There’s society, the mirror and myself, all staring at me, judging me, making me feel worthless.
I’d look into the mirror and I’d hear voices…
In one ear
“You have to wear heels with that dress”,
“You have to shave your armpits and legs, you have to at least try to look sexy naked, even if you’re not”
“Suck your belly in you look fat”
“Try on something else, cover yourself up”
In the other ear
” Nobody likes you, really”
“You’re trying to be perfect but you’ll never be as pretty as HER”
“He doesn’t really like you”
“Put more makeup on, everyone will see that spot”
Trying to be somebody’s someone
I look into the reflection, my brain suddenly filling with hate and no amount of makeup, sucking in, no matter how good my hair looked or how much I loved the clothes I was wearing, it was NEVER good enough. For over 4 years I never really felt good enough, for myself, for anyone I wanted a relationship with, for society, or for the mirror.
I put myself on a social networking site, to meet new people. I went on a few dates, stuck my fake hair in, stuck a new face on and drank alcohol to feel confident. A few people I met fancied me, messaged me, wanted to see me again. But the effort to find the confidence, and do myself up every time I wanted to go out grew sickening to me, I wanted to be able to go out with no makeup, or go out without planning what I was to wear before I did, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t put my finger on this feeling, I felt EXPECTED to LOOK a certain way. My first job in London was an office job, filled with fashion conscious, dieting women who came into the office wearing heeled boots and the latest fashion designs, I wanted to fit in so I would spent at least half an hour every morning before work to do so. Just to FIT IN with people I didn’t even like spending time with, people I didn’t even want to be. But I was the new girl, and I wanted to be happy.
Happiness comes from inside
I was meeting Chris was the first time, we had already been speaking for a couple of weeks but he was coming over on my ‘move in’ day and I was extremely nervous. I had my extensions in, makeup on and had already drank over half a bottle of wine before he had even arrived.
After three hours talking in my incense smelling, tiny room with a bottle of wine I had changed into my scruffiest pyjamas, taken my ‘hair’ out, propped it up into a messy bun and baby wiped my makeup off. Chris looked at me when I came down from the bathroom and said “You look beautiful”. Of course, I raised my eyebrows sarcastically and denied it but something in his voice told me he was telling the truth, he didn’t laugh and look away he just sat there and kept looking at me, smiling.
After that night and the day after, Chris invited me out to meet a group of his friends and again, I was terrified.
Voices in my ear
“They won’t like you”
“If none of them smoke they might think your disgusting”
“What if Chris doesn’t show up”
“What if you make a complete fool of yourself and he never wants to see you again”
I smoked like a chimney before getting the tube to Leicester Square.
On the tube home with Chris, I realised I had the best evening I had had in a long time, they were all so lovely, so fun and carefree. I felt really happy, I hadn’t made a COMPLETE fool of myself, I led my conversations onto ridiculousness a couple of times but nobody seemed to care, I felt accepted for who I was and I began to feel lighter, like my expectations for myself were lowered, like I had just won a medal for being me.
Why don’t you try
I woke up one Saturday morning, Chris still snoozing in bed as I went into the bathroom to wash my face, I came back into the room and as I started squeezing foundation on my hand he said to me “Why don’t you try NOT wearing any makeup today”. “No” I said, “We are going out”. “Just try it, and see how you feel” he replied.
I stopped wearing makeup on weekends. My spots were “natural” not “disgusting”, my face was “natural” not “sickly pale”, my eyebrows were “natural” not “overgrown bush monsters”
“But is natural, beautiful?” I asked him
Natural is who YOU are, 100% you, and if I didn’t love that then I wouldn’t be here.
Make up makes some girls feel sexy, confident and beautiful, some even powerful and that’s INCREDIBLE, some women make makeup and ART and I find that to be a TALENT. Women should be able to wear WHAT THEY LIKE, on their arms, on their legs and on their face, without anyone telling them otherwise. We should be able to wear whatever shoes we pissing well like, and have our hair whatever style we fancy.
If you want to wear makeup, DO IT, for YOURSELF! If it makes you happy, do it. But if you are doing it because you think you are UGLY without it, or you think people won’t LIKE HOW YOU LOOK then throw the shit away. You are beautiful for you, no matter what people think the confidence should come from yourself, the happiness comes from you and you should love your body for how it is. Society is the one that tells us we are not GOOD ENOUGH, magazines, the media they tell us we are not THIN ENOUGH, commercials, films and TV programmes tell us we are not PRETTY ENOUGH, they show women competing against each other, we get called ‘bitches’ and ‘whores’ and that’s allowing people to believe that is ACCEPTED BEHAVIOUR. So sod them all, why do we want to be like that anyway? There aren’t you, only you are you and you must try to be the best person you want to be, not someone else’s idea of it.
Why can we all work together? Why isn’t it more normal for woman to go up to another woman and tell her she is beautiful. So lets start, let’s start being who we really want to be. Lets start making woman feel confident and loved for who they are. If I want to wear makeup, or dress up or do my hair I do it because I want to, I will not be told how to look, I will not feel pressured to look or behave in a certain way, I will not judge anyone who looks “different to me” and I will not make anyone feel bad for being the way they want to be.
My body confidence grew when I stopped given a shit about what people thought and started finding people who understood that.
If you are surrounded with people who make you feel like you have to be a certain way, you will never truly find yourself. Being around people who will support you in whatever you chose to do, people who genuinely want you to find happiness and stay there are they people who can get you through the toughest times.
If you are struggling with any kind of body image issue, eating disorder, mental health or anything related, try to immerse yourself with good, supportive people. That doesn’t mean ‘go to your parents’ or ‘go to your best friend’, I had both but I didn’t feel they would be the ones who would really understand or be able to help me. Find someone or something that makes you feel safe and calm. Someone who you know will listen to you and even if they do not fully understand will do their best to help you find whatever you think you need. Someone who you can just talk and talk to with the understanding they will always accept who you are, and someone who doesn’t expect anything from you.
I may be just me, and I wish, I wish I could help the whole world, but I can’t. If you do ever want to talk to me about anything I have spoken about in this blog post, just find us on Facebook or write a small comment below and I will personally and privately get back to you. I haven’t had counsellor training, I didn’t go to Uni to study, I didn’t even study psychology (I even had to spell check that word), but I have been through what felt like hell and back, body dysmorphia to sexual abuse, I want to help. I want to make women feel confident and strong. SO PLEASE PLEASE KNOW YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You will never be alone, EVER. The more we talk, the more broken the stigma gets, the more chance we have of ALL OF US getting to understanding and loving ourselves and the people around us.
I don’t wear makeup anymore.
I don’t pluck my eyebrows.
I don’t shave my arm pits.
I don’t shave my legs.
I don’t shave my pubic hair.
I don’t paint my nails.
I don’t wear expensive jewellery.
I don’t own expensive clothes.
I don’t wear high heels.
I don’t hide my scars.
I don’t hide my body.
I am proud to show my boobs.
I am not to be shamed for that.
I am proud to show my bum.
I am not to be shamed for that.
I like my body the way it is.
I am not to be shamed for that
I like who I am and I want other women to love themselves.
I am not to be shamed for that.
I want men to stop their sexist comment and sexist ways.
I am not a ‘bitch’ for that.
I want find it easy to love someone
I am not weak for that
I am sexually confident
I am not a “slut” for that.
I struggle to talk to people sometimes
I am not a “loser” for that.
I am me, the only person who is.
I will NEVER be ashamed of that.