Body confidence is something I massively struggle with on a daily basis, though if you were to take a glance at any of my social media platforms, you probably wouldn’t believe me. You will find pictures of me fully clothed, or in barely any clothing at all looking pretty damn happy in myself. But these days are few and far between, and when they do happen I like to document them so I can look back and know that I don’t exclusively hate myself or my body at all.
Over the years, the beauty standards for womens bodies have remained roughly the same [excluding a few details here or there]. The current “sought after” look is generally a tiny waist, big bum, and big [ish] boobs with no stretch marks and no sign of cellulite whatsoever. Obviously, this is a ridiculously unrealistic standard that only a small portion of women on Instagram have been able to achieve. Be it by surgery or simply going to the gym, they’re generally the envy of current society.
So how do you achieve that same level of confidence with a body that doesn’t fit the mould? The only advice I am able to give is what I actively practice myself in order to dress how I want and just do whatever the fuck I want with the body that I have.
- Fake it ’til you make it | I honestly live by this motto. While I may not have the confidence to wear something in reality, I can give the impression that I do by simply faking it out. Pretend that you don’t give a shit, invent a new persona for yourself – you name it!
- Ignore strangers | I’ve encountered a lot of starers while out in public when wearing crop tops or anything that people say I just shouldn’t be wearing. The best way to deal with this is to hold your head up and blatantly ignore them. Chances are you’ll never see them again anyway, so why let them get to you?
- Just wear it | That crop top you’ve been hiding at the back of your wardrobe? Wear it. That bikini you want to buy that you don’t think you have the body for? Wear it! Just WEAR IT and be proud of yourself. You look great, trust me.
- Experiment | If you’re anything like me, you’ll have put off finding your own personal style because all you wanted to do was cover yourself up. I did this because I gained a lot of weight gradually over the years and felt like it was something I had to do to try and hide myself away. this means that I don’t really have a sense of personal style, because I didn’t really give myself the chance to find one. So just experiment with different looks and find what fits you and your personality the best.
- OWN IT | No matter what you’re wearing, just try and own it. Even if you’re doing something totally boring like going down to the supermarket, radiate good energy and happiness. Confidence comes from within, and in order to truly achieve it you have to overcome emotional hurdles and struggles but it’s absolutely worth it in the end.
Many people have blacklisted the body positive movement as an “excuse for people to get naked on the internet for attention”. Let’s be honest, naked bodies have been the centre of photography, publications and artwork for centuries before selfies were even a thing. I think that a lot of individuals are still very much caught up in what they think people should and shouldn’t be doing because of their body type.
This kind of mindset is old and boring and quite frankly I refuse to entertain it any longer because it’s making me miss out on all sorts of opportunities and fun experiences that I want to be able to have. Growing up, not everyone had a style inspiration or role model to look up to because the target market was generally women with a very specific body type.
Times have changed and plus size clothing ranges are things which exist in many highstreet store collections. There are supermodels who are a size 16 and over who have made a name for themselves in a society that always said they couldn’t. While there’s still a long way to go, I enjoy the direction in which body positivity is changing the fashion industry and also changing the confidence of the people who wear the clothes.
“Acceptance of others, their looks, their behaviors, their beliefs, bring you an inner peace and tranquility – instead of anger and resentment.”