We live in a society that’s profoundly uncomfortable with the idea of accepting a woman who loves herself.
When we see a woman embracing her physical form and displaying it proudly as a bold act of her own confidence, those who are insecure often feel threatened.
Using selfies for self love isn’t a concept that we often hear about. Instead, we’re told that women who take selfies are vain, conceited and egotistical. Women who take selfies are often compared to Kim Kardashian and have the implication thrown at them that they are vapid, airy and ditzy, and that they must feel that the only thing they have to offer is their beauty.
And, whilst for some people, perhaps they do feel that their beauty is their defining factor and that’s what they want to share the world, that’s not the case for every selfie.
For some like myself, selfies can be a bold declaration of radical self love.
A couple of months back, a stranger took it upon herself to message me on Instagram (where I post quite intimate photos of myself, my journey and my relationship with learning to accept and love my body) and tell me that my confidence “Needs to be taken down a peg!” and “Not every single photo has to have you in it, how arrogant is that! Don’t be such a vain bitch and do something better with your time.”
And for a second, it got to me. Her assumptions that I was void of intellect because my photos include my body bothered me. It hurt me that someone would think that I see my physical form as my defining feature – when, if you read anything I write, you’ll know this is the opposite of my opinion.
But when you boil it down to the core of the issue, it’s not hard to see why selfies make some people uncomfortable.
It’s hard to come to grips with the idea of someone publicly showing love, affection and appreciation for themselves without backlash. If you’re facing insecurities of your own, it’s easier to suggest that those who have found peace with themselves bring themselves down – because coming to accept and love your body takes some serious hard work, and it’s a lifelong journey.
That’s daunting. I get it. I know what it’s like to hate your body so profoundly that even the tiniest bit of exposure to someone who accepts their body is infuriating.
And that’s precisely why I won’t stop posting selfies that show my journey with my body.
My body that’s my home. My body that’s imperfectly perfect. My body that’s fought to keep me alive even when my mind didn’t want to be.
Does every photo need to have me in it? For the sake of other people, probably not.
But for my own sake? Abso-fucking-lutely.
Let me tell you, as a woman who’s spent 98% of her life wanting to cry at her reflection, unable to look at myself in my bedroom clothed without crying, let alone in any state of undress; as a woman who’s been obese and deathly thin; as a woman who’s tried anything to desperately change the skin that she’s in, only to still hate it; as a woman who’d previously rather die than even try on a bikini…
I never thought that I’d be standing here, posting a (very dirty mirror) selfie – unfiltered, flaws exposed, boldly highlighting my stomach… a part of myself that I thought I was always destined to hate.
Without editing, “sucking it in” or pushing out the boobs & trying to be sexy. No hiding my “flaws” or making sure the lighting hides my scars, stretchmarks and wobbly bits.
It’s not glamorous. It’s not sexy. But it’s me, and it’s real.
I never thought this was possible. And every time I post a photo of myself, it’s not to rely on validation from others – it’s for myself.
It’s my bold declaration to myself that my body is worthy of my own admiration.
To some, my photos might be just a chick standing there in her underwear… but to me, they’re revolutionary.
They’re my proof that I can, and do, love my body despite all its obstacles and flaws and quirks. They’re my reminder on my bad body image days that it’s possible to get back to a place of self-love.
My body represents part of my journey, and that journey will never end. And I want to document every single positive thought I have about my body because I know what it’s like to hate your body so profoundly that you want to die.
Maybe, just maybe, the world needs a little less “taking people down a peg” and a little more showing those who feel the weight of the world on their shoulders how they too can elevate their self-worth.
Maybe instead of dictating that confident women are vain and selfish, we can learn to see past that.
Maybe, and I really hope this is possible, we can get to a place as a society where, if you you see someone’s selfies and you’re not interested in seeing them, you can just quietly hit the unfollow button without attempting to demean, belittle or ridicule the person.Love your body fearlessly! Click To Tweet
Take (and love) your selfies.
Flaunt your confidence however you damn well please.
And never, ever, let a single soul tell you that you love yourself too much.
Need a little more self-lovin’ in your life? Let me show you the way!
Inside Out is my debut self-help title, jam-packed with over 140 pages of proven tools, strategies and exercises to help you find peace in your body. And unlike other self-help books, you know that Inside Out isn’t just dishing out technical knowledge… it’s coming from a woman who’s been through it.