Just Seeing Me…

I’ve decided not to partake in the Friend Friday Blog Award Nominations (gee, I love a catchy opening sentence…). Not because I don’t want to give anyone credit – quite the opposite. I mulled over it for ages – and was certainly not short of ideas for nominations – but decided in the end that I wasn’t comfortable specifying names when the blogging world is an embarrassment of writing talent riches.

(Stop shouting “cop out”! I’m trying to be sincere here.)

Instead, I wanted to tip my hat to all of you who commented on last week’s body image post. Bizarrely (and rather naïvely), I expected to read a ton of light-hearted but earnest Friend Friday posts from self-conscious bloggers who found being photographed a chore – as I do. I couldn’t believe it when I read post after post that at best was body-loving, or at least body-accepting. It felt like turning up to a party in a sexy bunny outfit and discovering it wasn’t fancy dress. Or sliding down a fireman’s pole and showing my underwear. Either way, you get the Bridget Jones imagery.

“What do you mean, you don’t hate your bottom?!”
After reading 10 Friend Friday body image posts I started to feel very emotional; after 15 I had to make myself a strong cup of tea to sort myself out. I was amazed at how it stirred up all sorts of feelings and insecurities about my self-image.

A few hours later (armed with another strong brew) I read the comments on my own post. They varied from the comical response to me cropping off my head in all my photos:

PEARL
See, the redhead is for blogging. You should see the one I wear for reeling in the boys.
…to the reassurance of those who understood:

VESHOEVIUS

From the philosophical:

KATE @ MAKE DO STYLE

…to the encouraging:

FOREST CITY FASHIONISTA
…to the downright affecting:


I had a bit of an epiphany, if you like. I’ll be honest with you, comrades- and lord knows this ain’t easy to admit – but I went through the gamut of emotions that day. I felt like I got so much from my friends, from other posts, and the input on my own post. The whole thing shook me up, in a good way. The most surprising vibe I got was the idea of ‘facing my fear’, i.e., posting more pictures of myself, not less; I assumed that happiness would come from avoidance, rather than acceptance…but you all taught me a valuable lesson that day. Even hearing that bloggers tooks lots of photos to get the right one – that was a revelation!!

“I’ve either got body dismorphia, or a seriously warped mirror…”
In my original post, I quoted John Berger, who said that ‘women watch themselves being looked at‘, and there is a large amount of truth in that, particularly for me. I realised I’d stopped valuing myself for what I was doing, or who I was, and started judging myself on my looks, my wardrobe, how many times I wore high heels. Suddenly fifteen plus women were telling me to ‘let it go’, and it had a powerful effect. The truth is, it shouldn’t necessarily be our goal to love every bit of our bodies…but to not let it get in the way if we don’t.

So: a big thank you to all of you who commented on that post. Allow me a moment of sincerity to say I was a little overwhelmed. A small comment from you meant a lot to me. I’m on the up now, folks!

And so, inspired by you: an outfit post – complete with head (my very own). I didn’t even put any make-up on it, or nuffin’.

M&S coat, Topshop jumper, H&M skirt, Primark boots
It feels quite strange even posting that – one photo of me, today (in what could be considered an homage to Franca, the colour guru). You daily outfit-posters and photogenic types are just going to have to trust me when I say it’s a big deal for me.

I’ll leave you with part of Fashion for Giants’ comment, which I think puts it all in perspective:


Amen to that. So thanks, all. You’re real pals. 

And you’ll be sick of my face come June.

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