When you said I wasn't really your ideal and that I wasn't your physical type, but I had a great personality and you loved me regardless of my bodily limitations.
When you called me thunder thighs and told me I really shouldn't be wearing shorts, when I was 15 and insecure enough already.
When you grabbed hold of the parts of me that are extra thick, the parts of me that society believes shouldn't be there, and made me wish I could cut them away.
These infusions of self-hate came from various people over my teen and adult life, an array of 'You' that represents so acutely our society on the whole. All of these moments conspired to make me hate my body.
I already hated my hair because it was ginger (we don't have souls, apparently), and because it wasn't long and thick like that of a princess. No braided luscious 'princess hair' here.
I already hated my face because my hormones had peppered it with acne that left behind small scars when it eventually fucked off, thanks to the aid of popping daily contraception pills for the past 10 years.
I learnt to dislike myself before I learnt what self-love was. Self-hate arrived after the good old days of pre-teen youth, when I liked to make up pretend fancy names in the playground and got so excited to wear my one-shoulder pink diamanté angel top to the school disco. I didn't have a concept of whether I liked myself or disliked myself, I was just doing my thing.
Self-hate grew into body dysmorphia, whereby I began to wear sarongs which covered my thighs on holiday at the age of 12. It also grew into crying fits and eventually formed an innate shyness and fear of other people; their looks, judgement and words.
12 year old me is 26-year old me. I still hate my thighs, and I am still scared and distrustful whenever a stranger looks at or talks to me. But 26 year old me is mature enough to know the whys and how's of self-hate, and is well-placed to try and turn the tide.
I like food, and I don't enjoy exercise.
I like make-up, but I like a bare clean face even more.
I enjoy fashion, but am happiest a little covered up and casual; leggings and over-sized tee's are cosy mannn.
Isn't it a little bit fucked up that all my personal likes and preferences are at incongruous odds with my the way the world views and abuses me?
I can't really embrace my inner self, grow it and blossom, because my outer self isn't appealing, befitting a specific size or shape. I can't be a light in anyone's life (or my own) if I am residing in the darkness of self-absorption and loathing.
You made me view my body, and anyone who has my same 'imperfections' as inferior, less-than and pitiful.
And now, You, has become me. I have become just another self-hating judge and jury, most unfavourably tough on myself.
Endemic in all our psyche's is that one type of look is the 'right' type of look. It is ingrained into us that one thing is inferior to another and thus we hold ourselves within that range of narrow opinion. I am a now victim of my own internal bullying voice, and while I wouldn't dream of doing anything but loving my fellow humans, I still have these ugly thoughts. I don't really believe them deep down, inside my pure and true self, but on a surface level, I have been influenced and negatively altered.
Deeply rooted in my negative self-opinion is that of viewing myself and others in the same negative and narrow light that perpetuates an ill society.
So many times over the years I decided to diet and exercise because of self-hate, not self-love. I hated every bead of sweat, I hated every salad, I hated every calorie-count. Unsurprisingly none of these changes took hold and I soon went back to eating my feelings and a sedentary lifestyle.
I do believe in the idea of improving my health if my problems are linked to my diet or lack of exercise, but why do such positive concepts have to be infused with self-punishing regimes and routines?
This blog is all about living with good intentions and part of my 1 year plan is to improve how I feel about my body.
I thought I could reach this state by restricting, by exercising hard and by cutting back on all the foods I enjoy.
But amidst this thought process I stopped a moment, almost as if I was realizing that I was stuck in a ground-hog day, one where I was approaching a desire for self-love from a self-hate perspective.
I decided that I had to change drastically in order to be more loveable (probably has a shit-ton to do with the end of a long-term relationship, one where I always felt inferior).
But finally, I was actually questioning this attitude, helpfully bolstered by body positive Instagrammers and endlessly inspiring women, I was now actually saying 'Hang the fuck on, hang on a god-damn hot minute, if someone doesn't or hasn't loved me for exactly how I look right this second, then the problem lies with them, not me'.
Changing so others like what they see when they look at you is a terribly sad and desperately bleak outlook to have. I don't want any part of that any-more.
I don't want to make you hate your body like they made me hate mine. I don't want to change as if to suggest what I am or was is in fact the inferior thing I was always told it was. I don't want to perpetuate something negative and life-ruining, something that will never go away unless others have the same realizations I have.
So I won't be focusing on self-love with 'fit-spo', flexing and 'Before/after shots', unless one shows me looking happier and healthier than another. Because fuck me, I want to be healthier and fitter, and those goals are rock solid compared to that of 'I want to fit societies rigid body ideals'.
There will be only be kindness and good intentions here because we all deserve to love ourselves abundantly, exactly the way we are.