Contemplating Body Image

Today I wanted to do a blog post on my thoughts on body image and body confidence. This is a topic that I find quite difficult to talk about and I'm not entirely sure why but I'm going to give it a go. (It might contain a lot of me rambling on).
I think for me, I find body image and general appearance conversations difficult, like even with friends when it's talking about things we do and don't like about ourselves, or complaining about our skin being in a bad state... I find it a real challenge and often feel uncomfortable, but I don't want it to be a topic that I don't feel comfortable discussing. I think part of this is because everyone notices different flaws about themselves and it just makes people feel worse, or leads to people jumping in with things they do like and trying to help the person, but not usually successfully. I also think it's because in my head and heart, I strongly believe that everyone is beautiful; everyone has their imperfections but they're still beautiful and in fact imperfections help make us up and therefore make up our beauty, but at the same time I often don't see it in myself. I then think about all of the other more important issues in my life and other people's lives and it just makes me think that appearance shouldn't be the thing that stops you from being happy and enjoying your life, there are so many other things that try to do that for you! Obviously this isn't the case, there are so many pressures to look and be a certain way that it makes it difficult not to put ourselves down and feel crap about our appearance. So many people struggle with body confidence and loving their body for different reasons, and to different degrees i.e. some struggle with it more than others.

I find it so easy to pick apart all of the things I dislike about myself and very difficult to pick out what I do like, and it shouldn't be like that. People should be able to look in the mirror and like what they see, feel confident about themselves and be able to think, 'you know what, I have a really nice...' It shouldn't be so difficult, but for many it is. There are days where I just hate everything and I think, 'oh well if I was thinner this might be different' or 'if I looked more like that then this would be better' but I'd love to be able to look at myself and think, 'yeah, I look good today and I can confidently do whatever it is I want to do'. 

For me, I would like to be a bit thinner and more toned just so that I can feel a bit happier in myself and so I have more confidence in myself. It may sound superficial or whatever but it is something that I struggle to admit to people; I love to be able to say 'everyone is beautiful' and that 'it's society that puts these pressures on us to look a certain way', but at the end of the day, I want to be happy and I want to boost my confidence and feel better in myself and I feel like one of the ways to do that is to improve my appearance in a healthy, natural way. 

I don't want to diet (not that I think there is anything wrong with that, it's just not something I want to do or a word I particularly like to use), instead I'm trying to increase how much exercise I do and improve my eating habits. I think I eat fairly healthily anyway but recently I have been a lot better; I always try to have healthy snacks, and pick healthy meals. I have particularly focused on cutting down the amount of sugar I eat (not counting fruit sugars), without completely cutting it out of my diet as I know that would just make me crave it more. I still eat sweets and chocolate and general treats occasionally, like when I'm spending time with my friends, but on a normal day, I try to avoid these kind of foods as much as possible.

One thing I can't stand is when people feel the need to comment negatively on someone else's appearance, I just don't understand why they would think it was okay. All it does is hurt people and damage their self esteem. I think it's far better to spend your time commenting on what you do like about someone instead, or if you can't do that, then just say nothing about it. 

On a similar note, I hate the word 'ugly' it is possibly my least favourite word to exist. I don't think it ever needs to be used and when people describe someone else as 'ugly', it really bothers me and I don't get why anyone ever thinks that word is okay to use... there is absolutely no point to it; all it does is knock people down. I can't ever see myself using that word to describe someone and I don't feel comfortable being involved in any conversations that include that word to be perfectly honest... If I never heard that word again it would be too soon. I would honestly rather listen to someone swear constantly than hear someone refer to somebody else or call somebody else 'ugly'. (Sorry bit of a rant there!)

I know people find different things attractive and different people attractive but that doesn't mean you have to put anyone else down to big up what you do like; you can appreciate their beauty without being attracted to them... they are completely different things.

I'm not really sure what the point is to this post, I just wanted to share my thoughts and experiences with you, as always, let me know in the comments what you think. I could probably have said a lot more but as it's already a pretty long post, I thought I'd just make my key points.

Please remember that you're beautiful, even if you don't always feel it. Thank you for reading. 

Love, Steph x

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