-Photography by Francis Kinsella-
My self confidence ebs and flows all the time. But I am absolutely sick to death of thinking about my appearance.
I’m forever wondering how many fragments of myself could I make prettier, by altering this and that. I subconsciously keep a mental list of improvements; my wonky nose for a start, is something I have wanted to change since I was 9 years old. But recently I’ve hit f**k it, and have posted a scattering of photos of my side profile which I usually completely shy away from.
A little disclaimer images in this post have the colour balance and brightness changed. But I actually haven’t felt the need to get rid of my facial blemishes and many moles, Photoshop out my side rolls or make my legs longer. And I actually feel great, without editing away parts of myself.
I’ve had enough with obsessing over how I appear to other people. Sometimes I get home and dwell in a hurricane of every sentence I spoke that day or how my hair colour didn’t quite match my extensions, when probably no-one even noticed. I’m certainly not saying burn the hair extensions and push up bras, but I know I need to stop punishing myself for how I look.
It’s all plastic surgery wish-lists and what foods we should be restricting. I am certainly guilty of this sort of thinking. I’m lucky that I don’t suffer with an eating disorder or body dysphoria anymore, I know realistically, what my body looks like. But to many people I know, me being a UK size 4 and having an hourglass figure is the ‘ideal’. But there are days where all I see is my stumpy legs, a square-faced blemished complexion and flappy upper arm wings, we all have some sort of body hang up. There is such a pressure to have a flawless physical appearance, when we should be more intrigued by each others characters and peculiarities.
There are so many ‘perfect’ girls that I scroll through on social media daily. But to be honest once you’ve scrolled past similar plastic faces so many times, it gets kind of repetitive. You are not boring because you’ll never be perfect, no one is! There is also absolutely nothing wrong with having a beautifully polished Instagram grid if it reflects you realistically. If its photo-shopped beyond recognition or doesn’t project your honest identity, then just don’t put it out there.
Social media makes it easier to be socially conditioned to mentally abuse our bodies whenever we catch an unflattering glance. Your body is never ugly, it is your home. We all have fat rolls when we sit down, numerous skin blemishes and body hair, it’s natural & completely normal!
I’ve recently befriended some more diverse and authentic bloggers, which is challenging & changing how I view the blogosphere. We are gradually becoming more realistic with what we put out onto the internet; I certainly need to re-evaluate and make some changes myself. If there are accounts you follow that make you feel inferior, just unfollow them.
Try to sporadically remind yourself to not slip back into bad habits & a demeaning mindset. If a self- hating thought crosses your mind, turn it into a positive. Yes, I have short, brittle nails but I have tiny, delicate hands, & so forth… Question any thoughts self- hate, try to avoid it taking hold. Be unusual & unforgettable, but most importantly, you do you.