Every singe day in college I'll hear a girl I walk past say "oh I'm so fat, I've got to lose weight!" or a guy say "I really need to get myself to the gym, I'm not strong enough yet", both of those things I actually heard within the same two hour period at my college from students. Things like this break my heart because I have had difficulty with body positivity for almost all of my life and knowing that others are feeling the same way I did as a child doesn't bear thinking about.
As a child I was bullied from Nursery (age 3 or 4) right up to last December age 18, I personally used to think I deserved every bit of bullying I got, I was ugly, fat, disgusting, all of these things I would remind myself of on a daily basis to make the bullying more understandable. At least that way I knew why I was being bullied, I thought that bullying was a punishment because other people had to look at my horrid face, my fat stomach and my huge thighs. I pushed friends away, withdrew from my family and let my school work slide round about the age of 13/14 when I started self-harming and became suicidal because the bullying was getting worse but because I was maturing I was starting to understand that the bullies were nothing but children who targeted my weak spots... it worked but still, at least I was maturing enough to know it.
In school I had very few friends, only two I can think of that I would consider true friends, these friends weren't always nice to me but I passed the majority of the things off as friends taking the piss. After several suicide attempts, more self-harm, and God knows how many nights I'd cried myself to sleep or whatever, at 16 things started to change and this is how.
I walked into a shop and went straight to the magazine isle, I LOVED women's magazines but this day I had seen so much on the TV about how large the average woman was getting, how they used to look, accounts on Twitter making highly offensive fat jokes, insensitive parents using "tough love" to make children lose weight and I had had enough. So, when I saw the typical magazine article where a clinically underweight celeb put on enough wight to be considered healthy, the magazine branded them the worst word possible... FAT *DUN DUN DUUUUUNN*
I laughed to myself, I'd taken these articles as gospel as a child, but how can anybody take something seriously where medical advice and medical opinions are given by journalists? Girls are made to feel bad by inaccurate medical and health opinions given by someone who works in a completely different field! It sounds daft but that was my turning point. From that day I stopped picking up those magazines that made me feel awful about myself.
I still had issues with how I looked obviously so I thought it was time to address them and I did it my getting dressed every morning and saying one nice thing about myself, even if I didn't mean it, it did feel great to have said something nice. I remember one day I got to the bathroom mirror and without thinking, without having to remind myself to do it I said "Wow, I look so cute today!" and I meant it, that was the best feeling I've ever experienced. Obviously that wasn't the only thing that I used to boost my body confidence, I'm on instagram and I follow accounts such as Tess Munster (Holliday now I believe), Body Positivity, I look at and absolutely love the Carol Rosetti drawings. When you're trying to build up your body confidence and trying to love yourself for who you are I can't lie to you, it's a difficult and long road, picture a turtle trying to walk up a steep hill that's covered in peanut butter on a hot summer day. That's how difficult it is, however in this day and age the media including social media also push it down our throats not to fat shame or skinny shame but each day girls and boys are told they need to be skinny, they need to be strong, muscular, curvy is bad, a bit of a belly is a sin and god forbid you get labeled as fat because they make out your life is over! Well I will tell you something for nothing, your life in never over unless you allow it to be! Whether you're fat, skinny, middle, wobbly or green you have a life, you are valued and you are BEAUTIFUL. I'm a plus size blogger, I'm fat, my clothes go above a size 18 and I am actually healthy. I have the best friends a girl could wish for, I'm enjoying college and I'm on my way to getting my ideal career, I have the most wonderful family anybody could ever dream of and most importantly I truly do love the person I am.
For all of you girls and boys struggling with anything body related make a list of things you're good at, things you know, things you like, what you want to do and who you want to be. After all, if a person has good thoughts they are beautiful.
I wish all of you the best of luck of any of you are wanting to start your journey to self-love and body positivity.