I've been thinking a lot about body image this week. Maybe because, once again, my body is betraying me (I have a terrible cold! Worst timing ever), or maybe because I've been seeing so many articles about it around the Internet. It's a pretty hot topic, if you've been living under a rock and didn't know ;)
First, this: when I was younger, let's say like ages 9-17, I was easily always the shortest/scrawniest girl in the room. I got made fun of a lot for being so short and so small and having no boobs whatsoever. Which was confusing because think about it: I was being made fun of for just being. I didn't have any control over it! You can't make yourself grow taller or grow boobs sooner, because if you could that would be awesome.
Anyway, that's when and why I learned to be insecure.
I started becoming more comfortable in my own skin towards the end of high school. I had a few boyfriends in high school, and being a kind of nerdy teenage girl, having a boyfriend was always a good boost to the self confidence. Slowly I was realizing that I certainly was not as weird looking as I thought I was. It's sad that having a boyfriend is such a stand-out confidence booster, but having somebody there who thinks you are the prettiest is just great and frankly it always will be ;)
In the last few years I've maintained a loving relationship with a dude who thinks I'm pretty awesome but I've had more health problems than anyone my age should have to deal with. With that said, I have some very confusing days where I feel like I look terrible but I actually look normal or even good (according to my dude).
I'm quite small, if you didn't know. I'm 5'3" (pretty normal) and hovering just under the normal weight for my height. But here's the thing. I'm thin, yes. But I'm no model. My body just isn't shaped that way. In fact, I don't fit into any of the standard "body shapes" that magazine articles refer to. I don't have a large stomach area but I have small "muffin tops" and what some people call a "pooch" (but I don't like that word at all) that I acquired after having surgery. I have wide hips that make buying jeans difficult, and some cellulite on my thighs. I'm petite, but too curvy to buy "petite" pants (you know the struggle: they'd fit in the waist but only if they could get over my thighs). I have a fat scar coming down from my belly button, and a small scar on my left boob. Being "thin" is just the tip of the iceberg in my case.
And the crease on my stomach in the top photo is just my scar being imprinted by my pants, from sitting.
Which leads to me to the point of this rant: body image isn't about how you look. It's about how you feel.
Since I am so often bedridden with stomach pains, nausea, cramping, and what have you, my body image is often pretty bad. More often than not, I think I look as gross as I feel. And if I'm feeling great, healthy, normal...then I am confident that I look that way, too.
I think it's probably impossible to feel good all the time; there will always be those days where nothing seems to be working or going your way and you will be cranky and feeling crappy. But I hope that you know that even on those days, even when you feel like the ugliest person in the world, just know that you aren't. Remind yourself of those good days, when you feel like the most beautiful version of yourself. It may not change how you feel in the moment, but it may help you get through the bad day and make the next day better.
I wear what I want to wear, whether that be a dress and flats or jeans and boots. I put on make up because I like wearing make up. I paint my nails because I want to. I do these things because they help me feel pretty. I don't care if you think I look pretty because if I feel pretty, then that's what I am. (I do care what John thinks, but he usually agrees with me on that account anyway)
Don't let anyone tell you how you are, okay? Don't let anyone make you feel ugly, and conversely, don't try to make anyone feel ugly. You're in control, lady friends. Go make yourself feel beautiful. You deserve it.
P.S. If I've offended you, I promise that was not my intention and I do apologize. I spent a week writing this post, worrying about how people would react, but this is my slice of the Internet and these are my own opinions and thoughts and I do think that they have every right to be here on my site. Just shoot me a message with any comments or concerns.