So, I really need to stop writing posts the night before they’re due to go up. I’m sat here at almost 11pm on a Monday night following a particularly dramatic episode of Made in Chelsea and with my Monday Motivation playlist on quietly trying to put my thoughts into some sort of coherence for you guys to read.
I touched briefly on the issue of comparison last week, and in particular my habit of comparing myself to my younger self and this is something I’d like to talk about again today, because that comparison is mostly me looking at my old figure and screaming ‘WHY GOD WHY? WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE?!’ while stuffing my face with my third mini roll of the evening and lamenting how my body has changed in in the past two (or three) years.
I’ve always had a funny perception of myself and my body. I am very grateful for the shape I am and the way I look, and I know there are people out there who probably can’t see what I’m complaining about, but at the same time I’ve felt incredibly conscious probably since the age of 16. Prior to that I never really thought about my figure – I was happy with it I guess. I wasn’t massively aware of my curves or the size of my bum and as far as I was concerned I was just a small girl in both height and frame and that was fine. Then when I was 16 I remember seeing comments on Myspace about me saying that I had a massive bum and all of a sudden it was like a switch was flipped in my brain and I became hugely aware of how the lower half of my body looked.
Throughout college and my first year of university I was very poorly. I was incredibly depressed, on a very high dose of anti-depressants and I was struggling a lot. The weight dropped off me and in that time I became very, very thin. Mum took me out of university because she was worried for my mental health and after a year of living back at home I was back at my normal, healthy weight and seeing a fantastic counsellor. I also started competitive dancing again and seriously caught the competition bug so I became like something possessed. I was training 6 or 7 days a week most weeks and going to the gym and eating so healthily on top of that, my body thrived. I was sheer muscle and I felt incredible – unfortunately I did catch a really bad stomach bug and then a few weeks later I got food poisoning so I did drop a lot of weight in that month, but I was still overall very healthy and in the pictures from back then I look great.
But at the time I couldn’t see it. I hated my body still – I thought I needed to lose weight and I was convinced that dancing was making my thighs and bum huge.
Now I would give anything to look like I used to again – I moved out with no real knowledge of nutrition or how to cook for myself and a good 18 months of eating badly has of course had an effect on my shape. I’m starting to make changes to both my diet and my exercise regime this year but of course it won’t be an immediate change and I think now when I look at pictures of myself I really struggle to look past the areas of my body I can’t stand.
I feel like this is hugely prevalent in the blogging industry in general though, and it makes me sad. I was taking a set of outfit photos with Joe over the weekend and I wasn’t happy with any of them, when he asked me why I realised that it wasn’t the photos themselves but it was me – I hated the pictures of me because I looked like me rather than being tall/skinny or model-esque. It made me realise how much I compare myself to girls I’ll never look like simply because I just don’t have their frame. I’m not a tall girl and unfortunately I never will be, and I’m not a model. I have curves however much I wish I didn’t, and right now my love of Galaxy still comes before my love of the gym. While I’m making some positive changes, they won’t happen overnight and I have to learn to be confident and comfortable with the girl in the mirror for the time being as she is the only person I’ll ever be.
While I think that my perception of and relationship with my body has always been difficult, its definitely been worse since entering the blogging world and becoming so active on social media. I find myself getting sad and annoyed at myself when I can’t wear something as well as other bloggers, or when I’m unable to produce the content I want like they do because I’m not tall or particularly lean and strong.
Do you find yourself comparing yourself to other bloggers? Do you think the industry has harmed your perception of yourself and made you more critical? Let me know in the comments.
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