So summer is here, it’s an actual thing and there is now officially sun – I mean, let’s not go too far, there is also a lot of rain but people we’re in England (and I’m in the North of England so can we not?) but yes, it’s time for the summery looks to jump forward, it’s the hour of the shades and the moment of wearing less and feeling… less self confident.
You know what I see when I’m wearing a strappy top or dress? My arms and how huge they look. I see my back boobs in the clingy fabric and I see all the imperfections that I don’t like, that have always hung over me in a way that I’ve never really been able to talk about fully. I have always had huge self confidence issues, never made peace with the idea of body positivity and always just found it annoying that these people in my colourful Instagram feed are telling me to be happy with my body, be confident and feel sexy no matter my size. I’ve also felt like I’m being shamed for talking about wanting to lose weight, like I’m letting the invisible side down and not being girl power enough – besides I’m still only just the average body size in the UK – how dare I be insecure when there are people who are really overweight and facing discrimination.
Despite all of that, all of the politics and the self discontent, something seems to have changed in me lately and I can’t seem to find the bag of fucks that I clearly left behind me somewhere (like my favourite jacket at a recent press event – twat). You see, I wrote a post on Instagram about what my children see when they look at me, and you know what? It’s not the fat arms, the saggy tits (dachshunds ears) or the big floppy belly – it’s the arms that cuddle them close when they aren’t feeling well, it’s the tummy that they snuggle into and the soul that loves them. Corny it might sound but it’s TRUE.
Body positivity never worked for me when I was younger, body confidence somewhat lacking, but in those moments I felt like actually, maybe I’m missing a trick – maybe I am worthy of self confidence and if I choose to change something about my body then I can do it without shame or punishing myself by not buying the clothes I love because I’m “too big” and not allowing myself to eat out because I HAVE to stick to my diet. I will do it without the cloud over my head and I will allow myself to feel happy. Obviously not all the time because no one is happy all the time, but when it comes to body confidence issues, I feel like I have turned a corner and I am happier in myself for it.
You know what else inspired a change in me? A friend of mine was chatting at a conference recently and she mentioned that she isn’t one of those mums who “lives” for her kids because one day they will grow up and she will have spent the last 20 years with the sole purpose of raising them and be.. what? Who? She will have no sense of self – and that is so true. I have built a life around my children and whilst that is an amazing thing to do, in amongst being their mummy, I have totally lost being Harriet – I’ve lost all confidence, all sass and I need to reclaim that because as much as I adore my children (and I AM a mum who lives for her kids – nothing wrong with either way) I think I’m also someone outside of that role.
You’ll probably start to see more lifestyle and fashion style posts cropping up, maybe not, but I feel like there has been a huge change in me and I’m loving it.