“I wouldn’t wear that if I were you. Your shoulders are too broad.”
“Has Simran gained weight?”
“Has Simran lost weight? She needs to eat more.”
“Maybe you need to invest in a contouring kit to slim your nose and give yourself some definition”
“Skipping the bread is the best way to go in my opinion”
Body confidence is something that has plagued me since I was thirteen. And I know right now I must sound like every other teenage/young adult girl out there, talking about body confidence and how she learnt to love her body blah blah blah.
But if I’m being completely honest, I’ve never accepted my body. I’ve never truly been happy with what I have. And I know the mantra of if you aren’t happy, change yourself. But somehow, no amount of self control so I don’t eat foods my body doesn’t require, exercise, meditation and attempts at positive reinforcement has truly satisfied me. I’ve always seen my body more as a machine that helps me strive for success and achieve my goals.
I have days where I hate my reflection. I don’t want to leave the house because people will see the trouble spots on my body. I don’t want to make my hair and do my makeup and see friends. I have days where nothing looks right. I’m never satisfied with how I look and feel.
And I know it’s irrelevant. I have nothing to be ashamed of with my body. Physical exercise and a proper diet has always been a part of me. I’m a vegetarian with the exception that I eat eggs. I exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, doing intense cardio and yoga to stretch and relax my limbs and muscles. I love to cook and pride myself on eating healthy and having the mentality that on a day to day basis while I’m working or studying, my diet should be wholesome but simple; so when I do go out, I can fully enjoy myself and treat myself. I’ve been blessed with an Indian heritage. I have naturally tanned but still fair skin with the luxury of not being privy to lines and freckles.
But even still, the slightest comment about my appearance does so much damage to the self esteem I’ve mustered.
They say we are our worst critic, and it’s true.
I take comments about my skin and weight to heart. I have little tolerance when it comes to people commenting that my eyebrows aren’t done or that I have a mole on my face. It’s like there’s a burning sense of shame that emanates from comments like that. I feel ashamed of myself when people point out the little imperfections which is quite frankly, stupid, because no one is perfect. No one has perfect skin, no moles, no trouble spots, no battles with acne, no skin discolouration. No little bits of fat that refuse to leave your body.
It’s gotten to a point where I crave autumn and winter, because I know I can hide behind sweaters and full sleeve clothing and not have to worry about showing myself. Summer frankly terrifies me, and I use the fact that I’m allergic to sunscreen to cover up all the time because I’m terrified of wearing sleeveless shirts in public, lest someone see me and judge.
I can’t take compliments about my ensembles and shy away fitted clothing.
But the irony is that I love fashion. I love clothes and shoes. I have a whole section of my wardrobe dedicated to jewellery and nail polish. There’s nothing more exciting then finishing a look with a new piece of jewellery I’ve bought. Makeup excites and fascinates me. I love seeing what I can do with makeup. My shoe collection is continuously growing. It’s like I have a boot fetish with the amount of ankle boots I’ve bought this year alone (7 and counting). Leather and suede statement jackets bring me so much happiness. I love the way gold compliments my complexion and Prussian blue brings out the copper and gold in my eyes.
I can easily spend hours combing through fashion magazines and websites and put together ensembles I know I’ll love and look good in.
So you might be asking, why the lack of confidence if you love and know all this about yourself?
Like any perfectionist, striving to attain perfection doesn’t just stop in our work. I strive to perfect everything I do. From ironing my shirts to making a dish, I want everything done perfectly. And this mentality has transferred into my self confidence. I rarely see perfection because there’s always something wrong.
I could have had my brows freshly threaded, have a non bloated day, look cute AF in the ensemble I’ve chosen and have my hair actually cooperating with me. But I’ll always find a fault.
And that’s the root cause of my issue.
So, my question is, how do I stop finding the faults in myself and learn to accept what I have at the present moment so I can live a more happy and fulfilled life?
I know it isn’t an easy process. But somehow, I think I’ve put myself through enough trials with the unhappiness I feel sometimes. I work for my happiness, but somehow, I need to learn to feed self love and appreciation into that work ethic as well.
I’m allowed to not be perfect. Because perfection simply doesn’t exist. Perfection is a figment of our imaginations that torments and impassions us. And maybe throwing caution to the wind and not striving for perfection will do me good.