I recently attended the Mumsnet Blogfest event and Dove were there promoting the #pledgetobereal campaign, which aims to promote body confidence, and influence change in how the media portrays women and how they look.
This is something that really resonates with me. I walk the fine line between being body confident some days and then hating it on others, but I feel strongly that we should not accept the airbrushed bullshit we are presented with every single day. What’s wrong with real people anyway??
That’s also a message I want Millie to hear – you do not need to conform to anything, and quite frankly society is being a dick in peddling the idea that you need to look or think a certain way to be accepted. You really don’t, and I will be doing my best to model that every single day. Now I do wear make up, and I straighten my fuzzy hair, and there’s a valid argument for me ditching stuff like that if I want to make my stand, but I do these things to make me feel good, and I think there’s also an argument for modelling that. Life’s all about the balance, and if doing or wearing something makes you feel good, and feel like you, then you should do it.
Personally, I think I’m doing alright. My body isn’t something I’ve been entirely happy with for years, and there’s always been something I’d like to change, but I think we all feel like that, and hey, nobody’s perfect!
Since I had a baby there’s been some body weirdness going on, and though I weigh the same as before I fell pregnant my shape has definitely changed, and I think my clothing tastes have had to adapt too. I do feel like now it’s more about comfort and function than the look at times, which is probably why I still prefer wearing sports bras and crop tops instead of actual bras!
Since I had a baby I also have new perspective – I’ve gone on about this before but I’m allowed! My body grew a human, my stomach wall was ripped open to give her life, and I fed her using my breasts. I’m also living on far less sleep that a person should, and challenging my brain every day to manage parenting and a career and life in general. I’m strong, and awesome, and you should probably bring me a cookie or something (edible) as a prize.
I’ve always had an additional level of body awareness because I have Cerebral Palsy, though it’s very mild and only affects the right side of my body. Essentially my right arm and leg are less developed and less able than my left, and though I’ve lost count of how many people have said they never noticed it, I’ve always been hyper sensitive to it. Every summer I can’t wear flip flops because they just fall off my right foot, and I need shoes with support, and if I wear heels I pay for it with a few days of discomfort. The most minor of issues really but an example of the stuff I’m aware of all the time, and think I see people noticing.
In order to really challenge stereotypes we’ve all got to be in this together, and that means being confident in ourselves as well as supporting each other, and shutting down the hate. My friends might not always like my look, but they love me still. Tall, short, round or skinny we all still deserve to love how we look, and feel happy with who we are.
So here’s a picture of me, smiling like a loon as the Dove lady watched me take a photo. Tell the haters to jog on, give yourself a mental high five and know you’re wonderful, just the way you are.