My body confidence journey

Well hello to you my reader chums! Body confidence is certainly something that takes time, patience, and a good mindset. It's taken me years to get to the point where I fully accept my body for what it is and love everything about what I look like. I'm at a point in my life where I feel content with my being and want to share with you guys how I got to that point.

Here's a look on my body confidence journey and some tips on how you can feel body confident...

It's probably best to start this post with a disclaimer to say, it has taken years for me to get to this point of feeling how I do about my body and the change in how you feel about yours won't happen overnight, it is a process. However, it is possible and something I would love everyone to be able to do: to accept their body for what it is and for who they are.

My body confidence journey

I'm going to transport back 6/7 years when I was 17/18 years old. At that time, I was in a very bad mental health state and completely hated every inch of my being, including the way I looked. Body confidence wasn't even in my vocabulary as I was so against loving myself, I didn't feel good enough. All I kept doing was comparing myself to those around me and the absolutely stunning people I would see on the internet. I aspired to look like them and be like them, instead of aspiring to learn to love me and figure out who I was.

And, learning to love myself and my body is something which has come with time, age, and my journey as a whole with self-confidence.

Tips on feeling body confident:

Acceptance 

The first step with any confidence within yourself is acceptance. The process of accepting myself and my body was something that took time and the hardest thing to do in my journey. I started this by every morning, when I looked in the mirror, I would point out everything about myself; the good and bad. I have to say, I had to want to learn to love myself before I got to this point. I could only help myself.

I would then with the bad things, look at them and say 'these are my flaws and I accept them.' And with the good things say 'I love these things about myself.' These types of affirmations I've been repeating to myself for years until they finally sat with me and honestly until I believed them. It took good and bad days to finally get to a point where the affirmations worked. On the bad days, I would doubt myself and couldn't accept my flaws and would hate on myself for having them, wishing I was different. But, the better days, the affirmations would slowly sink in and over time with the good days, I began believing them.

It's true, once you accept yourself, you can take on the world.

Stepping out your comfort zone

Acceptance then goes hand in hand with stepping out of your comfort zone. I mean this in terms of what you wear, having the confidence to pose for photos, and generally rocking who you are out in public - and not caring what people think of you.

I found this stage a lot easier than acceptance as I love pushing myself and this came naturally to me, as hard as it was. Like any way of stepping out of your comfort zone, it's important to take small steps and do what you're ready for, and eventually, you'll get there.

I think how I tackled this head-on, was to get glammed up and wear clothes or an outfit I felt comfortable in. When I felt on cloud 9 with what I was wearing, I found it was easier to feel comfortable in my own skin. And, I would recommend going shopping or utilising what's in your wardrobe and wearing the clothes you feel you best in and wear them out. Then when you feel good wearing what's comfortable, I would recommend slowly wearing clothes that you don't feel 100% certain in. For instance, I really didn't like the fact I have small boobs and would always feel self-conscious in bikinis or in clothes that would really show off the fact. So what I did was essentially jump in at the deep end and wear the type of clothes I wasn't fully happy in, and doing it time again, helped me accept my body a lot more. And in turn, I started to be happy with what I looked like and realised my body is bloody brilliant, and I don't need to change it. It may sound like a bold move but it's something that really worked and resonated with me. I'm quite lucky that I have best friends around me who would always boost me up and compliment how I looked - that really helped with my confidence too.

You need to be your own hype girl at the end of the day!

Representation of different body types on social media

Comparing myself to other people was something that really took a toll on learning to love my body and accepting it. Social media is plastered with images of 'perfect' bodies especially when I was growing up and I delved into the world of Instagram. It's only now in my twenties that I'm following people which show what a real body is and not fixating on this perfect image of what patriarchal beauty standards tell me I should look like.

What a lot of the media do is only feature one type of body to sell products or to model clothing and therefore, they disclude so many other body types and that lack of representation affects others as they're not seen as being represented in the media.

I'm quite lucky to kind of sit under the patriarchal beauty standards, considering I'm white and skinny, and I'm aware of my privilege, which I think is something I've learnt over the years. However, despite me technically looking a certain way, it still took me years of stomaching the idea of what I see online isn't necessarily real and it's not logical to aspire to be perfect or look a certain way. Perfection isn't real and what you see on social media is only half the story of someone's life and is often taken at a good angle or edited accordingly. And, I've learnt, I shouldn't compare myself to people that I see on social media. I should be happy with what I look like.

I think the next step on me accepting the fact to not constantly compare and wishing I was someone else online really was a turning point for me. I could scroll and admire, instead of scrolling and hoping I could be that person. I think that was so important because instead of being jealous, I was able to hype other girls up so they can feel good about themselves, as they deserve to be. I've learnt that I need to aspire to be my best self and know that my body is my own goal. My body looks after me at the end of the day. Try and remember this the next time you're looking on social media or online in general. You are perfect the way you are.

Saying I'm enough

Over the years with how I'm feeling about my body having its highs and lows, knowing that I'm enough and my body is enough always got me through. It's an affirmation I like to say to myself even now when I'm not having the most confident day.

When it comes to bodies, something to remember is that yours is unique to you, and as long as it's healthy and you're happy then that is all that matters.

Knowing your body is natural

I could rant about this point all day long and it's really something I actually learnt through others talking about it on social media. There are many things our bodies are shamed for such as stretch marks, hip dips, 'muffin tops', birthmarks, body hair etc - and all these things are completely natural, and some of them protection for our body.

All these things are part of your body for a reason and you shouldn't try and get rid of them. You should embrace and accept them, and rock it. I've been obsessed with having the flattest stomach for years but I've learnt that the little bump on my lower stomach is to protect my uterus and is needed. I shouldn't wish that away as it's my body protecting me. There is stigma around body hair and stretch marks and so many other things. But your body is yours, shave if you feel comfortable or don't, it's down to you and nobody else - and that's something everybody needs to be taught. Nobody else has ownership over your body and nobody's opinion means anything towards your body. What's important is how you feel towards it.

Learning to ignore what people think

There are people who will shame you for whatever body type you have and it's really not okay. Honestly, there isn't a reason for people to be hateful but unfortunately, that's how the world works. And, once I learnt to stop caring what people thought of how I looked and ignoring the digs that got sent my way, then, I began to fall in love with my body and feel content. Which, is a huge step for me and my journey.

You are beautifully unique in every way and you can boss it, and take on the world.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. What are your tips for body confidence?

Thank you for reading <3

20 comments

  1. I am so happy to see that there is a much broader spectrum of body types being embraced, loved and shared across social media as of late - allowing girls to grow up seeing that beauty doesn't just come in one size!

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    1. Yes, yes, yes! I couldn't agree more - it's so important to have a representation of all body types across social media xx

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  2. I will never understand how people have the audacity to comment on other people's bodies. It's great to hear you say that body hair, stretch marks, a bit of a belly etc. are completely natural, as it is! At the end of the day looking your best isn't the most important, but rather feeling at your best. Great post!

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  3. This is a wonderful post and really inspiring. Being confident about one's own body is often so hard and something I always struggle with. I also know that men are suffering more and more from poor confidence because if hang ups with their bodies and I have male friends who say that this isn't being talked enough about either.

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    1. Thank you so much! I completely agree that it's not spoken about for men and it should be more xx

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  4. This was such an inspiring post Della! I am so glad you learned to accept yourself! I have never been confident in my body, but since lat year i have been working on my confidence and even if it's a long way, this post really inspired me and helped! I love when you said that you need to be your own hype girl, so true! Thanks for sharing xx

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    1. Thank you so much, I'm glad you liked it! I'm happy to hear you're working on your confidence xx

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I've always suffered from terrible low self esteem. In manifested in how I felt about my body really badly when I was around 17/18. I was doing some really damaging things to try and be thinner. I still struggle with body confidence but I'm getting much much better. You look amazing. I'm so glad you learned to accept yourself! x

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    1. Thank you lovely! I'm glad to hear you're starting to get better xx

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  6. Your story is so inspirational Della, I love your honesty. One thing I need to do is tell myself more often that I am enough. It's something I wish I could tell myself more happily and willingly x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

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  7. I’m having a bit of self doubt and body hang ups lately, so this was really nice to read! Thanks lovely!

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    1. I'm glad it could help in some way, thank you!

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  8. Such a wonderful and inspiring post! I think I've still got a way to go in accepting my body completely but I'm getting there and that's the main thing!

    Tash - A Girl with a View

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    1. Thank you so much! It's great to hear you're getting there my lovely xx

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  9. What an incredible and honest post. You've been on an amazing journey, one that I need to travel myself but I know it will not be a quick one but this is inspiring x

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  10. This is a super inspiring post. I've also had body issues my whole life! I was always heavier as a kid and I would be so sad about it. It wasn't until recently where I fully accepted how I look and as long as I kept eating correctly and being active then it's okay! You point about being your own hype girl is so so important! Love that. Thanks for sharing your journey x

    www.lynnmumbingmejia.com

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I'm so glad you've gotten to a point of accepting your body xx

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