*This is a collaborative post, however all thoughts and images are my own.
Yesterday, I found a journal that I wrote way back in 2017. Before I opened it up, a memory of me sitting in bed crying popped into my mind. I was crying, tears were splodging onto the paper and I remembered that I was in a very dark place, probably the darkest place I’d ever found myself, as I sat and hastily scribbled into my little diary.
I started reading the journal and by the end, I was crying once again. Although I was an emotional wreck for so many reasons, I realised I was crying because of what I had written about myself – more specifically, the way I’d described myself.
It was actually so harsh that I was taken back by the words I used. I described myself as fat, useless, ugly, a waste of space and overall, just an awful, waste of a human being. It was all very raw and I certainly didn’t hold back, stating how other people were much better at existing than I was.
3 years later, and I am a completely different person. I’m happier, more confident and so much kinder to myself.
We live in a world full of filters.
One of the problems I know I faced at my low points was thinking that I wasn’t a good enough human being. I wasn’t pretty enough, I didn’t clean my house well enough and I was rarely myself around people for fear of being judged.
Somewhere along the line I realised that what we see when we scroll through our Instagram feeds is just a big old shiny filter. I don’t mean literally, although of course there’s plenty of those, but what we’re seeing is manufactured. There’s nothing instant about Instagram, and as a blogger, I should have known that better than anyone.
Yet when you spend all day scrolling through your Instagram feed, it’s easy to believe that the instasham standard is the one you should aim for.
By Instagram’s instasham standards, you shouldn’t have marked skin, stretch marks, tummy rolls, goofy laughs, wrinkles, or wear the styles of clothes you love (even if others don’t ‘get it’).
But if we all looked “perfect”, what would make us beautiful and unique?
It’s okay to be whoever you want to be.
We need to bring back being real! Air brushing your selfies needs to come to an end. There’s nothing wrong with the things that make you you.
Welovedates are celebrating what makes us all beautiful and unique and have starting running their #welovereal campaign. They’re encouraging people to be their real selves and celebrate what makes them amazing.
So with that in mind, I decided that I’d write some things about me that I feel make me unique. They’re traits that I have that I love, they make me feel proud and happy and make me feel at peace with myself. There are also some things that I’m not so keen on but I still try to accept them because accepting your true self is the first step to becoming more confident.
How will a negative view of myself affect my children?
I worry about the effect my own negative views on my appearance and personality will have on my children. I want to raise confident boys who believe in themselves and their ability to take on anything that the world throws at them. If I want that for them, I need to learn how to be like that myself so I can lead by example!
What makes me unique and feel great!
Self love is an ongoing process and I don’t think that anyone is ever truly 100% happy all the time. Learning to love yourself takes time and kindness. I would never have said those things I said about myself to one of my friends, and we should treat ourselves the same way as we would a friend; with kindness.
Here are a few things that free dating site We Love Dates has made me think about with their #welovereal campaign.
- I love my brightly coloured hair, whether it’s pink, or red, or purple. Having colourful hair makes me feel more confident in myself and boosts my self esteem massively!
- My loud laugh that inevitably contains a snort or two. I used to giggle sweetly and politely but now I’m happy to let my real laugh out and enjoy having fun. Letting yourself be your real self lifts such a huge weight off your shoulders and allows you to take in more of life’s great moments.
- I have about 4 different clothing styles and none of them are connected to one another by any common factor. One day I’ll be wearing a beautiful boho flowing dress and feather earrings, the next, I’m head to toe in black with generous lashings of eyeliner. I have reached the point where I don’t care if the clothes I want to wear aren’t in fashion, or don’t suit someone’s perception of me. The outfits I choose to wear are one way of expressing myself and if I think I look good on the outside, I feel amazing on the inside.
- My curvy body has been the bane of my life for as long as i can remember. I have hated it and always considered myself fat, even when I very clearly wasn’t. Since having kids, I’ve never really been able to shed the baby weight and instead tend to stay in the top end of the mid-size spectrum. The key thing here is that, although I want to lose weight, I’m done with beating myself up over it. I love my curves! My bum looks great in leggings and jeans and I have a good waist so I can still pull off some really nice outfits. I actually look really great sometimes and I can’t believe I used to hate on myself so much.
- Big pores, wrinkles, and huge under eye circles. Generally speaking, my facial skin isn’t great. But I have learnt that I don’t need to cover my face with makeup to be accepted by others. It actually turns out that people don’t really care…! I’m just as happy to turn up to the school gates with a bare face as I am with a face full of make-up, and I can tell you now that no other parent has ever commented that I look pale or ill, like I expected them to.
We all have these imperfections, and it is these things that actually make us beautiful.
The #WeLoveReal campaign.
Loving the real you is the first step to becoming confident and happy, and that’s why I love the #WeLoveReal campaign so much.
If you want to get involved in the campaign with me and help spread the word about being comfortable in your own skin, you can do so by using the #welovereal hashtags across social media. You can post what you love about yourself, what makes you feel happy and confident, or what you feel makes you unique. I can’t wait to scroll through the hashtag and read all your kind words about yourself!