I’ve spoken out multiple times about accepting (and loving) my pale skin. I love the body positivity bloggers like Rachel and Olivia spread with their tweets and posts. I’m the first one to protest if a friend puts a downer on their appearance, and I once described stretch marks as cute.
Basically, I’m fully on board with the loving yourself as you are way of thinking.
|This post is not the happiest, so here’s a picture of me with a cute dog.|
But recently it’s really hit home that while I’m good with it in theory, I’m not so good with it in practice. When I stepped out onto the beach wearing my bikini in Portugal last month I felt incredibly uncomfortable. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been, which is not a bad thing by any means*, but I’m still getting used to this new shape. I don’t feel like my body is mine again just yet.
I was also the palest person there by miles, and I stuck out like a sore thumb (or should that be a snowman?) I’m still not sure whether people were gawping or whether my insecurities led to me imagining it; a teenage boy may or may not have shouted ‘Zombie!’ I felt awkward, and I felt ashamed of myself—I’ve always tried to be very vocal about embracing my near-white skintone, be it through searching for the perfect pale foundation, or writing posts about my defiant refusal to fake tan, and there I was wishing I looked completely different.
I wanted to be able to walk on the beach and not give a single fuck.
In this day and age of celebrating different body types, standing up for the everyday woman, and embracing armpit hair, I feel like I’m letting the team down. I also feel like I’m being too dramatic. I’m just a woman who has typical Irish colouring, who put on a few pounds while she was finishing her degree. What do I have to worry about, really?
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that logic is telling me one thing—we’re all different and I look perfectly fine—and my insecurities are telling me another. I don’t want them to take over, but I also think I need to remember that the bad days are normal. Body positivity is a wonderful thing, but acceptance takes time. I’m going to try and be kinder to myself.
How do you approach days when you’re not feeling so great about your body? Let me know in the comments.
*Long story short, I lost a stone or so during my first year of uni when I didn’t have a stone or so to lose. Getting back to a healthy weight was a relief.
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Beth, 26, South East England.
Lover of books, dogs, yoga, travelling, and gin.
I write about ethical & eco-friendly living, minimalism, and mental health, as I muddle through one step at a time. Enjoy!