Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Body Image/Body Confidence

The summer is basically here and that means BBQ's, swimsuits, and shorts. For women, (and even men) sometimes the summer can be this looming, daunting thing...just because of the aforementioned reasons. At least, this is partly why summer isn't y favorite season.

Sure I love to hang out with my friends and do summer-like activities, but my body image seems to get in the way of some of those things. I'm sure I'm not the only one, woman or man, who has body image problems/issues...but here are my thoughts and how I currently and plan on viewing my body and myself.

The entire reason I thought to write this blog post was because of what happened yesterday. I had a sort of epiphany (hold the cheese, I know. I'm sorry) Anyway, it was super hot out yesterday and last summer I bought this two piece, high waist-ed swim suit for myself. I only wore it a handful of times last summer because, well I just wasn't confident enough. Instead, I wore swim trunks and a tank-ini with a tea shirt over it at times. So back to yesterday, I wanted to put on my swim suit and sit outside to read. I spent a good 45 minutes trying on swim suit combinations that covered my body the most...then I realized something.


Taken yesterday, no edits.
I mean, really. All of this thought, panic, and anxiety over wearing a swim suit? There's people starving and I choose to worry about this?!  I took a deep breath and just put the swim suit on. To be honest, I didn't feel bubbling with confidence, but I did feel rather proud of myself. I felt like I would do it again and not waste 45 minutes trying to convince myself that I wasn't good enough as I am to wear a two piece swim suit.

If you really think about it, you're only given one body...why not love it. If you don't love it, sure you can alter it with things like diet, exercise or even plastic surgery. I wouldn't say I absolutely love my body in this moment, but I do love certain aspects of my body...and more than this, I know I'm pretty close to saying that I 100% love myself (outside and in), in the very near future.

However, this makes me think: What's so wrong with being just healthy and happy?  I mean, really. We all put all of this pressure on ourselves sometimes (or even all the time) to have the "perfect" body and look a "perfect" way in different areas in our lives. When we search for things that may be so unattainable, going to complete extremes in order to look "perfect," which can affect our health in a negative way. We're all different and we all have different bodies, lifestyles, families, and so on.

What's wrong with the body you have? 

What's wrong with not being "perfect," what ever that means?

Body image is something I've always struggled with. Growing up, no one really bullied me for being over or under weight...really nothing about my body. However, some family members would often comment on a choice of clothing, saying I looked, "pregnant" or "frumpy." I think this is where some of my body image issues started. It sounds simple and innocent. I mean, what family doesn't criticize their children for one reason or another. It mostly came out of love or was said in a joking manner, but I do think some issues stem from this simple thing.

Sometimes I think, "God, your thighs are fat, and your stomach...and your arms jiggle, and you have cellulite, and acne, and...." The list goes on when I think negatively about my body. I have to admit, I used to be a lot worse to myself than I am now.

 Now I may think, "You have cellulite...but who the hell cares? You're curvy and your make-up is on point today!" Your body image is really all in your head. Don't get me wrong, I really do have cellulite and acne and all of those imperfect things...but the way I see it, those things are okay. I will probably always have cellulite and acne, so I try to focus on the things I like in myself and I also try not to compare myself to others.

Sometimes I'll see a girl who has flawless looking skin or has a really nice body (Don't pretend all you gals out there haven't looked at other girls. You know it.) and I'll start to think negatively about how I look. This accomplishes literally nothing. It doesn't help you feel better about yourself, it doesn't help you improve your body image, and it does nothing for your confidence.

Here's my advice: Don't compare yourself to others. You're absolutely beautiful/handsome just the
way you are. Those people in the media, on magazines, and television? They're all an illusion to sell you something. No one really looks "perfect." So stop chasing something that simply does not exist.

You're exactly how and where you should be. As long as you feel healthy and happy, the rest is just bullshit.

So go and put on a swim suit or a dress you've always wanted to wear. Take off your shirt when you go into the pool (men only, unless you have some really awesome friends who don't care about your nude nah-nahs.). Just TRY something outside of the comfort zone your body image has caged you into. Putting on that swim suit yesterday was one of the most empowering things I've done for myself (besides graduating college, obviously) in a very long time. Do it. You'll thank yourself.

Someone who really inspired me to write about this is actually a Youtuber called, Melanie Murphy. A lot of her videos focus on body confidence and body image. She just seems like an amazing person.  Not to mention, she's gorgeous. She needs to move to NJ from Ireland so we can be best friends, duh.

 But seriously, her videos are awesome and I recommend watching when you're feeling down about the way you look. It's what I do.

I hoped this helped someone out there who has similar issues with their body image and body confidence. I'm really proud of this post : )
Leave a comment if you wish, I always write back.

Don't forget to breathe.


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