Image Created by Laverna Ellis – Cherished Supporter
My gosh it consumes us doesn’t it? We are obsessed with body image.
If we aren’t scrolling Instagram wishing we had that deep tan, those pearly whites and the tiniest waist on earth, then we are reading up on celebs that have been snapped on a beach with a few stretch marks on their bum. But is it really our fault when it is thrown in front of our faces where ever we go. Adverts, TV programmes, films, clothing websites, are all filled with size 0 perfect looking women and I don’t know about you, but it makes me miserable. It actually wears me out comparing myself to these unrealistic body types and Barbie-like faces.
In reality, I know that these women probably don’t look like that in real life, but it is so hard to get that into my head when the caption is “no make-up”. It’s not like it’s just models who I longingly stalk for hours on end, its “normal” girls my age who seem to have it all. If I’m being honest with you, and I do try to be, it’s brought me to tears on more than one occasion; knowing in my head I will never look like these people. Often I have this voice inside my head reminding me that the girl next to me is way prettier than me and that people are comparing us in their heads, laughing at how ugly I really am. And I’m ashamed…ashamed that I let that voice talk to me like that.
BUT, is image really everything? Even though nowadays it may feel like if you aren’t pretty you won’t succeed in life, please know that there is much more to you than the features on your face, the colour of your hair and the shape of your body. As a young woman, I know how hard it is to believe and accept that, but it’s true. You are much more than what is shown on the outside. Inside you there are talents, passions, intelligence, kindness and humour radiating out of you. Those who love you will see those elements before they notice whether you’re wearing make-up or not and if you have a partner they are madly in love with you even when you’ve just been throwing your guts up and your still wearing last night’s crusty make up. If that isn’t evidence that you are a beautiful person, then I don’t know what is! Beauty truly is from within.
Accepting yourself for who you really are is not easy. Just because one day you are feeling fabulous after doing your tan and getting your nails done, does not mean you will feel confident and happy going out with no makeup on the day after. It just doesn’t work like that. It is a constant battle, a journey that some people never complete. However, there are things you can do to make that journey just a little bit easier…
STOP spending hours and hours on social media. It just isn’t healthy.
Self -care is important. Do things like face masks, take a long bath, moisturise – all those things make you FEEL beautiful, inside and out.
Each day you should spend time to speak to yourself nicely! This one is hard but most effective. If done often enough, your feelings towards yourself will change and you will become more positive about who you are.
Love yourself, you are beautiful.
By Harrie Devlin, Cherished Volunteer