I wrote a thing.
THE REASON I STARTED THIS BLOG WASN'T JUST TO POST ABOUT FASHION AND PHOTOGRAPHY, BUT TO ALSO GIVE YOU SOME BEHIND THE SCENES ABOUT MY LIFE AND SHARE MY THOUGHTS WITH YOU, I REALLY WANT THIS TO BE AN EXPRESSION OF ME.
Let's be honest, I haven't been doing that. I've been wanting to write a body positive post for a while now. I've been putting off writing this - I wanted to write this post during Eating Disorder Awareness Week because it's so inspiring hearing everyone's stories and body positivity is so big during this week. I also wanted to write this post because I've never really talked about this to anybody before. It's hard to admit to people that you don't feel good about yourself when you appear to always be so happy and confident.
For as long as I can remember every time that I have looked in the mirror I've had negative thoughts or haven't seen myself as "pretty". I didn't like looking at myself. Especially in makeup stores. All the lights and mirrors, which are focused on showing every detail of your face and skin, made me even more afraid to look in the mirror and I would literally avoid places like Sephora.
Working at Wear Your Label has really opened my eyes and shed light on the fact that self-care and loving yourself is extremely important, I'm surrounded by the best support system and positivity every day. When this is a big part of your life, you'd think that body image issues would be nonexistent.
But they're there. I get comments about my size at least twice a week.
I'm skinny and I have a super high metabolism. The kind where I can eat what I want, when I want and not gain anything. My stomach is flat and I have a thigh gap. Lots of people would say that I shouldn't have anything to complain about and I'm not allowed to be body conscious. But here we are.
I get shamed about my high metabolism. I can't count the number of times I get comments about what I eat compared to my body weight. A big one is "wait what happens when you hit 30". It's not all it's cracked up to be people. Yes, I wish I had some curves, I wish I didn't feel like a twig when I'm in the changing room and can't find clothing that I like on myself, I wish I didn't shamed for being skinny. But it's not about that.
This is about my journey of self-love. Yes I get those comments; yes I have body image issues. But I'm working on loving myself. I'm learning to love myself one step at a time and it's a long hard journey that I've been wanting to start for a long time, but instead of taking that first step, I just let it build up. I listened to the thoughts in my head and the comments, and I didn't practice self-love.
One thing that really broke the barrier for me is fashion blogging. Last summer I wanted to try fashion blogging and get in front of the camera. I got my boyfriend to take the photos, which really helped me to be comfortable in front of the camera. It's weird to be super serious and model clothes you're wearing when you aren't used to it. I had a lot of half smiling/half serious photos and they didn't look good. I really had to commit to it and be serious about it. Channel my inner model, if you will. And it helped A LOT. Once I got used to it I got more comfortable I started to not hate looking at photos of myself. Seeing yourself in photos wearing clothing that you like and realizing "hey, I look alright" and eventually, "wow, I really love this photo of myself" is SUCH A GOOD FEELING. It's a huge confidence booster and really makes me feel good about myself. It also really helps being a photographer, I get a better sense of what it's like to be in front of the camera, and so I have an easier time telling people how to pose!
I started going to the gym. Yeahhhh, I kinda hate it but also don't hate it?? I've never gone to the gym EVER in my entire life so I'm having a super hard time committing myself and working it into my daily routine. But it's just a matter of going. Once I'm there I find it super relaxing and it feels good to be doing something good for my body. Working towards a goal of having a toned figure, looking good and feeling good is also a big incentive to go.
Another thing that helps me feel good about myself is wearing makeup and letting my hair grow out. Personally, I don't really love myself without makeup, when I do wear makeup I feel really good about how I look... and that shouldn't be a bad thing. I find a lot of the time girls are shamed for wearing makeup and you're a unicorn if you go out in public without makeup. If you want to wear makeup, do it!! If you don't want to, you shouldn't be ashamed about going out in public (yes, I'm currently working on practicing what I preach because I hate the process of putting makeup on) but for now, I like wearing makeup, I like how it makes me feel and look, so I'm going to keep wearing it. Regarding my hair - for the longest time I would always cut my hair and keep it short. I'm v impatient so when my hair got to that awkward length, I would chop it off. Having long hair was something I thought I'd never have and I dreamed about having it. So I decided a year and a half ago that I would grow it out and that's also been a huge step towards my self-confidence and self-love.
I've also stopped eating out and started cooking meals from like, real recipes! It's something fun for me to do, and I've saved a whole lotta money on eating out at lunch when I'm at school. It was the worst. Now, when I cook a meal I have left overs to take for the next couple of days. I'm no chef so sometimes it's something as easy as pasta with chicken and broccoli! Cooking really makes me feel proud of myself and makes my mind and my stomach very happy. A really great website for recipes is Delish - I'll post a few of my faves below :)
- Cheesy baked chicken and rice
- Whiskey-glazed steak with shoestring potatoes (I haven't made this one yet but I can't wait to try it)
- Tator tot casserole
- Garlicky shrimp alfredo bake (I used chicken instead of shrimp and it was amazing)
Everyone is different. I'm not saying that these things are the key to being happy with yourself and your body image. What I've learned is that you need to figure out what works for you, do little things that make you feel good about yourself, it can be anything as long as it makes you feel good about you. I'm working on self-love the best way I can and it's an incredibly long journey, but I'm getting there. Each step that brings me closer to fully loving myself, I discover something new about myself that I love, and at my age it's beautiful and inspiring to see something that you love about yourself for the first time. It's like I'm opening my eyes and waking up in paradise.