22 June 2015

SELF IMAGE

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I have wanted to post this for a little while but, as usual with particularly personal posts, it has taken some courage and strength to 'just do it'! I also would like to add that another reason for not wanting to put this up is because I didn't want anyone to think I am after some kind of positive feedback to feed my ego; hand on heart, this is not the case and makes me cringe when I see posts that I think are purely placed for people to massage their egos! (Phew, so glad to have cleared that up!).

There are a few reasons for me posting a self-image post at this moment in time. The first one is because I have a continuing personal battle with my own self-image, the second is that I work in a school and worry like crazy about what gets fed to these poor kids and the things they worry about at such a young and vulnerable age and the third reason is because of what is still placed in the media (social or otherwise) for all of us to look at is so bloody damaging and I cannot believe things have not moved on yet! (Even in magazines aimed at 'older' women like myself - i.e not teenagers!)

Let me address the first issue - my own self image...When I was young/teenager I looked a lot like this (well, exactly like this actually, because those pictures are of me!)

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No kid looks their absolute best when they are trying to find out who they are. Add hormones into the mix and it is a bit of a struggle isn't it? Needless to say I was very badly bullied at school for a number of reasons including being big, wearing glasses, having spots and whatever else the lovely individuals felt like yelling at me on any given day. Whilst they trundled along with their day, probably forgetting they had even said a thing, I was left feeling worthless. This is something that has stuck with me ever since those days and I don't think will ever pass.

I am aware that it is impossible to police what kids are saying to one another but I do think we can teach (both in school and at home) a more positive way of thinking, not only about our own bodies, but about how others look and the impact we can have through one measly comment. 

I have been left with some pretty deep emotional scars from my past but am a lot more positive than I used to be about how I look. I have days where I think 'f*%k it', I am who I am, I have lumps and bumps, I have physical scars from my past (grrr...stretch marks!) and I am getting damn wrinkles for heavens sake, but I am just an ordinary woman, trying to make the best of her life and I keep as healthy as I can. I eat 'clean' 90% of the time, I exercise regularly and I try my very best always to be kind and thoughtful and help out others. So, when I am all down about myself I try to remember those things and not dwell on those horrible people who told me I wasn't good enough/thin enough/pretty enough (etc etc) to 'fit in'. What is 'fitting in' anyway? And who decided that there is certain criteria for fitting in? They should take a long walk off a short pier in my opinion.

With age comes an understanding that we are who we are and, despite the fact that most of us are not truly happy with ourselves in some form or another, as we grow into ourselves I think we start to appreciate how amazing our bodies are. They are ruddy awesome machines that heal us when we are poorly, hold onto millions of memories (or, in my case, song lyrics to the most random, ancient songs ever!), they are the vessels we live in for many years and carry us through the good times and the bad. In my opinion that is pretty effing great.

I could write about this stuff all day long but I guess my main point is this: whether it is bullying or an un-achievable, photo-shopped body in a magazine, we have to be so careful what we are putting out there or saying to young people (and adults actually) because it hangs around for the rest of their lives. That is no joke. So, let's just try to reduce the pressure a bit and appreciate ourselves a little more, because we all have through enough stress in our lives without comparing ourselves to an unrealistic image. Instead, let's admire intelligent, inspirational women out there, regardless of what they look like. Let's try our best to look in the mirror in the morning and find even one thing we love about our appearance (I'm sure there is more than one thing!), because you are bloody awesome, just the way you are.

xoxo
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2 comments

  1. Yes! Lucy, I LOVE this. It is so important to be giving out the right message to young people. It's so awesome you let yourself be vulnerable by putting this out there xx

    PS - you are beautiful inside and out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gemma :-)
      I had to take a deep breath before hitting 'publish' on this one! xx

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