Truthfully, I didn’t know what I was going to write for this post. I was minding my own business having a right good sing along to Avril Lavigne and editing this photo set when it came to me. See, out of the 100 or so photos we took of this outfit, I struggled to find 8 that I liked for this post. If I’m honest, there’s really only 4 or 5 I’m actually a fan of and that’s because you can’t really see my body.
I’ve always had an odd relationship with the way I look. I’ve touched upon this in a post before so I’m not going to go too in depth here but essentially my issues with the way I look took route in my teenage years. As a 12 year old I remember a friend of Mum’s telling me I looked just like her but “you’re much curvier though”. This isn’t a bad thing necessarily, but telling this to a 12 year old who hero worships her Mum and wants to be just like her when she grows up isn’t ideal. I didn’t really consider it again until I was 16 and saw nasty comments about the size of my bum floating around Myspace. I became a girl obsessed and from then on my relationship with my body has gone from bad to much, much worse.
I’ll be honest, dealing with a host of mental illnesses and physical conditions really hasn’t helped to make my relationship with my body any easier. I’m forever angry at it for not working the way I want it to, for not giving me a day off from constant mental torment, but I’m getting there. I re-joined the gym last month after moving to a new area and I’m making myself go three times a week to really build up a fitness routine. After moving out in 2015, I didn’t look after myself at all and two years of little exercise and too much junk food took its toll. I think I can see some small changes already which is good and my relationship with my body is very slowly starting to improve simply from the knowledge that I’m doing something about it.
So what is the problem? Where does blogging come into it?
I think that my relationship with myself has definitely been worse since I began this blog. While in the past I hated what I saw in the mirror, I was really only confronted with that image a few times a day and that was it. Since starting my blog and shooting outfits regularly I’m confronted with looking at images of myself on a daily basis. There’s nothing quite like that one really unflattering photo to make you feel the worst kinda way, and it can genuinely put you in a pretty terrible mindset. This is especially hard when you browse through Instagram and you see your friends, your peers, and those you look up to in the industry absolutely killing it and you wish you looked like them. The blogging industry as a whole is hugely populated with skinny white women, and this is something that is definitely being discussed more and more recently. In an industry where only skinny women are being represented as the ‘goal’, where clothes look most flattering on those with a tiny frame, it’s hard. This is coming from the perspective of someone who is technically a size 6/8 (although I will argue that is just because I am in general a very petite person and not because I am “thin” per se) who has just got a little out of shape. If it’s affecting me so much I can’t bare to think about how much it might affect someone else who struggles even more than I do.
I think it’s a slippery slope, but I also don’t think it’s something that’s going to change much. While I can’t wait for more plus sized ladies and gorgeous women of colour to get more representation in the industry, I still think that for the most part brands and people in general will idolise those with a smaller frame. It’s always been the way in the fashion industry and to me blogging doesn’t seem much different. Perhaps this is one of the reasons I’m starting to favour Youtube more – it’s certainly more flattering in terms of creating fashion content for me and I don’t always have to stare at the parts of my body I can’t stand when editing photos.
What are your thoughts on this? I realise I haven’t really concluded this post, I guess its an ongoing issue and something I think about and consider fairly regularly.
Jacket: Shein* | Top: Topshop | Jeans: Zara | Shoes: Vans Old Skool