(Said in an Oprah Winfrey giveaway voice)
I’m never going to have a body like Brooke Ence, in the same way I’m never going to have a body like Kate Moss, in the same way I’m never going to have a body like Ashley Graham… why? Because I don’t have their genetics.
We’re so quick to judge people based on their body type, something that in a lot of cases they have zero control over. Our body make-up comes from our genes, we inherit 50% of our genes from each of our parents. We’re destined to be a combination of our parents in looks and form, it’s just how it is.
Genetics counts toward a lot of things, from hair and eye colour to metabolism and intelligence so if we don’t have a lot of control over these things why do we place so much emphasis on not loving our bodies or appearance for who we are?
Let me be clear this is about body image insecurity and body image alone.
Being on a beach holiday this year was a very pointed moment. At training I have no qualms about removing layers of clothing and sweating through it whilst lifting heavy shit or skating my ass off. But the process of exposing myself to strangers, who, no doubt would be judging me not for my skills but for my aesthetic. That’s a whole different ball game, but why?
The saga I went through to simply find a bikini that I felt ‘comfortable’ in was nuts. It brought a lot of body image issues to the forefront and also made me hyper aware that as a ‘typical body-type’ people don’t expect or anticipate you to experience body image issues or insecurities. But it’s something we all share as human beings as an experience.
It doesn’t matter what size you are, who you are, where you are in life, we all feel that same insecurity.life in progress
I’m a big advocate of encouraging people to love themselves, but it’s hard when the shoe is on the other foot – you put up the mental block to loving who you are. And instead make foolhardy attempts to achieve an unobtainable goal – without invasive surgery, crashing your calorie intake or superhuman workout schedules – when we should be focusing more on what we do have and learning to love it for what it is – but like I say self-judging based on your perception that others will judge you is hard to get beyond.
I’ve had a number of phases in my life, all of them vary in the level of self-acceptence that I’ve experienced. And having a focus on function instead of aesthetic does help, but it also means you have other insecurities when you’re placed in an environment when your personal aesthetic feels like the focus.
I can turn up to Derby in shorts and feel no worries, same with CrossFit. I don’t even blink when I have to strip to my sports bra because I know that my focus is on my ability and sometimes (this may seem ridiculous) extra layers and the heat that creates can really impede your ability! Also (realness moment) it feels super empowering being like ‘eff this I don’t care what people think, I don’t have abs, boobs or an ass but you know what at this moment it doesn’t matter’ – those are my personal body image victories.
Being comfortable in your skin is a process, let’s be nicer to each other and ourselves. Who cares, as long as we have our health – it doesn’t matter.
I wish I’d given myself this speech before I went on holiday, because by the end of the holiday I’d reached the ‘who gives an eff’ point – I spent at least 2/3 days of the holiday feeling uncomfortable and you know what, I didn’t need to. Because it literally didn’t matter, next time I won’t care, I will wear the bikini and I’ll own it!
What are you insecurities, and how do you plan to develop a better relationship with your own body image?