Throw on some Lizzo and remember who the f**ck you are.
I was planning a make-up based post on a look I’d created for Valentines Day, but aside from obviously thinking the creation is not worthy of an entire post, I feel like I have more pressing matters to address. You can find all details of this look on my Instagram @the.useless.blogger because while we’re on the theme of hearts, love and self-love (or my lack thereof) I want a bit of real talk for a few minutes.
The long and short of it is simple: I have NOT been loving myself to a Lizzo-worthy standard recently, and it’s just not good enough. I’ve slowly learnt to be better at loving myself in all my phases; happy, sad, toned, saggy, donut-filled or not… but recently it has been one hell of a struggle. It’s possible that because my mental health hasn’t been quite on-point, consequently I’m dissecting every part of myself and my body, my struggles and my triumphs – over thinkers will relate – and it’s exhausting.
I’ve followed a page on Instagram called @nonairbrushedme, for years. I stumbled across a story of theirs, below. This post on their stories incited a deep-seated, long-overdue series of thoughts within me. Is the reason I find myself so hard to like/ love largely down to the body-image toxicity, diet culture and years of consuming the noxious notion strewn across magazines, tv programmes and the parochial minds of little boys in the classroom at school, that there is only one type of ‘beautiful?‘ I believe the answer is a definite yes. Let’s break those thought processes, mindsets and societal expectations. Let’s redefine our expectations of ‘beauty’.
I don’t want to delve into a deep psycho-analysis of self right now, but it’s important to talk about two vital things. 1. It’s totally okay not to love yourself all the time, it would be un-natural and you’d be some kind of alien. I’m sure Lizzo and all those other body positive beauties and self-love ambassadors have days/ weeks where they don’t love themselves. Welcome to the human experience, no? Be KIND to yourself. 2. How can we make it better? You deserve to make it better because more than a few weeks of self-deprecation probably isn’t healthy. Aside from being kind to oneself, do all the things that make you feel better. In my case it would mean taking better care of myself; being more physically active, being more conscious with eating habits, being less obsessive about how I look and more concerned about taking these steps because of how I feel. I find that physical and mental health are closely linked and usually once half of the equation starts to improve, the other half will follow suit.
Nothing is ever permanent, these feelings I’m having towards myself today will fade, improve and undoubtably fluctuate in the future. A previous therapist taught me the importance of really being kind to oneself, that is almost always the answer. You wouldn’t scrutinise a friend the way you’re scrutinising yourself in your own head, would you? So let’s be better at that. The way we talk to ourselves internally is everything.
I really, really, really recommend following Nonairbrushedme, their feed is a complete celebration of the female and human experience. The accounts we follow have a sub-conscious impact on our internalisations and there is part of me that has become so at peace with myself through following the right accounts on Instagram, and unfollowing anyone who makes me doubt my own beauty and worth. It may sound silly, but it’s true.