Sunday 6 June 2010

The body beautiful?

Let's talk about body image.

It seems that everyone has hang ups. Everyone. Whether they let it be known or whether they hide it, everyone has something that they wish was thinner, bigger, firmer, more toned or more pert. Bigger (or smaller, for that matter) boobs, smaller thighs, less flabby arms, a toned stomach. Are we ever truly happy with the body we inhabit? With the body we've been blessed with?

It's been fairly well documented (I'm a blogger, I've been doing it for 11 years, oversharing is in my nature) that I've lost a sizeable amount of weight this year. Almost 3 stone in fact. 39 pounds and counting.

But has it made me any happier? In some ways, undoubtedly yes. In other ways, not so much. If anything, I'm far more critical of myself now than I was when I was bigger (when I was bigger I used to avoid mirrors most of the time and would actively try not to think about the way I looked. I have so much admiration for bigger girls who have amazing amounts of self confidence as I had virtually none). I certainly take a lot longer to get ready now. Although I think that's mainly because I have a larger choice of clothes that I can wear now. Before I wore whatever fitted me, from the limited selection in my wardrobe. More choice equals more indecision equals dancing around my room trying approximately 26 outfits on before inevitably deciding to wear the first one I tried.

In Edinburgh last weekend I was wondering whether I could get away with wearing the strapless dress pictured above. One of the girls said to me 'You've not accepted your new body yet have you?'. And I think she was right. After being big(ger) for so long, I think I'd convinced myself that I could never wear certain styles of clothes. Strapless dresses being one. So I wore that dress and, for the first time for as long as I can remember, I didn't hide my legs in leggings or tights. In short, I basically felt naked. Naked in super high heels that later reduced my feet to ravaged stumps.

I also felt confident though. And I think that was the most disarming thing of all. After feeling so unassured for so long it was a foreign feeling, so far removed from the way I felt only a few short months ago.

While I may never feel like a supermodel, and I'll certainly never have the legs of one, I think I'm learning to love the body I'm in. Although, if you're there God (it's me Margaret), I would like smaller thighs please.

What are your body hang-ups?

First picture: Dress - ASOS
Second picture: Dress - Tesco (!); Cardigan - thrifted; Necklace - Dorothy Perkins; Shoes - ASOS