled with dread.
Our body shape is as unique as our personality and we need to embrace our bodies and love our curves. Stop hating your bodies, be confident- radiate you.
I hope you’ve had a great weekend
People I follow that inspire me…