“Oh, look at her belly! Someone show her the salad bar.”
“Look how skinny he is! Someone give him a burger.”
“Look at her moustache!”
“He needs some muscle.”
As much as we hate to admit it, we all secretly judge people. Whether we are walking around town and people watching or watching something on TV, it is in our nature to pick out something about anyone that could be considered a flaw, but why do we do it? It does not make us bullies as we would never say it to anyone’s face to make them feel bad. It is just an observation which, regrettably, is all to make ourselves feel better. As long as we see flaws in other people it helps us to accept that all people have them, including ourselves.
There is a girl I know with enviable curves, a perfectly thin figure to die for and a flat stomach however she does not see this. Her big worry is that she has thin lips, a ‘pointy’ chin and ‘crows feet’ next to her eyes. Things that personally I have never noticed on her. Alternatively, there is myself who has a larger size 16 body, chunky cellulite legs which must remain hidden at all times and a belly that will never be flat. That is the focus of my life every day when deciding what to wear, but compared to my friend I have naturally pouty lips, a small chin and not a wrinkle in sight. I am guilty of taking all that for granted in exchange for hating something about myself which does not affect anyone else … but me.
Why can we not be happy with ourselves the way we are? Why do we look past the perfections? There are campaigns out there trying to teach us to love our bodies, accept who we are and have ‘body confidence’ which managed to inspire me for all of five minutes until I visited a bridal shop to try on dresses for my upcoming wedding. The first thing I was told upon entering was ‘the dress sizes aren’t realistic’ which was code for ‘none of these will fit you’. And they didn’t. A size 16 wedding dress is a high street 12/14. Not one of the dresses I chose would fit, and not one of them was above a size 16. This was such a heart-breaking experience for my first ever dress trial and by the end I found myself wishing that my wedding party would vanish so I could curl up in a corner and cry over my non-bridal-worthy body. I was forced in to a size 12 (so actually a 10) which made me feel ridiculous, embarrassed and morbidly obese. I know I am not obese. I’m classed as the average sized woman, but these shops do not cater for women like me.
A few weeks after my awful experience and thoughts of eloping to Alaska where I could dress like an Eskimo I consulted my female friends via Facebook for help. I was pointed in the direction of a bridal shop which catered for larger women. It could not have been a more magical experience. Even though the dresses were far too big I felt beautiful. I felt like a princess. No dress was off limits and I felt worthy enough to wear something so stunning, but for all that to happen I had to go to a specialised shop which only stocked those sizes. All my insecurities were made blindingly obvious whilst shopping for a day where I would be the centre of attention. All eyes would be on me, judging me, like we all judge without thinking.
Now, I could move on to talk about those Victoria’s Secret models with the unrealistic bodies, but what is the point? Anyone who does not work a standard 40 hour week sitting on their arses behind a computer which brings in a wage that just covers the bills and, oh yea, has a life… would probably manage to look like that too. Let me tell you, when scientists achieve growing lettuce to taste like salt and pepper chicken from my local Chinese takeaway I will get right on to working alongside Kendall Jenner (who occasionally likes to trick us with photos of her forcing a ginormous burger in to her mouth – yeah, who is she kidding?)
Whether you are too fat, too thin, too tall, too short, too hairy or whatever, no one can teach you to love yourself. No one can teach you to accept yourself. I will never love my body but I have to accept that this is me. I love my food, I love sitting at home and I hate exercise. People can try and convince me all they want to love myself but when I am browsing Facebook I find myself looking at the ‘inspirational’ weight loss before and after photos advertising Slimming World where I too can have that perfect body. Am I supposed to love myself or force myself to change to be perfect? I’m confused.
Now, whilst I ponder changing myself to fit in with the successful slimmer’s or the mesmeric models, it is Friday night and that means a Chinese for tea.
Ladies, it is your choice. Enjoy your body or enjoy your life. Right now, I want to enjoy my life, and you should too.