Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Body Acceptance - An Ongoing Battle

Anxiety is something that affects many people and in many different ways. To me, it has always been something that I have felt in varying degrees but couldn’t really explain and passed it off as just being worry. In 2013 the frequency in which I feel anxiety has increased, or maybe I am just now more aware of the feelings and can identify it.

I have always been a “worrier” since I was a kid and just dismissed my anxiety as that. I always thought ahead in everything I did trying to anticipate what comes next and worrying about every possible outcome. I was scared of many things and was just quite a nervous child. I think to a degree it was a learnt behavior from people in my family who unconsciously passed along the trait.

However, this year I have come to realise that it goes beyond simply worrying. I feel extremely nervous and sick to the stomach before seeing my best friends or even family. I agonise over my appearance – I annalyse my outfit choice, whether I look super fat today, whether I picked the wrong eye shadow, does my hair look messy or boring, should I tan today so I don’t look so pale, is red toenail polish the right choice. I spend so much of my life thinking about how I look to other people and wonder whether they are judging all the parts of me that I don’t feel confident about. My greatest fear is looking embarrassing or saying something embarrassing which is just silly because you can’t be the perfect image of yourself 24/7.

As an adult my worrying has manifested into anxiety related to what other people think of me – strangers and acquaintances alike. I think that I'm a person who try’s to be a good human being, I don’t intentionally hurt people, I try to help others, I'm compassionate to people and animals, I'm loving and caring. But what I'm not confident about is my appearance. I spend so much time thinking of ways to make myself look different or look better.

Being constantly bombarded with images of the ‘perfect women’ in advertising, TV, movies and the entire world around us make me think “how could I possibly feel confident about myself when I don’t look even a small part like these ‘perfect’ women”. I'm lucky to have a husband who loves and adores me in all my forms and showers compliments on me. But the sad thing is, I can’t hear these compliments because in my head I'm thinking “that can’t be right because I don’t look like how I’m supposed to look to be considered attractive".

I know that I shouldn’t feel like this and I do really want to be someone who is confident in herself and can spread a positive body image and body acceptance message to those around her. I just can’t get past this feeling of inadequacy. I have moments and days where I feel good and say FUCK YOU to the media and people who advance this “perfect women” image but I always come back to self-loathing.

I want to – no – I need to get past this. For my own sanity and self-worth and for my husband who I know it pains to see me being so negative towards myself. I want to see myself as more than my appearance, that the way I look is not the total sum of who I am. That even on a bad hair day I can feel confident because I actually like me….maybe 2014 will be the year that it all clicks into place…I know one thing is for sure, I will be doing everything I can to make this true.


 

 

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