Confidence is a topic that I have covered a few times – most recently in this vlog post. But I am always learning new things and there’s always so much to say on the ever changing topic, and this is an especially hard time of year to stay confident when you have a larger body.
I can’t help it, my knee jerk reaction to people marvelling at my confidence is often, “Why shouldn’t I be confident? Is it because I’m bigger?” but yes, of course it is. And it’s not the asker’s fault. It’s ingrained into us – bigger women should cover up. Should lose weight. Then wear bikinis and skin tight dresses. Any deviation from that order is seen as shocking, disgusting, admirable. I cannot be mad at the way society has conditioned others to see fat bodies. All I can do is live my life flicking the Vs at it.
As a child I was loud. A know it all. I loved dancing, singing and acting. That part of my personality has gone some way toward me being quite a confident adult. I live my life and I have fun – without letting my size get in the way too often. If I want to do it I will. If I want to wear it I will. I try not to think too hard about my size and shape and I just live my life. And that’s really half the battle.
How can you be confident when you feel that your body has no right to be in certain outfits and situations? How can you stop being self conscious when all you can think of is how much attention you might be drawing to yourself? It’s easier said than done, but I think that that’s part of the battle. You don’t need to apologise for your body, for the space you take up, for the way you look. Live life now.
Society perceives certain things as ‘flaws’. Cellulite. Body hair on women. Stretch marks. Fatness. It’s considered a compliment to comment on the absence of these in people. Adverts tell us how much better you’ll feel without them. It’s New Year soon – why not use this as a time to rid yourselves of these imperfections?
But don’t you see what this does? It just reinforces the idea that fat needs to be hidden. Pubes need to be waxed. Cellulite needs to be covered up. And if your body has those things and you show them off then you are a ‘before’, you need to change, you are disgusting. It’s truly shit and it takes a lot of willpower to stand there in a bikini with all of these flaws on show and say ‘I deserve to be here’. But you do. Your soul, your spirit, your mind, your drive. Your body simply houses them. Those are the things that you only let people see if you want to. Those are the things that you should work on and improve. You look fat in a bikini? Me too! Some people might stare, others might be too busy worrying that their fanny flaps are hanging out or that their shoulders are getting burnt. You can either feel uncomfortable and awkward and let it consume you and ruin your experience in the sun, or you can say, “to hell with it! I was fat before this bikini got put on my body and I’ll be fat after, what matters is that I am having fun, I’m a great hugger, a great listener, bloody hilarious and my degree in Maths landed me my dream job, my hairdressing skills take me round the world, my love of children means my job doesn’t even feel like work.”
Confidence can be about distracting yourself from dwelling on those body parts that you hate. It can be reminding yourself that there’s so much of you to love. Confidence can be about changes – whether that’s deciding that your body is ok as it is – it works, it wears great clothes, it goes to amazing events, what else is needed? No changes necessary! Or is can be about making changes, setting goals but not waiting til they are achieved til you start living your life. Do not waste time on a body that you do not see as fully formed. Do not promise to buy that dress, those shorts, that lipstick on an indefinite date in the future when you may or may not deem your body to be worthy of these things. Do it now whilst continuing to make changes. You can be a work in progress and a final piece all at once.
This is the hardest time of year to keep that confidence. Every other person is starting a new diet, hitting the gym more, compacting their body.
New Year, New Me, Same Bullshit.
Do not let it take over. Do not let it knock you. Dress up, take selfies, go out with friends, try new outfits, try new make up, try new hairstyles. Revel in how you look, become comfortable with every day you, dressed up you and completely-out-of-your-comfort-zone you. Fake it til you make it. Go out in that shorter dress but take some tights in your handbag just in case you have a wibble. Wear that bikini but bring a kimono with you as well. Let yourself realise that pushing the boundaries of your comfort levels can lead to wonderful, liberating things.
For me, part of my confidence is telling myself that no one is watching and no one cares. Because I know that I don’t sit and analyse everyone who walks past me – and I also live life to the fullest. My size and weight is apparent at times – various dare devil sports like bungy jumping and sky diving have required me to be weighed. I feel myself taking up a full seat on trains and buses, occasionally rubbing butts with the person next to me. When I jump in a pool I make a huge splash, when I step onto boats they rock a bit more than average. But so what? I do those things, no one gets hurt and I have fun. And that’s the trick – try not to care and do it anyway.
But above all it needs to be learnt. Faking it can only get you so far. To feel truly happy in your skin you need to believe in yourself. Is faking an orgasm as good as the real thing? Your partner may not know but you do. And all you want is the real deal. Sure, it gets things done and it’s ok and needed every so often, but it’s much better to take a little time, try to hit the right spots and be genuine.
Have you got any tips on how to be confident? Or stories of epiphanies and reasons for them? Please do comment, and Happy New Year!!! Thank you for another wonderful year <3