Five Minutes on Body Image

When I was a child I read EVERYTHING. Every piece of paper put in front of me was consumed by hungry eyes, by a mind desperate to understand how a girl should behave, smell, look. Which Tammy girl cargo pants will tell the other girls that I’m one of them, who should my favourite boyband be (Spoiler: None)

Curvy Kate Lingerie

As I grew older this changed in parallel with the changes in my body. I started to develop a new obsession with how tall people were, how much they weighed, what dress size they were and what value this afforded them in the eyes of the world’s media. Moments of delight at the reflection of adult women with bodies like mine on the front pages of magazines, shattered by the headlines: “weight battle”, “size shame”. These are the years when we plot out the things we value, the things we want for ourselves. All carefully prodded and manipulated by the things we see and read, by the people we we are immersed in.

You see, body image isn’t a THING. It isn’t factual. It’s subjective. And so much of allowing yourself to have *positive* body image is about untangling all of these things that have wiggled into your brain whilst it was still squishy and lovely.

Curvy Kate Lingerie
Kiss Cross Lingerie Set - Curvy Kate [Gifted]

Magazine images: There to sell mags. The media KNOW about our insecurities, heck, they CREATED them. Ask yourself, does this really make them a reliable source of influence for how you feel about your own body?

Representation on TV: Have you ever seen a television programme that accurately represents the people you encounter on a daily basis? Hell no. Have you ever seen a television programme where more than two people have the same name..? Also no. Because it isn’t real. It’s getting better but remember, you live in Barnsley, not Chelsea. You’re too busy emptying the bin and watching GoT to have daily blowdries my pal.

Curvy Kate Lingerie

You have the choice to unpack all of this shit. Ask yourself questions; “Do I really hate how this dress looks or is it just the passing words I once heard my mum say?”. Give yourself the space to like yourself, immerse yourself in safe spaces where people are too busy LIVING to give a shit about your lovely warm bingo wings. 

This `Mental Health Awareness Week; Allow yourself the chance to move on. You are valued, you are important, you are more than just a body.