Above is the type of photograph that I never thought I would feel brave enough to share on my blog. My stomach is showing, you can see my slightly odd bellybutton and my arms are bare. Those are the things that make me feel super exposed. And not forgetting the fact that I've got a small scab on my cheek from having my face waxed. Because I'm a pretty hairy girl and currently have more peach fuzz than I'd like to admit. But today I wanted to talk about something that's very close to my heart and that is blogging and body image.
MY OWN BODY IMAGE & CONFIDENCE
Something that I have mentioned before in the five years that I've been writing From Roses is that I used to have a two eating disorders. I struggled with body dysmorphia and food phobia for many years. And it's still something that I struggle with to an extent today. Whilst I might be a long way away from how I used to view myself I truly believe that if you've battled an eating disorder it's not something that ever truly leaves you. Hence, why I rarely make an appearance on my blog. This isn't I've openly said before but that's the reason. I don't want to start getting into negative thought processes by constantly being the focal point of my content. Whilst I know that might be frustrating to some that I don't show the beauty products that I'm writing about on my face. For my own personal happiness and well-being, it's probably not ever going to be something I feel comfortable doing.
My body dysmorphia was never incredibly severe but it was still problematic. But where I've always really struggled is with my food phobia. Ever since I was a child I've always had a small list of food that I've enjoyed and stuck with it. And when it came to trying anything new it caused a huge amount of anxiety and panic. Some might just say that's fussy eating but it goes much further than that. And I think it's incredibly important never to mock or judge people who might feel anxious about food. It's not something that can be forced out of you and it takes so much time and patience to battle through. And it's easy to become confused with someone missing meals to lose weight and then someone just feels incredibly anxious about food.
So it's probably almost a given that I've struggled with my body image and confidence. And over the years, I've definitely gone through highs and lows. A big low for me was when I got incredibly poorly with a chronic illness. It's something that's had a huge impact on my weight and my eating habits. With severe patches of bad health and then periods on steroid medication. My body has changed a lot which hasn't been all that easy on my mental state and made me feel ashamed of the body that I have.
Since March of this year, I've felt like I've really hit a turning point with my body image and confidence. Because in reality I only have one body and even though it might not quite work all that well. I have every right to appreciate the skin I'm in. Just like every human being in this world does and I don't want to waste any more time on disliking limbs that I'm fortunate enough to have. My definition of body confidence might not be what other people associate with the word. For me, I just want to feel truly happy in my skin in my mind and feel that I have a positive relationship with my body. And never to judge others on their appearance, shape or size. Because those aren't things that define us as people. This is something that will probably be a never-ending journey and one that doesn't have a set end point. But it's one I feel will have a positive impact on my life.
& THE BLOGGING WORLD
Personally, I think the blogging world has done amazing things for body confidence. It's put everyday girls into the spotlight and has shown so many different body types so that we can all relate to someone in one way or another. But if there is one thing that is prominent especially in the UK. Is that all what people would consider the 'top tier' bloggers all have an incredibly similar body type. And of course there isn't anything wrong with that and all body types deserve to be loved and celebrated. But we have such a huge platform to make room for everybody and one isn't better than the other. It's so important to show different body types but also ethnicities.
There is a huge amount of acceptance in the blogging world but then there is also so much negativity. The same horrible comments that were once on the pages of trashy newspapers about someone having cellulite on their legs. Are now regularly seen on Instagram, blog posts and YouTube videos. I truly don't think we can champion a change in body image and positivity if we're going to judge others so harshly and not allow them to vulnerable. Because even just one person being a little bit vulnerable can empower other people so much.
When asking on Instagram what other people thought about this subject. There was a large consensus of people feeling the pressure to be perfect and they didn't feel good enough to show their face online. And then a lot of others felt like the blogging world had been incredibly empowering to them. These are both things that I can relate to, not only as a blogger but as a reader too. I know the pressures of being a blogger and only wanting to look your best online but then also wanting to be relatable. Having a dreamy blog and beautiful pictures doesn't make you fake as a person. You can have the most stunning imagery and still share your struggles.
Creators do have somewhat of a responsibility with what they're putting out online. But we as viewers also have a responsibility with what we take from what we're seeing. Because I don't believe that we should rely on others to either fix our internal issues as in reality no-one can do that. Of course, bloggers can raise other body types up and be relatable as blogging has become such a huge platform that it can be used in such a positive way.
Personally, the blogging world hasn't impacted my body confidence or image in a negative way. Quite the opposite, I've found so many people online who have faced similar struggles to me and realised that you're never alone in those struggles. This is something that I wish I'd been able to feel at a young age, especially during my school years. I wish the feelings that I've experienced is something that could be universal for everyone who has ever struggled with their confidence. Because seeing other girls so happy in their skin and love their body is incredibly inspirational. Every single body type deserves to be appreciated and loved, no matter what it is. There is no one size fits all, we're all so different and that is something to be celebrated.