I think by now around this time of year, we are all pretty much familiar with the ‘it’s time to get beach body ready!’ rhetoric. Everywhere you look, there are ads telling us to get in shape and drink this shake or eat this bar so that we can somehow look decent enough to be seen with a bikini on. Now if you had told me 3 years ago that I would be posting up photos of myself in a gorgeous Boohoo bikini, I’d have laughed in your face and probably slapped you for being so insolent. But fast forward 3 years and look where we are.
Boohoo are passionate about encouraging us gals to feel confident in the body we are in and in doing so, are encouraging us to share our body confidence journeys. The reason I added the ‘so far’ within the title is because the journey to reaching total confidence within yourself is fluid and ever changing. One day you can wake up and feel a million dollars and the next day you can wake up feeling like Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars, but that’s the point about having body confidence you see; it’s about having the knowledge that even though you look like an Alien from a sci-fi movie, you’re a BUFF alien (stay with me here…).
I suppose we’ll start at the beginning. As a child, I was always pretty self confident about my body; sure I was chubbier than everyone else, but it wasn’t really an issue for me. That all changed however, the second I started Secondary school. My first time experiencing bullying based on my appearance would last a total of 5 years and would change how I felt about my body forever. Not only was I bullied verbally, I endured physical abuse at the hands of a group of boys at school which resulted in multiple broken bones, burns and scars. As we’re all aware, the mental side-effects of such trauma run a lot deeper than the physical scars and from this, I developed a deep sense of self loathing and self hate towards my body. I had no self esteem and I denied myself the chance of a positive teenage experience because I thought the way I looked meant that didn’t deserve a chance to be happy.
Throughout my teens, I tried all the diets under the sun; I starved myself, I took dieting pills I found online, I self harmed, lost 4 stone and was the lowest I had ever been. I’d look in the mirror each morning and tell myself that I didn’t deserve to be here or enjoy the life experiences that others smaller than me enjoyed. I was convinced that I would never fall in love, have kids or have any friends because of how I looked; it didn’t occur to me at this time that it was my mentality that was the cause of my destruction – not how I looked.
The road to being body confidence is a long one guys. For me, it’s taken 15 years to accept and love the body I’m in. It took a lot of will power, strength, tears and support from friends and family. One of the main turning points for me was the online plus size community; being among women who also felt the same way and shared their stories was unbelievably helpful. The online community is so strong and the amount of support you get from it is incredible! Social media outlets such as Instagram showed me women who looked like me living unapologetically and showing off their rolls and so-called imperfections and it also inspired me to do the same.
At the end of the day, my thinking is this: We are all living on a short amount of borrowed time on earth. We need to spend that time trying to live in love and positivity and life is too short to listen to what people who don’t matter have to say about your body. Everybody has flaws and just because we have a a bigger body than some, it doesn’t make us any less of a human being. We are still entitled to experience love and kindness and we have the right to feel beautiful, because we DESERVE. You have to wake up each morning and tell yourself you are an amazing person, with an amazing body and that you deserve to feel confident in yourself. LET YOUR ROLLS BE FREE AND BASK IN THAT BIKINI BITCH.