Tuesday, August 9, 2011

your brave body image

I did a post on body image back in January. It was a post on my own body, your body and the issues that I have faced, and still face to an extent. It is interesting how I blogged about accepting my stretch marks, but showing an image of myself with my hands covering them. I was still brave, and wow have I come a long way since the beginning of this year. (This post as a whole is one of the top 5 posts read on my blog).

As the summer months approach in Australia, we think about that white glowing body, with a few stray hairs, and maybe a few extra bits and pieces that were not there last summer. The thought of the trusted swimsuit crosses our minds, and soon enough we are standing in front of our mirrors, with last seasons swimmers on with tears rolling down our cheeks. Body image issues arise, and before you know it, you are buying a whole new pair of swimmers to suit the body you now have.

With my trip approaching, (oh yes four weeks to go), I have been doing the throwing of my swimmers in the air, and caving in to buy a whole new pair. Why? I want to feel good about myself. And you know what, I did. I am white, I still have stretch marks, but I now have a whole lot more acceptance. It of course helps going to a shop where you know you are going to get the feedback we need as women, without the bullshit.

I walked out of the change room. I never walk out of the change room.

Hands by my side.

Yes, I am skinny, and yes I have a more toned body than last summer. But I still have issues with my body, and I still hurt when people tell me I am too skinny. I believe if more women, like the lady who sold me the swimmers, were more supportive and noticed the real you, then we as women would not be facing body issues. She noticed my two children, when I mentioned my stretch marks. I am a woman, and I have had two children. My body is not the same, and it won't ever be the same. It is about acceptance, and removing those hands, to show you.

Having an eating disorder in the past makes me want more than anything to stop my children from ever facing this horrible disease. I think we are the ones who can change the perception of the perfect body. There is no perfect as a whole, aren't we just perfect as one, ourselves? If we are healthy, and feel beautiful on the inside, isn't that enough to shine through for the world to see? It should be enough.

*I did not post an image of myself in my new swimmers. I am not being a chicken, and I promise, I have removed my hands to show all of me. I don't need comments on what I look like. This post is about body issues as a whole, not me. (You can have my brave image with hands).


  1. Thank you for sharing this- I'm been drafting a similar body issue post in my head for the last couple of days. On Friday I wanted a pair of jeans. I haven't been able to face jean shopping in a couple of years. Yes I am carrying a little more weight than I would like (but I haven't had children) but my legs have never been thin, and I also have been doing weights classes at the gym so have been building up muscle.
    But every time I walk into a shop (women's) to buy jeans I come close to tears in public! The current fashion for skinny leg jeans has meant sometimes I can't even get them up! I was so over it so I just have gone without. But having nothing in between trackpants and work pants was starting to annoy me.
    So on Friday I was brave. Went into Myers with my husband. He looked scared, he knew how depressed I can get! Sure enough I squeezed into some jeans but they looked horrible. Same the ladies who work there look at you in this horrible way and I just wanted to crawl away and hide. But instead I walked up the stairs to the mens dept. As I'm 6ft I figured it might work! And it did, I found a perfect pair of bootcut, low rise guys jeans (not sure where their boy bits are meant to go cause they fit me well!) Now I'm happy and my husband gave them the tick of approval!
    You are brave. And it is so nice to know that others feel the same when you look in the mirror and just want to cry!

  2. hazel, your comment was awesome. loved reading it. my partner has the same issue with men's clothing, not all men seem to be this 'slim fit' that is on the racks!
    haley, you are boodiful. fullstop. and, can i have your old swimmers?! haha, just kidding! so exciting, 4 weeks to go! xx

  3. Hazel, that is awesome you found jeans! the thing is I wish these stores were trained better to help us all walk out with the perfect pair of jeans. I used to work for Just Jeans when I was a teenager, and I was forever putting women in mens Levi Jeans. I was surprised at how many women looked better in them then the men did! And yes, not sure where the bits are meant to go as they do fit some women better.

    Jeans and swimmers are the hard ones. Once you find the jeans that are your body, then I say buy every colour! I did in the ones that fit me. And that is also an issue of mine. I buy clothes to make myself feel better. I have no doubt I am not the only woman who does that. x

  4. Thanks Haley and Bec, it is frustrating when fashion dictates what I should wear and there seems to be no alternative! A friend gave me the body book bible by Trinny & Susanah which is a bit of a hoot- but I worked out my body shape was a "cello" which I really liked..before I just thought of myself as big! (tall with curves) So many of our body image issues come along with us from when we were younger- you're right Haley to want to ensure your children don't pick up on these things. Because I grew a lot when I was young people often said "wow you're so big" as if it was abnormal, I used to want to hide, so developed a terrible slouching habit that I still struggle with! We listen to those (often unintended) tags and some hurt, more than 15 years later.

  5. I think the secret to body acceptance is to be so NOT PERFECT that you just HAVE to accept your imperfections and move on. That worked for me anyway. There is no way I would post a photo of me (though I would if I looked like you!) but I have no issues going swimming or living my life in the real world. I am what I am. x

  6. Wish i could be as brave as you, Hayley!
    I am less than happy with how i look after my 4th child, probably because i bounced back so well after the first 3!
    You really are an inspiration, and i hope one day that I'll be brave enough and happy enough with myself, maybe even enough to have my own 'brave image - with or without hands'



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