This one is personal and scary to share so I’m just going to leave it on my blog. I think I’m channelling my inner Dr Watson here 😉 . This one also needs trigger warning for anorexia, bulimia, depression, self-harm, anything to do with hating yourself, so you’ve been warned – it’s not light reading. Skip the first part if you don’t want to read that and my story, you can just go straight for my thoughts on societies beauty standards.
I would describe myself as being very happy go-lucky, a lover of life and people. BUT this is not always the case, my past has helped to make me the happy person I am today. Oh yes I used to hate myself. Like really hate. Of course, disliking your appearance is quite normal (which absolutely breaks my heart because all human beings are beautiful in my view). But, as per, I don’t do things by half. So when I say I hated my appearance I really really mean it. This is the general idea of those years for me (I”l skip some of the really heavy stuff for when I’m ready to talk about it). Throughout my teenage years I flat out refused to have my photo taken because every time it was taken I would end up in tears and feeling physically sick at my own face and body. If I went clothes shopping I would end up an absolute mess, to the point that it upset my mum so much and made her so angry she couldn’t come into a clothes shop with me, or if she did she would let me go off and find my own clothes, cry in the changing room and go and find her again, demanding to go home because I couldn’t look at the clothes I couldn’t wear because of my appearance. These years also taught me something else – sometimes wishes do come true and not the ones that you want. For all those years I used to wish and wish I would have an illness that would make me sick so I couldn’t eat or if I did I would be sick and that way I would loose weight and be my desired thin (which also meant beautiful to me at the time). Now, seven years after my beginning of wishing, I do have an illness that makes me repeatedly sick and leaves me in bed for weeks, with headaches and nausea (the doctors think I have awful migraines that come in clusters). But I’m still not thin so that just proves be careful for what you wish for because being repeatedly sick is NOT and would never be worth loosing weight. I also had (what I now think was a mental health issue) where I wouldn’t eat at school, I’d just skip my meals, try to make myself sick, then I would buy loads of junk food and eat it all. This then meant that I would have adequately fuel to hate on myself and this lead (if you’re squeamish don’t read this) to me sticking pins in my feet and ripping the skin out. I’ve always loved dance and at the time it meant that my feet were so sore that every step would remind me of it, but no one could see my feet so it was okay. I used to worry people would see them in swimming (which I also love by the way), which would lead to more stress. I also hated athletics and this was made worse by not being able to walk properly on my feet and then having to run on them (hurt like hell). I spent years and years collecting all the negative comments made towards me appearance from family, friends, strangers, so when I was alone I could sit and cry about them and hate myself some more. I also seemed to have an inability to discuss anything with anyone (a problem I still have), so I didn’t tell anyone any of this until Uni. I wasted all those years HATING myself for what reason? Because I, firstly, cared about societies standards of beauty and, secondly, I equated thin with beautiful.
Now I say eff the beauty standards of society, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And I tell you what I’ve learnt, you don’t have to be thin to be beautiful. I’ll say it again, you don’t have to be thin to be beautiful. Thin IS beautiful. Curvy IS beautiful. Fat IS beautiful. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU IS BEAUTIFUL, no matter your size or appearance, gender or sexuality. It does not matter one jot what anyone else thinks, what you think about yourself is the most important thing, and every person deserves the belief that they are beautiful no matter what. Every person, regardless of size or face, deserves to be happy and to find love. Someone once said to me that when you are old with your partner and both of your ‘looks’ have faded, appearance will not matter at all. What will matter is how you two get on, whether the other person makes you laugh, whether you have achieved what you want together, if you can fight and make up, the fact that you fiercely love each other. Appearance. will. not. matter.
Another thing I hate is this assumption that you are only attractive if you are in a relationship. What a load of rubbish that is. You’re attractive if you think you’re attractive. How does being in a relationship make you more attractive? Because one person thinks you’re attractive? You don’t have to be in a relationship to have one person think you’re attractive, you just have to be you. So, then, being in relationship doesn’t make you less or more attractive, don’t let your relationship status affect your inner worth. And just think not being in a relationship means you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, cute boy/girl? You can tap that. (No offence to those of you in relationships, I’m sure when I’m in one I will see the advantage of it, just don’t let the other person define your self-worth okay? Because they don’t define your worth, I don’t care if they are as attractive to you as Orlando Bloom in the Hobbit is to me (save me) they DO NOT define your self-worth, you do. And you’re damn fine).
So, no you don’t have to loose weight, if you’re healthy you’re fine. And yes you ARE beautiful, I promise. For those of you going through a bad time I feel so much for you – but please remember you are beautiful and you are loved. There is no miracle cure to self-hate, it’s a learning process. I still have really bad days when I’m taken back to that self-hate (like yesterday) but now I can see the good in my appearance too – something I would have thought impossible a couple of years ago. Most days are good days and the bad days are just there to emphasis the good days (or so I think). I haven’t self harmed in ages now (wow I’m probably two years clean I’d say which is super cool) and I don’t want to die because of my appearance, I love this face (most of the time) and I’m working on the body love (that’s super tough for me but I know it’s worth the battle). All of you are worth fighting for – you are all so precious and beautiful. Life is too short to hate yourself – people will always hate on others so don’t let you do it to yourself too. I’m so proud of you all, live your own journey. As for me, I’m going to carry on laughing and smiling like I love to do, while carrying on my journey to self love. And you know, everytime we hate ourselves for not being societies definition of beauty, we allow that image of beautiful to remain in society. Well I say, tear down that image you have of beautiful. Replace that mistaken image with an image of yourself, as you are beautiful. REDEFINE YOUR BEAUTY STANDARDS. YOU. ARE. BEAUTIFUL. Emotional post OVER. I apologise but I feel like I had to write about it as it’s dictated so much of my life.
Love, Kirsty ox