#BodyPositivity: How the scales are damaging our self-esteem

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Today I want to talk body image. How you think you should look vs. how you actually look, and just bloody loving it anyway.

Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means claiming to be an expert on self-love. Like most people, I am still learning how to love every single inch of me and I’ve had to get over years of comparing myself to models, bloggers and even friends. I used to think I’d like myself more if I changed my body; that clothes would look better if I ate less and exercised more. That boys would fancy me more if I was thinner. But no matter what shape or size you are, you will always pick at your imperfections and the people that really matter actually like you regardless of your shape or size – go figure.

As I begin to prioritise the feeling I get from certain clothes rather than the number on a scale, I’m noticing more and more that its the way I measure my self-love that makes all the difference to my outlook and general output of total bad-ass sass. *sassy finger click*

Over the years, I’ve struggled with my body and weight. I’ve never been fat but I thought I wasn’t thin enough.

Throughout my teenage years, I never liked the way I looked and I hated shopping purely for fear of the number inside the clothes. My boobs were never perfectly round, my bum jiggled way too much and my stomach was never flat. I went through phases of restricting my diet, controlling portion sizes and cutting out all the things I thought were bad. But then, I would secret eat to make myself feel better. If your mum didn’t know about the chocolate bar hidden in your dressing gown pocket it didn’t count, right?

Do you know what I learned from these fad-diets and silly rules I made? That I cannot and absolutely will not live without chocolate and that, my friends, is perfectly okay. Oh and potatoes, I love all kinds of potatoes.

Far too often men and women are too busy fretting about the numbers on a scale instead of focusing on how their body feels and celebrating what it can do. We let numbers define how happy we are with ourselves instead of focusing on what actually matters. We deem our reflection ugly or gross because we wish we had a smaller number when we stepped on the scale.

I set myself a challenge a couple of years ago to look at myself in the mirror everyday, to even look at the bits of me I didn’t like, and tell myself something good. With everyday, slowly but surely, I liked more of what I saw. I may have lost weight but my shape stayed the same, just a little smaller.

My bum jiggles. My tummy isn’t flat. My legs are practically the Mecca for cellulite.

But let me tell you something. My arse looks damn fine in a pair of skinny jeans and when I go out and party I shake what my momma gave me. My body is perfectly normal and it’s imperfections are what make it my own. I’m not a fitness or nutrition guru, I don’t have the time or patience to squat a zillion times a day. I like doughnuts and ice cream too much to care and I have an aversion to avocado. I don’t eat ‘clean’ because I will never see food as being something dirty or bad – it’s my fuel and I enjoy eating. I might walk everywhere but I run for no one and it’s going to stay that way.

My point is that even though when I step on the scales I might not like the number I see, when I look in the mirror all of that is irrelevant. I have a banging booty and I like my waist. I wear clothes that make me feel good regardless of what size I have to buy to avoid splitting my skirt open mid-twerk.

Learning to love your body, especially when you’re in your teens, is by no means an easy task. We’re bombarded every day with the perfectly photoshopped bodies of models and celebrities, so who can blame us for wanting their perfectly sculpted and highlighted breasts? But that isn’t a true reflection of the variety and diversity of beauty and fabulousness that our bodies have to offer. Models offer a certain kind of body type. They shouldn’t be placed on a pedestal for having the only kind of desirable body there is. Not to mention, half the models don’t even look like their photographs. Let’s face it, if models need to be photoshopped then do any of us really stand a chance?

The good news is there are loads of men and women fighting to combat this idea. They’re posting pictures of their rolls, refusing photoshop and retouching and they’re showing the world what their body really has to offer. And it’s amazing.

When we finally accept that absolutely bloody everyone has a couple of rolls under their t-shirt, it makes it a little bit easier to love your own. So don’t fret. Your imperfections are perfect in their own way and you wouldn’t be you without them.

Love,
Beth xo