So a bit of a personal post today. If you’re not into that and only here to look at pretty clothes (hey, I don’t blame you :p), then back away slowly.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the fakeness of social media. Any random browse through facebook will tell you: everyone’s life is amazing. Like, REALLY amazing. But underneath that perfect glossy exterior, there are less-than-perfect people leading less-than-perfect lives. I don’t know about you guys, but my facebook timeline pretty much looks like this:
So consider this post an homage to reality!
I’m a bodywarrior. I stand up for and believe in the idea that everyone has the right to have a body the way they want to. That we should always love ourselves no matter what, cause everyone is beautiful and awesome in their own special way. And all of that is true. What I usually don’t mention though, is how hard it can be.
There are plenty of women out there, in all sizes, who have always felt pretty great about themselves and their bodies and never had any real struggles. I’m not one of them. I struggle sometimes. My journey to bodypositivity and body acceptance is not a perfect one.
For instance: even though I love the beach and love to swim and love bikini’s and love to tan and encourage all women to go ahead and wear a bikini if they want to, I myself have never actually worn a bikini to the beach until last summer. And that was only cause I have an incredibly loving and supportive boyfriend who knows to push me out of my comfortzone (in a good way). Oh, and because we were on a private beach, in a place where I didn’t know any of the other people. How brave.
I think of all the times that I was worried about the harsh sunlight making my cellulite look bad, or if my stomach looked flat enough when I laid down. All the times I tried to look for something to cover my stomach with when sitting down, or put my clothes on again when going to get a drink, cause I was too embarassed to walk over there in my bathingsuit… I could have been having fun, laughing with friends, enjoying the sun, running to the water, building sandcastles… But I didn’t. Cause I was too worried about my body.
I can’t count the numbers of times I tried on a bikini in the story and completey broke down at the sight of myself in a two-piece (on a sidenote: when are they going to fix the horrid lighting in those cabins???). I would close my eyes so I wouldn’t have to look at myself anymore, sit down in the changing cabin and silently cry because I was so disgusted and disappointed by what I saw in the mirror.
Reading this really hurts me. And I know it’s absurd. I’m not ugly. I know I’m beautiful. I’m proud of my body. And besides all of that, I’m a pretty great person, and I have no problem saying that because it’s true. So to know that I can feel such strong negative feelings about my own body is pretty shocking.
What’s even more shocking is thinking about the thousands of beautiful and amazing girls and women out there, of all shapes and sizes, who feel just like me sometimes or all the time. What a complete waste of awesomeness.
I’m working REALLY hard on accepting myself and loving myself. Just the way I am, flaws and everything. And even though it’s amazing and exciting and wonderful, it’s also probably one of the scariest and most difficult things I’ve ever had to do.
So there you have it. The ugly truth. I’m not saying this because I pity myself (no sad violin music here!), or to fish for compliments (I’ve already told myself how pretty and awesome I am *pats herself on back*). I guess I just hope someone will read this and feel a bit better about themselves afterwards. It’s okay to love yourself but not be so sure of that every now and then. You are not alone in this feeling. You can get to a much better place though, one step at a time, and you will hopefully inspire others to do the same. If I could just do that, for one person, that would already be beyond anything I could hope for.
That’s my truth: the road to loving yourself, to self-acceptance, to being a bodywarrior… it’s not always easy. But it’s worth it.
If you are anything like me, you’ve read it and tried it before: getting “ready” for summer. You can’t pick up a magazine without some sort of “ready for summer?” line in there somewhere. It usually starts very subtle, in the early days of spring, but quickly escalates to a deafening roar mid-june (when everyone is panicking, wishing they had started sooner). Oh yes, it’s definitely that time of the year again.
Getting ready usually involves some sort of bootcamp-like training regime (of course they promise you you can get the perfect body with just 10 minutes of light exercise a day… but come on, you’re smarter than that. If it were that easy, we’d all be doing it!), a new bikini-approved-diet, a total bodywax and 50 shades of tanningproducts.
To this I say: no more. This madness has got to end. Seriously. What happens when you’re not “ready” anyway? Do you get punished somehow? Are you banned to a place where hairy legs, winterweight and white leggings go to die? If I’m not ready, then what am I?
The only thing that isn’t “ready for summer” after reading all those articles year in year out, is my confidence. Time to fix that!
Don’t be afraid to wear a swimsuit just because you don’t have a “swimsuit body”. The easiest way to get a swimsuit body is by putting a swimsuit on your body. That’s really all it takes.
The only way you’ll ever have Kim’s behind, Cameron’s abs or Jennifer’s legs, is if you are Kim, Cameron or Jennifer. While I do believe exercise is a wonderful tool to get in shape, there’s just no way you’ll ever be a shape other than the one you’re born to be. Stop wasting time trying to fit into a shape you’re not meant to have, and start loving the body you have!
is this really how you want to spend your summer?
There are maybe 8 women on the planet who don’t have cellulite or stretchmarks or other imperfections on their body (I know, I’ve counted them). The rest is photoshopped, or have cleverly managed to cover up any imperfections, or somehow always stand in the perfect kind of light that just kisses smoothly over their skin instead of showing every lump and bump (something I’d like to call cellulight).
There is absolutely no need to feel subconscious about something you share with about 3 billion other women. Let it go, you are human, there’s is nothing wrong with you, it’s no big deal.
On the left, a picture of Scarlett Johansson, a beautiful woman. On the right, a picture of Scarlett Johansson in a bikini with some cellulite (the horror!!). Still a beautiful woman.
When you want something you can’t have, it seems like everyone has it. It’s the same with “perfect bodies”; when you’re obsessed about how bad you look, it seems like everyone around you looks perfect. But they have insecurities of their own (even though they shouldn’t either). Maybe they’re looking at you and thinking “I wish I had her boobs, she looks amazing”. Get used to the idea of women in all shapes and sizes wearing swimsuits and summery outfits (google is your friend), so you can detox the habit of thinking everyone looks perfect, and start appreciating the beauty of diversity and imperfections.
picture from stylehasnosize.com
After all, summer isn’t about looking a certain way. It’s about going for a swim with your friends, the sunkissed skin of a loved one, late night walks, icecream, barbecues, bikerides, picknicks, traveling the world or enjoying your own backyard and lots of fun and laughter.
No matter your size, no matter your shape, no matter how “ready” you are… you deserve this. So go get it!