I have struggled with my body image as long as I can remember. I went on my first diet at just 12 years old. I was convinced I was huge and my mum and my grandma (both big ladies themselves) constantly commented on my food choices and told me they were worried I would get fat like them. Being fat was something I was terrified of. Everyone seemed convinced it was the worst thing in the world. I hid myself as best I could. I would constantly buy clothes that were too big for me because I *knew* I must be a large (when really back then I was a small). It’s also known as body dysmorphia. When I looked in the mirror I saw someone completely different. I hated myself.
The worst of my teen years were spent in a coastal town in rural NSW. Everyone was blonde and tanned and surfed and were good at sports. I had red hair, glasses, I don’t tan (I just get burnt, turn red, peel and I am back to being pale) and I was the girl who always managed to get injured when I did participate in PE (normally I just said I had my period….every week for a year). I longed to be attractive. The only time I ever got asked out by boys was when they were playing a joke on me. I wanted to be someone else.
I struggled even more after having kids. Boy does that change your body! Stretch marks were the least of my problems…saggy boobs and after the twins my stomach stretched in the weirdest ways. I didn’t want anyone to see me naked. My clothes got baggier and more mundane.
Recently I posted “How Wearing Vintage Changed Me” HERE and while vintage clothing changed my life. Wearing clothes that fitted and made me feel gorgeous prompted me to start posting “selfies” and outfit posts. The more I did this, the more comfortable I became with myself and how I actually looked. It was a bit like breaking a spell…seeing all these photos of me made me realise what I actually looked like. While I am far from thin, I am comfortable with myself. I see beauty in myself which is something I never thought would be possible. I won’t lie – other peoples lovely comments help too, but the problem was always in my own head. No amount of positive commentary by others was going to help.
Along with selfies I also started staring myself down in the mirror and pointing out all the things I liked. At first it was just my hair (when it was all pin curled and beautiful), but slowly I learned to love the rest of me JUST THE WAY I AM.
Miss Fairchild xoxo