Hey girls! Body image, it’s a difficult subject but something we all need to tackle. It’s not like me to do a ‘discussion post’, but I’ve been thinking about this for a while and I think it is so important to talk about it.
With Love Island finished for the year, we are no longer watching a bunch of absolutely stunning and ‘perfect’ girls on our televisions every night, but the issue doesn’t disappear. Our generation have it tough. Our generation are exposed to these versions of reality 24/7 on social media and it is impossible to not compare yourself to what you see online. The media do try and provide empowerment for body confidence, with the Loose Women Body Stories Campaign and shows such as The Real Full Monty, but everyone fights their own battles and everyone has their own insecurities.
Personally, I have really struggled with body image. I do not have a slim, model – like figure. I am tall, I have curves and I have boobs – my battle is learning to accept that. I am definitely getting better at that, but I of course I will have my insecurities regardless.
I recently joined the gym and I can honestly say I am not enjoying it! I have 6 weeks free as I am currently on a student promo deal, but I can’t see myself paying for membership as I just don’t enjoy it. I have done home workouts for about 2 years now, and I find that this is what makes me feel good. I follow Lucy Wyndham-Read’s workouts and cannot recommend them enough! She has hundreds of free workouts on her channel, which you can do at your own leisure. From 4 minute HIIT, to 7 Day Challenges to longer 30 minute workouts I love them! Before joining the gym, I did at least 3 workouts a week and I saw results quickly. But since joining the gym, I have found that I am even more body conscious and I spend half of my time at the gym thinking and questioning why I don’t look like some of these insane marathon runners! This just highlights how personal body image and confidence is! The gym may work wonders for some people, but it doesn’t work for everyone – and that is okay! We are conditioned to believe that the gym is the only way to get fit, but as long as you are happy with what your are doing, whether that’s going for a dog walk each day, doing home workouts, going to the gym, or joining a club then that is all that matters! It is about time we realise that everyone is different, everyone’s journey is different and there is no such ‘norm’ when it comes to such a personal subject.
It is so easy to preach about these things but practising what you preach can be hard. It is a personal journey to accepting your body and we’ll all get there eventually.
We must remember that these people we see on social media don’t look the way they are portrayed all the time. We only see the best of their lives – it is a hyperreality!
Now as a discussion post, I thought it would be a good idea to get some questions from you guys. So I asked over on my instagram if you had any questions about the subject of body image, and here are some of the replies:
How to stay confident during the summer (bikinis, shorts etc)
The bikini battle is something I know all too well. Last summer was the first time I have EVER worn a bikini. It took me 17 years to pluck up the courage to wear one and it was a turning point for me. My best advice for taking this step is to do it when you are feeling happy and positive for a start. It isn’t worth even trying to take this step if you aren’t feeling yourself and you risk shattering your confidence if you aren’t 100% committed. It is a big step to go out in a bikini, but once you’ve done it you realise that we are all in the same position. Every single woman has a story, our bodies are incredible, we are able to give birth and create life – isn’t that insane?! Grab a new bikini, perhaps high waisted bottoms as a bit of extra security, buy some new summer clothes that you feel good in and your confidence will rise. Finding clothes that you know make you feel good is key! If a tight mini skirt makes you feel self – conscious, then avoid buying them – opt for something you know suits your body shape and will make you feel good, Embrace those imperfections because they are what make us unique and we all have a story. Be proud of you and who you are.
Tips for staying confident when starting somewhere new (University for example)
New situations can be difficult, new surroundings, new people, unfamiliarity. But look at it this way, new opportunities, a fresh start, new beginnings and a chance to feel amazing. I find that I thrive in situations where I am meeting new people, I have the mentality that I have never met these people before, so they have no pre-conceptions about me – they know nothing about my past they only see me in those first moments. Meeting new people can be so exciting, getting to know them and their stories is super interesting and I love it! With university, I can’t speak from experience but if I were to be going to uni then I would keep in mind that you all have the same goal, to get a degree, and have all been through A Levels to get to this place – so you have common ground. A way to kill some of the pre-uni nerves is to try and get in contact with some of the people who will be doing your course, and once you know your accommodation situation then try and get in contact with the people you will be spending a lot of time with. Why not make the first move, show you are pro-active and are wanting to make new friends, avoid isolating yourself because you will need the support network throughout your time at university.
Do you feel like you have to cover up when you go out? (eg when its hot can you go out without a jacket)
Not as much now, but yes! If I am wearing something that shows my hip dips or gives me a bit of a stomach, then I will wear a jacket and attempt to cover it up. I do it unconsciously but I think most of us do. I am definitely getting better at this and I am beginning to care less, but yes I am guilty of this.
What advise would you give someone who’s suffering with body confidence?
It’s okay not to be okay. It is completely normal to feel body conscious, we all have at some point – even those with the ‘perfect’ figures. It is a journey to become confident in your body and it will take time, but be proud of you and who you are. You are individual and unique. Our bodies are incredible and something that we should cherish and be proud of. You will get there eventually, just give yourself credit!
Are there ways young people today can be body confident despite the influence of the media?
It is difficult, we are exposed to it constantly and repeatedly made to feel like we must look a certain way. You have to be selfish though, put yourself first and do things that make you feel good. If getting your nails done or putting a bit of tan on boosts your confidence, then do it! Anything that makes you feel good. Don’t look in the mirror constantly (even though it’s easier said than done) and just focus on yourself. It can be hard, but as I said everyone is individual and everyone’s journey is different – you are amazing and do not need to put yourself down.
Do you find that you pick your clothes to impress others or because you feel comfortable in them?
Comfort is a big thing for me, if I’m not comfortable then I’m not happy. However, I’d be lying if I said I wore clothes without thinking about other people’s opinions. I don’t necessarily pick clothes to ‘impress’ people, but I do consider what others may think. Sometimes I think I should stop caring about what others think, but I also believe that it is completely natural to do so and we are all guilty of it. Despite that though, comfort comes first for me and I must be comfortable in an outfit before I even consider wearing it out anywhere!
That is all for this blog post! I hope you have enjoyed this post!