I don’t quite know where that title came from…probably the fact that my class think I look like a sailor today. But it also fits with what I have to write about today…body image and getting used to your own looks.
There’s a great French phrase that goes along the lines of bien dans sa peau (I guarentee I’ve misquoted that. I swear, you don’t speak a language for more-or-less a decade and decade and suddenly you can’t fathom it….), which I love. It’s about acceptance and self-worth and feeling comfortable with who you are and how you are.
It’s also something I have a HUGE issue with.
You see, for so much of my early life (hmmmm, make that up until I was in my early twenties), the overwhelming message I got from the people around me (whether overtly or covertly) was that I was ugly. Fat. Weird-looking. So naturally, when you hear this enough, you start to believe it. You get so good at being horrible about yourself, so quick on the draw with the poisonous jibe (always self-directed, natch), so filled with self-loathing that you feel (and are?) all the things you’re told.
Gradually, in my early-to-mid-twenties, I realised that I wasn’t ugly. Few people truly are. And yes, I was (and am) fat, but that’s no crime. And it’s something I can change. It’s something I am changing. As for weird looking? Some things are just genetic :-).
So I’m gradually learning to accept myself for how I look. I could write an essay on what I don’t like….but I’m starting to leave that behind and looking at what I DO like instead. It’s a big shift. And it’s a learning curve. It also brings new challenges. If you’re not ugly anymore, then people might like you, and all those other messages you were sent (worthless, stupid, a waste of space) reel straight to the front and centre. Demanding attention.
Growing up is freaking hard sometimes.
Anyhow, in the spirit of acceptance, I’m doing a mini project, where I’m going to attempt to take some self-potrait shots which I feel reflect me and I don’t hate. Wish me luck I guess! Above is the first batch, just me and the camera, after yet another long day at school. More will follow if and when the moment takes me…
PS Thanks for all the song feedback on the last post – it’s a Bonnie-Aretha fight at the mo.