I, like most females (and humans), struggle with body confidence
That’s not to say I hate myself and think I’m hideous, because I don’t. On the contrary, I think I’m pretty damn attractive most of the time. But I still dislike parts of my body. I don’t like my nose. I don’t like stomach. I’m not particularly fond of my legs unless I’m wearing heels. Some days, I even dislike everything about my appearance.
To combat this, I’ve spent years trying to buy into the ‘love yourself’ philosophy of the body confidence movement. I’ve spent countless hours in front of the mirror trying to find the good in my wobble tummy, or my large nose, or my thick thighs.
And it worked, for a while. For a while, I could honestly say I loved every part of my body. But then came a day when I gained weight and all my progress was undone. Or I saw my face from a different angle and was horrified. Or for some inexplicable reason, I just didn’t feel confident. And I felt like a failure.
And I’ve been stuck in that cycle since I was 15. Swinging back and forth from being the epitome of body confidence, to thinking my appearance is an insult to humanity. And let me tell you, it’s exhausting.
I feel frustrated at myself for undoing all the progress I’ve made, and worse I feel like a hypocrite. There I am shouting ‘Love your body!’ from the rooftops, telling everybody else to just embrace their flaws and all will be will; and there I am, crying under my duvet because I ate an entire packet of biscuits.
Sometimes, I feel like I’ve let the entire body confidence movement down.[bctt tweet=”‘Sometimes, I feel like I’ve let the whole body confidence movement down.'” username=”oawoodward”]
Recently, however, I’ve realized something. It doesn’t actually matter if I love my body – not really. Instead of reprimanding myself for not loving my body all of the time, I’ve come to accept that some days I will just feel like a sack of potatoes.
I’m probably never going to love my stomach, and that’s okay. Instead, I’ve learned to focus on all of the things I love about myself – most of which are far more important than my stomach or my thighs or my general appearance.
I love my sense of humour. I adore that I make a fantastic pasta sauce. I’m proud of my writing. I love my loyalty. I’m love the ferocity with which I stand up for my beliefs. I love so much of myself that really, who cares if I don’t love my body. My body is the least important part of me.
So next time someone tells me to love my body, I’m going to smile sweetly and walk away. I am not obligated to love myself. I’m not a failure for hating my thighs. I’m not hypocrite for believing that all bodies are good bodies, except mine. I am simply human – and sometimes humans don’t feel very body positive.[bctt tweet=”Who cares if I’m not body confident? My body’s the least important part of me.” username=”oawoodward”]