I’m all for body positivity, self-acceptance and loving yourself in a way that no-one else can. What I’m not for is the idea that once you’ve accepted yourself and decided to love yourself unashamedly, you can’t ever take a step backwards.
Here’s the thing, I, to a great degree, have accepted myself the way that I am and respect my mind and my body just the way it is. I no longer grab parts of myself that are too flabby or stare at my skin in the mirror until I’ve noticed enough spots or scars to start crying. I’ve had a rollercoaster journey with myself throughout my teenage years and into my current early adulthood, but the last six months or so have marked a newfound period of my life, where respect for myself and confidence in myself aren’t solely dependent on how I look.
This, however, is a double-edged sword. Since I’ve become more accepting of my appearance, I’ve started to notice other things about myself that I haven’t yet accepted, or simply don’t like For example, I don’t like how awkward I can be around people. I very much realised this last weekend when I spent basically two solid days around a group of people I’d never met before. I didn’t like how I represented myself and in hindsight, I wish I’d told myself ‘it’s okay, you can try again’, rather than ‘this is who I am, better get used to being the one who can’t make conversation’.
Does this make sense?
Now that we live in a society adamant that we all must love ourselves, whether we’re fat or thin or funny or really really boring, it feels strange to say out loud to myself that I don’t like something about myself. To the point where it becomes pointless to share these dislikes with other people. Because everyone will just shoot you down and dismiss how you feel.
I feel like this is where a lot of people get stuck with the whole body confidence/self-confidence schmuck. You’re striving every day to love yourself and let go of all those bad feelings you hold towards yourself, but what if there’s something there that you really don’t like? Maybe it’s that you’re not great at conversation (like me), or that you can’t stand having your arms out (also me). You don’t want to hold onto the negativity but it really brings you down, but everything (and everyone) is telling you that you’re perfect the way you are.
I mean, of course, we’re all perfect… but no-one’s perfect really, are they? (Apart from me.) (JK).
We are all works in progress, and we’ve got the let that progress happen. Blanketing over all our personal downfalls with the recurring squark of, ‘no, you’re fine!’ isn’t helping anyone in the long run.
I’ve noticed quite a few times that when a plus size blogger or vlogger want to lose weight they’re nervous about letting everyone know. They think that because they’ve promoted being happy at their current size that they’re letting themselves down by wanting to be slimmer, but why turn the experience you have had of self-confidence into a negative? That was the last chapter and this can be the new one, one that’s equally as self-loving and positive.
So when I say that we’re allowed to dislike ourselves, I don’t mean that we shouldn’t all be advocates for self-love and self-acceptance. I mean that if there’s something you want to change, you can change it. Don’t feel like you’re letting the side of body positivity down because you won’t be!
We’re all works in progress so can we stop with the blanket positivity, please? Not everything is great all of the time and quite frankly it’s normal to have days where you feel bad about yourself or months where you work on bad habits. Without these days we probably wouldn’t ever feel driven to step forward, and maybe this stepping forward is actually stepping back and saying, ‘wait, I don’t like this’ and changing it.
I really hope that someone gets where I’m coming from with this…
I’d love to know how you feel about blanket body positivity, or feeling like you’re not allowed to work on yourself.
For now, I’m sending loads of self-love your way (just make sure you use it in the right ways),