The Lauren Messiah Love Your Body Challenge day six is all about identifying your own personal definition of beauty that doesn’t necessarily line up with societies expectations.
One thing I did think about during this exercise is whether it is such a bad thing that the “perfect” body in the media is always changing. Yes, it is impossible to keep up with body trends, but is it not a good thing that different shapes get show cased over the decades? Obviously there are negative connotations associated with anything to do with fashion, but maybe there is a way to celebrate other body types without putting down your own.
For me, happy and healthy are the most important things. That sounds like such a cop out answer but is it such a bad thing to have simple expectations?
On a purely aesthetic level, I will admit that I do prefer my body when I’m a bit slimmer than I am now but only when it is attained in a healthy way. I can’t stress that enough. A couple of years ago I lost probably a stone and a half and was probably the smallest I had been in my adult life, it was horrible. Mainly because I had lost the weight through some weird medical thing that lead me to not be able to eat anything at all for about 5 days and then the recovery from that left me not being able to eat a proper meal for a good few months. I was tiny and literally couldn’t walk upstairs without getting out of breath. Horrendous just about describes that whole situation. 2 years later, condition under control, and heavier than when it all began, I couldn’t think of being intentionally cruel to my body. That whole situation was also the perfect demonstration on how lower weight doesn’t necessarily make you look any better in clothes. During that time, I still tried to dress myself nicely but pretty much the only comments I got were of worry not how fabulous my prominent collarbones were.
In the world of social media it is very easy to fall into pitfalls of following people that end up having very negative impacts on your mental health and body image. There is a very simple answer to this though, that I think many people forget sometimes (including me). Unfollow accounts that make you feel bad and focus on people with messages that make you feel good and empowered. I had an Instagram clear out a few months back and since then have been only choosing to follow accounts that are inspiring (obviously with a few that are just pretty, who can resist them?).
I feel like I’ve gone off on a bit of a rant there so back to the original point – my definition of beauty is embodying confidence and self worth. Beauty is definitely more than skin deep and being able to put two fingers up to the world and just be you is the biggest act of rebellion any woman can perform. I’d highly recommend anyone reading this to take a step back and reassess whether you are surrounding yourself with good influences or with negativity that isn’t going to lead you down a good path.