Scrolling through Instagram I often see people using hashtags to describe their body type and size.
With people using tags like petite, curvy, plus size etc, I find myself wondering…
Where do I belong?
At secondary school, I was bullied for being fat. There was no other term used to describe my body and with that word thrown around so loosely I fell into a dark space.
I would walk with my face down, hoping to blend into the background. Every day I was in fear of them noticing me, knowing that my peers might discover more of my flaws.
After I left school the need to hide away stayed with me. If I went out with friends I would sit in the corner assessing the environment, waiting for that moment someone would point out I didn’t belong there.
“I don’t really care what I look like that much, and I think women out there should just be happy with the way they look. They shouldn’t really try to conform to any kind of stereotype. Just be happy and hopefully healthy.” Rebel Wilson
I couldn’t look in a mirror, I was ashamed of my reflection. mirrors, windows, stainless steel… It all became my enemy, showing me the thing I didn’t want to see
I lost weight, I wasn’t ’skinny’ or ’thin’, however, the scales told me I was nearly 7 stone lighter. My clothes may have been smaller but my reflection remained the same. The person looking back was always fat.
The labels on my clothes may have been 12’s but the person in the mirror was still wearing 24’s.
”My main beauty tip is don’t say that negative thing when you look in the mirror. It just isn’t healthy…That lack of beating up on ourselves — that’s my new mantra. Happiness is the best makeup; a smile is better than any lipstick you’ll put on.” Drew Barrymore
It took some skill but I learned to get ready without a mirror, straightening my hair by touch and avoiding make up when possible,
I attempted to listen when people told me how I looked and over time I realised if I didn’t see myself I was happier. I’d learned to surround myself with people who would encourage me to not sit in the corner and slowly I started to keep my head up when out and about.
I found myself agreeing to dates and going out more. Yes, I still hid from the menacing mirror but I had found a way of living away from it.
“I’ve seen people where it rules their lives, who want to be thinner or have bigger boobs, and how it wears them down. And I don’t want that in my life. I have insecurities, of course, but I don’t hang out with anyone who points them out to me.” Adele
Get there first
When I first started talking to Adam I listed all of my flaws. People told me I was silly but after what had happened at school I wanted to get in there first. I wanted him to hear how bad I looked from me, I didn’t want him to accuse me of lying. With angled photography and the odd snap chat filter, I was concerned he would accuse me of catfishing him.
Because of this I told him the truth! I let him know that I wasn’t much to look at. I described how my weight was an issue that I hadn’t quite managed to get a grip on and how I was born with an eye condition which meant I wasn’t allowed to drive.
Despite all of this he still met me, to Adam these flaws were nothing to me they were everything.
”Whether I put on weight or take it off, someone’s got something to say, so what I’ve figured is this: As long as I’m healthy and happy, cool. I’m just me — take it or leave it. And personally, I think I’m looking good!” Kelly Clarkson
Does size matter?
When I first met Adam I wasn’t the lightest I had been but I also knew from the scales that I wasn’t the heaviest either. In the time that we have been together, he has witnessed the struggle I have with my body image.
After losing my dad my weight dropped due to loss of appetite and then it came back with a vengeance as I hit another stressor and comfort ate.
Now at a size 14/16, I find there are days where I really struggle, I suppose it isn’t helped by the lack of universal sizes. I can literally be feeling okay about myself and find this rapidly turned around with the help of a shopping trip. How one stores 14 can measure the same as another stores 10 is beyond me.
”I think that whatever size or shape body you have, it’s important to embrace it and get down! The female body is something that’s so beautiful. I wish women would be proud of their bodies and not dis other women for being proud of theirs!” Christina Aguilera
There’s a misconception amongst some that because I am a blogger and share a lot about myself on social media, that I am confident and thick-skinned. The truth is I am neither.
Social Media can at times be both a blessing and a curse when learning to like yourself. With some people setting out to shame those that they feel don’t conform to their vision of ’perfect’.
However, on the other hand there are accounts celebrating people in all shapes and sizes, accounts that encourage positivity and self-love.
Whilst typing this it has dawned on me even more, that in today’s society people should be accepted for who they are, not what they look like. Our size does not define our character!
When I next head out and feel myself crumbling with doubt I’m going to remind myself that the only label I need is the one bearing my name… for I am Kirsty and no one else.
”My smile is my favorite part of my body. I think a smile can make your whole body. I want women to know that it’s ok. That you can be whatever size you are and be beautiful inside and out” Serena Williams