So, I thought I’d write this blog post based on something that happened to me while at work yesterday. Something that was pretty alarming and totally threw me off track. I was at work having a meeting with some patients, when out of the blue one of the patients took me aside and told me that I was ‘beautiful’. I managed to maintain my composure, however as soon as the meeting was over, I found myself in floods of tears.
You know how all the sayings go: “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, “love yourself and others will love you” etc etc and while I agree wholeheartedly with such phrases, the word “beautiful” or even “pretty”, “cute” and “alright” were words adjectives that I just never associated with myself. You see, like a lot of girls/women, I grew up with horribly low self esteem and zero confidence which was largely attributed to my weight. I literally hated myself. Hated. To the point where I’d even considered doing horrible things to myself in a bid to just stop myself from existing. I had no social life due to not having any friends (I consider myself pretty awkward at times; it increases tenfold if you add low confidence to the mix) and I couldn’t stand people taking photos of me. I had to be the one in control of the camera angles, lighting, saturation, EVERYTHING.
Anyhoo, I’m not here to talk about my past, I wanted to write this as I’ve noticed a change within myself over the past year or so and that’s been due to slowly accepting myself and through that, gaining confidence about my appearance. I’m chubby, and for the longest time I tried to deny it, which to be honest was pretty hard as i’m a fat fat fatty and it was pretty easy to see.
I was introduced to the whole “fat fashion blogger” movement via Gabi, who runs gabifresh.com and from there I was hooked. I was introduced into a world of women who were shaped the same way as me who were unbelievably confident, stylish and most importantly, happy. I saw girls bigger than me dressed up in the most beautiful garments and it made me think “If they can dress up and have this much confidence, why can’t I?
I thought I would share a few tips on confidence and generally loving yourself as these are things that I’ve had to learn over the past 15 years. It’s a shame that it’s taken me so long to get to this point but as always, it’s better late than never!
- Book a vacation by yourself: Whether it be for a week or a month, spending time alone within a new environment is so beneficial to our mental health and you end up learning so much about yourself. In a different place, you can be whoever you want to be. Going to New York for a month last year was one of the best decisions i’d ever made. I went there with the intention to gain confidence and to pretty much just fake it till I made it. I dressed up in things I would normally NEVER wear (dresses and skirts) and walked with my head held high and a smile on my face. It’s amazing how such small things can increase one’s confidence!
- Realise that there are people out there who find you beautiful. This is one of the hardest things I had to learn as I always saw myself as pretty grotesque looking.It wasn’t until I started receiving compliments from randomers in New York that I realised that “hmm…maybe i’m not THAT grotesque.” and it started from there.
- SMILE! ‘Nuff said really. Smiling makes you feel happy. People like to see happy faces. Everybody looks beautiful when they smile.
- Tell yourself that you’re enough. All the time. Everybody was put on this Earth for a purpose. Everybody is deserving of love. You are worthy, even if it’s to one person, you mean the world to them. Don’t ever think that you’re not worthy of being loved and cherished. I used to think that no one would ever love me because of my appearance. I mean, I’m still single LOL but that’s probably because I walked around all depressed, awkward and self depricating, and that ain’t attractive folks!
- Take it one step at a time. Trying to be more confident takes a long time. Don’t think that because you haven’t achieved that goal within a month, that it isn’t for you. It’s taken me 15 years, countless hours of therapy, medication, hospital admissions, tears and being constantly scolded by friends for me to have reached this point and my journey still isn’t over.
- Don’t shut out your friends. They aren’t encouraging you because they feel they “have” to. They are doing it because they see so much potential in what you can become. Don’t shut them out if they are willing to help you overcome this.
- Stop giving a fuck. Pardon the language but it’s true. Wear whatever you want. Show a bit of leg/boob/abs. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t wear because at the end of the day, they aren’t buying your clothes so therefore, their opinion doesn’t matter. Wear what you think looks nice on you. The other day I saw a crackhead in Camberwell wearing a bright purple crushed velvet three piece suit, a fedora and adidas trainers. And he looked awesome. I loved it because you could tell that he had not a single fuck to give. Learn from that. Be like that crackhead. 😀
I just hope that some of the points above will resonate with some of you guys as it has with me. Just remember, (cliche time) “BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND YOU CAN ACHIEVE ANYTHING!”