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.


  1. mermaid musings
    20th May 2008 / 6:14 pm

    You are beautiful and gifted, very!!!Smile!

  2. Cherry!
    20th May 2008 / 7:02 pm

    I was going to say maybe the title ‘Shipshape’ came from the nautical look you went for today!!Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  3. whatigotsofar
    20th May 2008 / 7:52 pm

    You’re right about the ugly being a rarity. In most cases, uglieness can be cured with a simple smile. It’s amazing how much and how far a smile can go to bring beauty to anybody.

  4. Sparkling Red
    20th May 2008 / 8:45 pm

    Those are beautiful photos of a beautiful you. :-)Sparkling baby blues, great skin, rosy cheeks… what’s not to love?

  5. Christielli
    21st May 2008 / 1:45 am

    First of all, you, and all of the pics that you posted, are absolutely beautiful. Among your many good features, I think you’ve got a rockin’ set of cheekbones, and great skin. We live in a culture that almost forces us to be down on ourselves because we are constantly bombarded by images of perfection that no one can possibly attain. There’s a line from a song by a band called Great Lake Swimmers called “when it flows” that says “everything is perfect in its imperfections”. That line goes through my head constantly whenever I’m down on anything in my life. It helps.Anyway, you are fabulous!!!

  6. grace
    21st May 2008 / 2:12 am

    Beautiful pics. Love your shirt by the way… very cute!

  7. Riot Kitty
    21st May 2008 / 3:54 am

    You don’t look weird or fat to me – cute and French looking, I’d say!

  8. Jon
    21st May 2008 / 1:10 pm

    I’ve never been truly comfortable with how I look, but again, who is?But I’ve grown a lot more accustomed to it over time.By the way, if you want to see ugly, you should see the Air Conditioning repairman coming by in an hour.

  9. Sacred Suzie
    21st May 2008 / 1:34 pm

    I would never have in a million years thought of you being that horrid “f” word. I don’t see that in any way shape or form when I look at you. You look vibrant and healthy and female. I think you may enjoy reading The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolfe. We are Goddesses, not toothpicks. You are beautiful.

  10. cdave
    21st May 2008 / 2:40 pm

    I can’t believe you think you’re fat! You’re gorgeous!

  11. Miss Ash
    21st May 2008 / 2:45 pm

    It’s interesting to see how we perceive ourselves as we are always our worst critics. I’ve met you and never once thought you were fat or ugly or any of those things. I thought you were cute, bubbly, a lot of fun and full of energy!

  12. Darth Weasel
    21st May 2008 / 4:20 pm

    wish you could get some of those thoughts through to my wife. She is not small…and we both know it. (then agai, neither am I) but I still find her beautiful in 2 ways; first, the cliched yet true way, that she is such an awesome person who makes me feel special and appreciated.second, she has a great face and whether she has belly rolls or not really don’t matter. she rocks and from the comments you typically receive I must assume you do as well. and as people have said, those pics look pretty smurfing good.

  13. daisies
    21st May 2008 / 4:43 pm

    i think you are really beautiful and if that is weird looking i’ll take it : )

  14. The Egg
    21st May 2008 / 5:07 pm

    Congrats on yet another eloquent post! I felt the same way about looks when I was a young gal. I got teased for my nerdy glasses and dark skin. I hated it! Now I’m grateful for my attributes (sans glasses!). You’re very beautiful my dear!!!

  15. Wiwille
    21st May 2008 / 5:47 pm

    I think you’re easy on the eyes personally. Ugly, like beauty, is relative, but very rare. In no way are you ugly. Quite the opposite.

  16. Pink
    21st May 2008 / 9:53 pm

    Oh my dear, you are absolutely beatuiful. Gorgeous eyes, beautiful cheekbones and that cleavage!But I know what you mean. I applaud your desire to love yourself as you are and I hope you will achieve that for yourself.You really are beautiful to me.Keep looking at yourself. And try to see the beautiful, sexy woman we see.xxpinks

  17. Cheryl
    22nd May 2008 / 12:25 am

    Growing up is extremely hard. And you are so right that ugly is not common. You are fabulous just the way you are.

  18. Boy
    22nd May 2008 / 8:50 am

    Lovely loveliness is all I have to say!

  19. Foster Communications
    22nd May 2008 / 11:03 am

    If all sailors looked like you a lot more boys would be joining the Navy.I realize you didn’t put up this post so everyone would say you’re pretty–which you ARE by the way!! :)I think this self acceptance quest is a good one. I’ve always been the chubby girl with a pretty face. A while ago something just switched and I decided to fully live as I am. And the benefit is amazing. To me it seems like people see me differently. But I realize it’s because I see myself differently. I wish you luck!

  20. Scarlet
    22nd May 2008 / 12:31 pm

    “If you’re not ugly anymore, then people might like you.” I don’t know but I love that line for some reason. :)I can’t imagine you ever having been ugly. Your eyes are probably your best feature (from what I can see).Snap away, Sailor, you’re lookin’ good!

  21. Alice
    22nd May 2008 / 5:17 pm

    i would kill for your cleavage or your huge eyes :-)well done you for taking a proactive stance on this.. so many women get into a rut with their (usually unduly negative) self-image, and it’s such a good step to take charge instead and direct your own image of yourself!

  22. JLee
    22nd May 2008 / 11:02 pm

    What big blue eyes you have! It’s funny because I have been going through a similar thing. Self acceptance. You can continuously try to change yourself… or just be happy 🙂

  23. Jaime
    23rd May 2008 / 8:39 pm

    You are such a brave and beautiful girl. Thank you for sharing such a vulnerable part of yourself…which is a vulnerability in each and every one of us, whether we care to admit it or not.You are lovelyxo

  24. Cimba7200
    25th May 2008 / 10:02 am

    You don’t look out of the ordinary in your photos (good ones too) so we only have your word for it. In case you are telling us the truth(are you?) wider girls are not fat, they are cuddly! – Dave

  25. cruisin-mom
    25th May 2008 / 7:19 pm

    Claire, you are beautiful inside and out. You’re eyes are amazing!

  26. Mahdi
    16th June 2008 / 5:50 pm

    agreed, you really are very beautiful

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