Although I have always very much wanted to, I have put off writing about this topic for a while. I think it’s important that I get my points across in the right way, especially with it being such a sensitive subject. I think it’s very easy (and not at all right) to simply say fuck what anyone thinks, be comfortable in your own skin, be you, do you. Whilst that’s the ideal scenario, it’s just not realistic. There is so much more to body confidence than just shape and size, it’s skin, hair, wardrobe, mental health and more. The one thing I can say for sure is that when it comes to body confidence, it’s all relative. It’s so personal to an individual, it’s how you’re feeling on any given day of the week. It comes in waves and for me, it’s not a consistent feeling. Thankfully, body confidence was on my side for this shoot. Sure, I was conscious of a little cellulite on show, a few stretch marks hiding on the inside of my thighs. I feel this everyday, whatever I decide to wear, which could be a short mini skirt or mom jeans, on show or not they’re still there, on my skin. I don’t edit my photos for my posts anymore, for that reason, what you see is what you get.
I’m not here to tell you to be instantly happy with your body at the click of a finger, to fuck the haters and immediately start loving yourself. I mean, absolutely you should start loving yourself if you don’t already but I also know that this can’t just happen overnight and if it does, it’s something that doesn’t always stay. Some days I want to hide away from the world, beat myself up, give myself a hard time, scrutinise my hideous hormonal skin, have a little cry and just let it all out. Other days I feel so god damn sassy I could march right up to a stranger in a bar and give em’ a big ol’ smooch. Confidence is a rollercoaster ride and it comes very much in highs and lows. Sometimes, that is all you can do – go with the ride. We’ve all seen it, that column in the glossies where they pap the celebs in joggers, make-up free, stuffing a cheeseburger down their throats. If social media only took a leaf out of this mag, we wouldn’t exhaust ourselves trying to keep up with the perfectly polished snaps that consume us every minute of every scrollin’ day.
I don’t have to repeat myself these days (I will write a post where social media is not included) we all know this one but social media always plays it’s part when it comes to being critical of ones self. For the sake of this post and not being slightly obsessed with it myself, it had to be mentioned. We all have those down days; Am I pretty enough? Am I cool enough? Am I sexy enough? I’ve always maintained the view that I should dress for my style and not my shape, something that I think I have plugged quite heavily on this blog. Although, I’m not sure this always goes in my favour. With my legs full of tattoos, I always get shoved into the ‘edgy’ category. Fine for the most part. What if I just wanted to be the girl next door, just for one day. He probably doesn’t think I’m gorgeous like the other girls. I have those thoughts from time to time and when I do let my mind spin into overdrive with this, I very quickly remind myself that individuality is attractive. I write this all very carefully as I understand from an outside view, looking into my world on here, posting photograph after photograph it must seem like I ooze bundles of the damn stuff; confidence. In front of the right people, sure I do but behind the lens I’m just a twenty-something girl, attempting to live her best life and in an honest admission, sometimes juggles her own struggles here and there.
My biggest hang-up has been and will always be my skin. It’s my downfall and some days, it’s certainly not my friend. It’s the one thing that gets to me the most. Even more so since coming off of the pill almost six months ago, my skin has never been the same. I only need to consume a slither of cheese and have drop of splash and I’ve had it, an instant flare up, like a scene from a Where’s Wally convention. I’ve even cancelled on friends because of it. Feeling so self-conscious that I couldn’t bear to be in the company of my good friends. When I have a bad skin day, it’s the only thing I can focus on. Of course, it always seems worse in your own eyes. The times I’ve had the classic ‘oh shit, I’ve got a spot’ before a date scenario. I just pray and hope that they’re glued to my glowing personality, over the connect the dots situation on my chin. Thank god for make-up. I wear a lot of the stuff and it’s to cover up not only my bad skin but to also temporarily conceal my self-consciousness. It’s a shame because I want to get back to that place where I feel comfortable make-up free. Long term relationships are where I feel most at ease with this, fast-forward to the ‘just woken up’ look and I’m there. There’s nothing more attractive than stripping it all back and feeling confident in someone’s company, with a person that you love and trust. Girls, I’ve found, are really hard on themselves. We’ve all had that moment, drunkenly gathered together in the girls’ toilets – oh the things you hear and the conversations you have! Staring into the mirror with pure disgust ‘I hate my nose, my legs are too fat, I wish I had bigger boobs’. I’m with the latter on that one! I don’t think I’ll ever be perfectly happy with my body and there will always be someone that wants to trade with me, or that I want to trade with. Like a round of top trumps in the school playground but for body parts. It’s always a case of wishing for a little bit more or a little bit less. Being slim my mum always used to say to me ‘you’ve got a lovely figure, darling’. I would just roll my eyes and scowl. What I would give for a pair of double D’s!
Male or female, we’ve all got our demons. Being ‘satisfied’ with how you look is a process, it’s forever changing, just like the trends. One minute you think you’ve nailed, the next something new comes along. A new battle with yourself. It changes with your thoughts and your mindset. The only advice I can give you is to make that process as easy as possible. Surround yourself with people that build you up, don’t be so hard on yourself, and learn (as on-going as it is) to love the cards you have been dealt.
It's Emma over email but Ems face-to-face. By title, I'm a writer, photographer, creative, social media co-ordinator and more importantly rosé drinker. I'm also a daughter, sister, auntie, girlfriend and friend. I overshare and I swear. I have been dedicating my time to this space for four years. Lifestyle topics are my specialty, with a dose of daily fashion thrown in for good measure.