Monday, 20 January 2014

Body Image, my own thoughts and ramblings.

Hi everyone, I hope you are all doing well. Today, I'll be writing about something different. I've wanted to write about this pretty much since I have started blogging, but it's a broad and intimidating subject to write about that I feel has to be written with honesty, sensitivity, and my own personal experiences. This blog will be on body image.
From a young age, we were all thought the same phrase: ''Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me''. This couldn't be further from the truth. Words will always hurt more than any hit, kick or punch. Scars will fade but words will stay with you. Nasty words and taunts has the same impact as a blow to the face. Someone who doesn't think their comments through and say them on a whim may forget what they say in a day, but it could stay with the person for years. These words define our self of self, and indeed, our own body image.

When I first thought of writing this blog, I hoped I wouldn't have to write about my own personal experiences, I didn't want to take the focus off the bigger picture, but I do want this post to have a personal touch and I feel it is important, to show that I know what I am talking about and that I'm not just shooting in the dark to what someone with body image issues feel like. Throughout my whole life, I have been slagged, bullied, teased, had nasty comments made about my height. I'm 20 years old and I am 4ft 11''. I was always the smallest in a group and not just by a little bit. I have heard every height related name and comment thrown my way. Freak, midget, dwarf, Oompa Loompa, so many other names I could write a list, and the ''How's the weather down there?'' comment got old, fast. I was always made to measure myself against a taller person and it gave everyone a great laugh. I was always the butt of everyone's jokes. In Primary school, I was constantly sent to doctors all over Ireland to find out why I was so small. I was tested for everything possible, and everything came back negative. At the end, it was assumed that because my parents were small themselves, my height was put down to genetics. It got me thinking though, what was so wrong with being the height I was? Was I abnormal? The freak I was told I was? What was wrong with me? Secondary school, in particular was one of the worst experiences in my life because of this. I barely had the stomach to go in there everyday, and when I did, I had nothing but knots in my stomach. This complex I developed at a young age over my height stuck with me all my life, and it's still somewhat there, though it's gotten alot better. It made me wonder if that's all people saw in me when they first met me, as more often than not, the first thing people said to me was a comment on my height. As a teenager, for years my self-esteem was at an all time low. I barley looked at myself in the mirror, went out my way to avoid mirrors, and if I did look at myself in the mirror, I would burst out crying. To myself, I was always two inches tall. I was constantly comparing myself to others. I thought not only was I upset over my height, everything about me was ugly and I started having issues with my weight aswell. When I was around 18, I became so used to comments on my height, they just didn't bother me anymore, and that gave me the chance to pull my self-esteem up. Today, my body image has changed for the better and I am nowhere near as bad as I was. I still have bad days where I am down about myself, they they always pass, everyone has those days though. But I see my size in a better light.

The thing you have to remember I suppose, even though it's really hard to see it sometimes, and maybe hard to believe, is that the people who truly love you, will always look past your insecurities and only see the good things in you. We are our own worst enemy and noone is as harsh on us as we are on ourselves. Hold on to those people who love you, they will always bring out the best in you. Those people will focus on the great things about you, like your humour, your friendliness, your creativity, your cleverness, and how kind and how wonderful you really are. The most beautiful people on the inside and the outside I have ever known were very cruel in the way that they talked about themselves. Talk to those people, they may help you see your insecurities in a different light.
When I had no self esteem, I found some ways that I could feel a bit better abut myself. What do you like the most about yourself? Find ways to accentuate what you love about yourself. Do you like your legs? Wear shorts and skirts whenever you can. Is it your lips? Make them the most dramatic part of your make-up, draw attention to them. Is your favourite feature your hair? Take really good care of it and try out new hairstyles. No matter how much we think we dislike ourselves, there is always something in us that we love. If you want to change aspects of yourself, go for it, just make you're doing it for yourself and noone else. Don't let others put you off from wanting to change parts of yourself. Going to the gym and exercising and adjusting your eating habits if you wanted to lose weight isn't a bad thing and neither is plastic surgery if you really felt like you needed it. If you feel like it would help yourself esteem, I say go for it and don't listen to what anyone else thinks. It's your body, your choice. Let the people around you see that you are more than what's on the outside, let your personality, inner fab, kindness and humour shine through.


Probably the biggest setback to having a healthy view on how we see ourselves is media and magazines. Such trashy magazines like ''Heat'' ''Hello'' and ''OK'' I have always seen bikini clad actresses and models on the front, they put one woman with a little extra weight on her and talk about how bad she looks and focus on every little lump and bump. Yet, right beside that photo, they have another photo of a slimmer woman and ''worry'' about how slim she is and throw around claims of having an eating disorder, like it's no big deal. But guess what? Claiming someone may have an eating disorder is a big deal, and no laughing matter. It should not be thrown around so easily. Those sort of magazines have headlines and articles telling us how how accept ourselves and love ourselves, but flip to the next page, they give us instructions on how to lose 10 pounds. Hypocrisy at its best. They really zoom in and focus on celebrities bodies and the readers of these magazines are usually young and vulnerable and they make us question our bodies from a young age, comparing ourselves to those in these magazines, giving us a skewed view on body image. These magazines are not journalism, they are trash, whose writers wouldn't even be good enough for the Daily Mail, and that's saying alot. They will berate a slimmer person, yet berate someone with weight on them. If someone is perfectly fit, they'll feign worry for how long they spend in the gym and wonder how long they will look like this for. How are we supposed to look? However the hell we want! Do yourself a favour, and throw out those magazines.

Now moving on to diets. They.do.not.work. You will be up and down like a yo-yo. Cutting out food groups from the food pyramid such as carbs, does not work. There's a reason they're in the food pyramid. Our body needs them to function correctly. Depriving our bodies of a certain food, vitamin or mineral, can be highly dangerous for us, and can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiency, anemia, bone problems, and organs not working correctly and they could end up failing on you. (Believe me. I did Nutrition in college as part of my course, I know what I'm talking about). Depriving ourselves of certain foods makes us more likely to binge and gain weight. The only successful weight loss I have ever seen is through exercise healthy eating and not depriving our body of anything, including our favourite junk food! It's all about everything in moderation.
A trend I've seen in the past few years, with the popularity of Tumblr and Twitter, which really pisses me off, is the glamorisation of 'Ana', Anorexia and 'Mia', Bulimia. You know the accounts I mean. The ones with ''Goal weight: ___'' ''Starting weight: ___'' and ''Ultimate weight: ___'', in their bio. Those with similar accounts try and encourage each other to eat less and exercise more. To me this is nothing short of disgusting, and sad. They show these really serious eating disorders in a good and positive light, thinking it is a beautiful thing. The people behind these accounts see these disorders as a lifestyle choice and a thing of beauty. Those who genuinely have either eating disorder will tell you that it's nowhere near as ''glamourous'' as these accounts make it out to be, at all. That it's a serious psychological condition. I condemn these accounts. They are horrible and making light of serious issues.

Another thing this topic makes me wonder about. Why is it that telling someone to put on weight not seen as hurtful and offensive? If it was the other way around, believe me, there would be absolute uproar if someone was told to lose weight. At the end of the day, you're still insulting someone's body. Why has it suddenly become acceptable to hate on those with a slimmer frame? Build and metabolism is outside our control. I am forever seeing photos saying ''Meat is for the man, bones are for the dog.'' No. No. No! Just because someone may have curves, it gives you absolutely no right to insult those who don't. Curves don't make you Marilyn Monroe, either. The last time I checked, to be a woman, all that was required was lady parts. Women are all the same. Mary may be a size 6, and it makes her no less of a woman than Mia, who is a size 16. It's one of the most disgusting phrases I have ever heard. ''Skinny'' can have the same impact on someone who is slim as ''Fat'' might on someone who has weight on them. Choose your words carefully. We are women, regardless of weight, build, appearances, sexuality, race, religion, creed, interests, lifestyle, they way we choose to look, anything. Look at the curvaceous Marilyn Monroe, she is just as beautiful as the slim beauty, Audrey Hepburn. I have so much hate for the phrase ''Real Women''. ''Real women do this, real women do that...''. Every woman is real, and they can do as they please.

To wrap up this post, just let me advise just be careful of what you say to someone. You have no idea how your words may affect others. Think of what you don't like about yourself. Would you like someone saying something like you may say to them, but to you? Try and put yourself in other people's shoes. If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

TL;DR? You're fucking fabulous and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Well, I was really nervous putting this up, so I all hope you really liked this blog.
Thank you all so much for reading,
Stay fab xo
Kim. :)

4 comments:

  1. This post was so beautiful and well written. I thought your personal experience was the perfect touch as it truly showed you knew what you were talking about and it didn't take away from the bigger picture at all! Well done Kimi!! :)

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    1. Thank you so much Tasha! That means so much to sme, especially coming from you! <3 x

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  2. Hey! I tagged you in my latest blog post :) find it at - http://sineaddreamingagain.blogspot.ie/2014/01/the-dmc-tag.html

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    1. Thank you! I've never been tagged in a blog before, and I can't wait to do this! Thanks again for tagging me! :)

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