It's Ok Not To Be Body Confident
Stop just telling women they should love themselves and start actually giving them a reason to by normalising what an average woman truly looks like.
Words by Amy Gibson
Before the 50s, curves were fashionable. They were seen as womanly and attractive. One of the most well known female icons, Marilyn Monroe, was famously a size 14 and society never pressured her or women in general at the time to force themselves into unhealthy diets to look a certain way. At the turn of the century, digital media rapidly improved and so did its ability to influence millions of people. Now, finally, we are starting to recognise a more realistic body types with new idols such as Ashley Graham, Adele and Amy Schumer.
Whilst it is amazing that so many people are becoming more body confident, I applaud anyone who is, it is important to recognise that it is okay not to be too. I sometimes feel like there’s a lot of pressure to be confident in your body. I am not fully confident, I never wear clothes that cling to my stomach and I very often have days where I cannot bear what I look like in the mirror. By the same token, I have other days where I feel amazing and feel completely body positive.
Recently, whilst on holiday in Thailand, I uploaded my first ever bikini picture to Facebook. It took about 3 days of reasoning, several pictures back and forth to my best friend and my boyfriend and finally I got the courage to post it. My stress was not caused by how many likes I got, but about whether I would be the subject of the next coffee morning of girls I hadn’t spoken to in 3 years. ‘Did you see how much weight Amy put on since we left school?’ or ‘Fancy uploading a picture like that.’ Reasonably, I know that I’m not even that big, but it was still a big deal to me. Since then, I have had so many moments where I have wanted to delete the picture and it has taken all my strength not to. In my head I imagine girls over dinner saying ‘Did you see Amy took down that picture after all?’, ‘She must’ve realised how bad it looked.’ Even though rationally I know, its several pictures down on my feed, none of them will probably ever see it again and couldn’t care less if it disappeared.
I applaud anyone that is 100% confident in themselves, but I think it is important to be realistic too. Most people are not that confident in themselves, and when I see constant articles and messages telling you that you should be happy with how you look, and I am having a day that I’m not, it can make me feel more insecure than I did before. I am a very content girl, I have family and a boyfriend that love me how I am and I have never done anything drastic to change the way I look. Despite all of this, I still have days where I hate the way I look and I am sure many other people do too. I think all of the steps that brands are making to encourage self-love are amazing, and I do not want them to slow at all. I just want some reassurance sometimes that we should not have to feel that way and that it’s okay to have down days as long as you remember that another good one will follow. It is okay to promote body positivity, but it needs to be followed through with more plus size role-models, realistic clothing sizes and changes in attitudes. Stop just telling women they should love themselves and start actually giving them a reason to by normalising what an average woman truly looks like.