This is a topic very close to me and I feel like it is very relevant in the fashion industry, probably more than any other so I want to discuss it with you all, as many blogs I follow have been talking about the subject and it became more apparent how I’m still affected whilst I was at Hideout Festival. I know it is something that many people will also understand and struggle with. I am my biggest critic and often feel like I’m not good enough and need to do better. But who isn’t? It takes me so long to get any pictures for my blog because I hate most of them; my hair doesn’t look right or I look too ‘fat’ or too pale, and so I end up deleting them.
When I was younger I felt confident in my own skin but soon started to feel shame and a knock in confidence as my body developed, comparing myself to celebrities and peers. This was from a young age, and when I developed curves and a larger chest when I was 14 or 15 people would call me names such as ‘slut’, and police my body for something I couldn’t change. Wearing a top that showed even a slight bit of cleavage would cause girls to call me these names and say I always got them out on purpose whereas someone with a more petite figure wearing the same top would get compliments.
Going from my thin, petite figure to my curvy, voluptuous figure meant I gained weight in the places I didn’t want, such as my thighs and stomach, which made me extremely self-conscious and caused me to limit what I eat, diet and exercise excessively. However, my body wouldn’t change and the lack of progress deflated me, causing me to see a different person in the mirror.
But finally, curvy figures started to become celebrated in the media; from the likes of Beyoncé (the Qween of everything) to Nicki Minaj and Kim K. This started to make me feel more confident. Studying in Brighton for college meant I was surrounded by feminism, acceptance and body positivity. I learnt that my figure was something I should be proud of, my friends and boyfriend reinforce this every day.
There is still an issue with body image today and the ‘Instagram’ summer bod and validation from likes and comments. However there has been a shift in attitude through the use of plus size models and those who represent everyday women and minorities. The attitude of everyone is beautiful is spreading through campaigns such as Missguided’s #KEEPBEINGYOU campaign and one of my personal favourites, Dove’s Real Beauty campaigns; one of the first large companies to take this leap. I still have my darker days where I feel unattractive and bloated from eating basically nothing but that’s normal and we have to remind ourselves of we aren’t these things. Some days I feel so positive I want to take loads of pictures in my gym wear, bikinis and my underwear and walk around in them all day. Just me?
Now I like to decorate my skin with tattoos to remind me of its beauty and to create positive scars. I have three tattoos now: a 7 for my lucky number, the rose from Beauty and the Beast as it is my mum’s favourite Disney princess film and my star sign’s constellation (Cancer) but with flowers. I hope to get more over the years.