Since I wrote my first post about body confidence I have had a number of people, mainly women it has to be said, contact me. They usually ask how I manage to stay so confident and wishing they could have my confidence. Let me tell you this kittens I am not Superwoman. I was not always this confident there was a time where I would be barely able to make eye contact without blushing and I spent a great deal of time trying to hide away. I’ve kicked that dirty habit and now I am here to share what I do to make myself feel fabulous and love the skin I’m in.
Surround Yourself with Positive Messages.
Alright it might sound like complete mumbo-jumbo to some of you but surrounding yourself with positive messages really worked for me. Remove the negative nonsense, the punishing diet books, the bitchy gossip magazines, the “Thinspiration” picture on your fridge. Anything that sends a message to you that makes you feel shit about yourself- bin it. You have no time for that rubbish, you are going to be too busy being fabulous. So get creative and create items with positive slogans on them. Look up inspirational and motivational quotes that make you feel wonderful. If you are not as quite as creative as you would like to be why not look up some cool local businesses. I love Stitchie Wonder– who can create any number of fabulous products with positive slogans on them, personally I love their cushions and throw pillows and Skullmuggery who can paint your favourite positive quotes, phrases on cups, mugs and teapots (and are part of this feature image). What better way to start your day than with a cuppa and a positive message. Surround yourself with all the good stuff so it makes it a little more difficult for the not so good to creep in.
Take More Pictures
I used to avoid cameras and photographs like the plague, why? Because I always looked fat in pictures. Silly I know because I was/ am fat. I just hadn’t quite come to terms with that fact yet. I was so used to avoiding myself in the mirror that I rarely saw myself. The only bodies I saw were those of the celebrities in the gossip rags I adored. So when it came to seeing myself in photographs it was always traumatic to see what I looked like because it never compared to the bodies I had seen- funnily enough. I kicked this habit by taking more photographs. This time when I took photographs I would look at them and look at myself. It took a while before I could look at them and not wince. You have to remember sweethearts you are not a celebrity, you do not have a team of professionals following you to ensure you look immaculate at all times. There is no point making the comparison. You are gorgeous are you are! Why put negative energy into making comparisons that won’t make you feel better. Instead devote that time and energy into accepting what you see in the mirror and in photographs. I’m not saying don’t change, I’m saying make sure it comes from a positive place rather than beating yourself up.
Be Brave With Your Look!
I spent many years envious of the girls who had the look I wanted. I wanted short hair but I was told I fat girls couldn’t have short hair. I wanted bright, colourful, experimental makeup, but I was too afraid to draw attention to myself. So what happened? I got a little braver every time I went for a haircut, until eventually I ended up with most of my head shaved and guess what- it was awesome! I love my short hair and I’m sorry I wasted so long worrying about what it would look like. Cut your hair, it will grow back, dye it the colour you want, you can fix it. I do recommend going to a hairdresser for major changes though. I have had a number of oops moments with my hair that I’d rather forget and it’s always helpful to bounce ideas off someone. As for the makeup just try it. There are plenty of youtube tutorials telling you how to achieve these looks at home, failing that ask the girls on cosmetic counters, that is their job and they are happy to share their expertise. I know I used to worry that they would look at me and think “Why would you bother putting make up on, who’s going to look at you?” If you get that vibe walk away. Don’t apologise, don’t explain just walk the fuck outta there. *Deep Breath* As I was saying ask the girlies, they might even be able to point you in the direction of makeup classes that may be running soon. That way you get a whole pile of tips and tricks and advice on how to use products. Just go for it. Wear the lipstick, wear big false lashes, have bright colours if that is what your heart desires. Just wear it. If you’re a fan of natural beauty do that! You do what makes you feel amazing, with every step you take you will feel a little braver and you will eventually wonder why it was such a big deal in the first place.
It’s Your Body- Own It!
I promise I will write a longer post about this very topic when I get some better pictures of my tattoos. Since getting my tattoos and piercings I have never felt more ownership and acceptance of my body. I love these beautiful pieces of art that adorn my skin. People will always have their opinions about tattoos and piercings but the bottom line is its your body, do with it what you will. If a tattoo is a commitment you are willing to make then go for it. Do your homework and go get tattooed. If the idea of pain makes you squirm then maybe think of another way you can take ownership of your body. Get a Boudoir Shoot for your eyes only, capture your body and be proud of it. Whatever it is that will help you positively own your body then do that!
Read What Will Make You Feel Better!
As I’ve mentioned again and again I lived for “Women’s Magazines” pages filled with body shaming, slut shaming and gossipy trash that was not empowering. That is until I discovered Caitlin Moran. I adore Caitlin Moran. I love her so much I wrote an article about her for Fe-line. I promise I will not write another love letter to her here but if you want to know why I love her so, read the article and then read her books. I read them because they make me feel better. I learn more about feminism, she is exceptionally witty and I get an alternate view point on things. All things that make me feel good and do not leave me with icky shamey feelings. There are heaps and heaps of books and blogs out there that have no Body Shame nonsense in them. Seek them out and engross yourself in them. It’s good for your soul!!
Have an Inspirational Figure- the more the better!!
There are a limited selection of pictures of bodies in the media. You might be one of the luck few who can find a body type that looks like yours. Chances are though that you won’t find those images in mainstream media and that you will have to go in search of them. I love to look at pictures of full figured women who are fat, fabulous and working it! They are flying the flag, kicking ass and could give a monkey’s what you think about it. They will not be silenced they are loud, proud and gorgeous. It is these images that get me through my niggly days. On the days when the gremlins get in and say- you can’t wear that and other hurtful things. I look at a picture of Velvet D’amour, Tess Munster, Vicki Valentine or any number of full figured beauties and I think Eff You Gremlins!! I always find it helpful to look at someone and think well if they can do it why the heck can’t I. Bugger the begrudgers and negative ninnys.
Never let anybody dull your sparkle! You are here, you are alive and you are amazing. It doesn’t matter how you got here the point is you are here now. You can wait for the “when’s” – I’ll do it when I lose some weight, I’ll do it when the kids are a little older, I’ll do it when…
Do it now and do it for you! I’m not saying you must don a bikini immediately and if you don’t feel 100% comfortable you have failed. I’m saying be brave at a level that works for you and when you are brave celebrate like you’ve won a boxing match. Because in reality you have. Every time you give restricting standards the middle finger or challenge how people “should” be seen or “should” behave you’ve kicked arse and kicked it hard!!
Now go forth and focus on you! Share your stories of arse kicking and I will continue to share mine.
Come join me life is so much fun when you’re giving restrictions the middle finger!