Fear and self loathing in Coventry...

Today I am excited to announce our very first outfit posts! I was strangely nervous about having my photo taken, even more than usual. When I stopped to think about why I realised that I was most nervous about "How awful  will I look?"  and "What will people think about me?" I have no reason to suppose that people will think I look awful or to worry about what I look like... surely what I think I look like is what matters? However, my self image and self confidence are based solely on feedback from my peers and as is human nature, I have stored all the negative comments ever mentioned and now when I look in the mirror, I just see something hideous staring back. Surely this can't be normal?

Surely, all these gorgeous people I am proud to call my frends can't feel the same as me? However, based on a poll of my friends, they do. Why do people, especially girls, judge themselves and others so harshly? Surely we can embrace each other's differences?

In the same way as Maria, I find I am always negatively judgemental of myself, whilst always being able to find perfection in others. From conversations with friends, I'm inclined to think that most people find themselves in a similar situation, and so we're going to carry out a little experiment...

Having taken photos of ourselves for the outfit post, we're going to comment on the photos of ourselves, and of each other. Hopefully by comparing our comments, we'll be able to illustrate just how accurate or inaccurate our perceptions of body image are, and will achieve a better sense of self-acceptance, no matter how small that change is!

To me, these photos exemplify quite WHY I hate having my photo taken. I am wearing NO make up and in my eyes I look AWFUL :( I don't think my pose helps but I look round, red and fat. Now you might say "That's ridiculous!" I am the average dress size (14) and the average height for a woman at 5'4" but in  my eyes I look round.  I have a 'moonface' and I feel like anyone and everyone who looks at me is thinking "What the hell is she doing eating that?! Get on a treadmill love!" or wondering why I am wearing what I am wearing. I am lucky that I have loving and supportive friends and family but it is still very easy to get demoralised and self conscious, especially on a 'bad day'.
With the help of my boyfriend, friends and family, I am coming to grow into myself, to realise that I will never be a 6ft tall blonde glamazon but yet these people all love me for who I am. It is also important to note that everyone wants what they can't have. I think I would KILL for Danni's long model legs whereas she seems to hate them so I guess no-one is as "lucky" as people seem to assume! Hopefully now Danni will be able to put a nice positive spin on my photos and convince me to leave them on here! :) P.S. I *LOVE* these shoes, I got them for about £3 in a charity shop and they are so cute and very comfy...they look really cute with bows on as well! :D

Yet when I look at these pictures, I see someone with amazing style and a figure that I am deeply envious of. I honestly cannot see the 'round' image that Maria obviously perceives, and I’m desperate to convince her that she does not have a ‘moonface’. To me these pictures show off Maria’s perfect legs, and I’m incredibly jealous of the fact that she can carry off such beautiful dresses and skirts! I love all of Maria’s clothes, but this dress in particular is just adorable and perfect for emphasizing her waist; proving that she is fortunate enough to have the gorgeous hourglass figure that most women (and men) prefer. It’s no secret that me and Maria have had our fair share of bad outfits [sadly we have photographic evidence!] but I think Maria’s style in particular has developed into something really unique and inspiring. I know for a fact that she has received really positive comments on her fashion choices, and I hope that she can use these to boost her self esteem because she really is a beautiful person with an amazing style and figure to boot!

And now for my photos. Oh dear. I have to be honest, I am dreading posting these photos - I feel awkward enough in any social situation, but having that moment captured and posted on a blog? AAAARGH. Well here goes...

I hate having my photo taken, and this is the reason why! I have an image of what I look like in my head, and yet when the photo turns out I always have this weird expression on my face. I also hate my skinny legs, and that’s why I’m wearing jeans under this dress. I would give anything to have Maria’s legs so that I could wear all the beautiful skirts and dresses I so often want to buy. My ideal outfit would be an oversized cardigan, tights and heels – simple. And simply impossible for me. 
Another thing I notice when I look at this is how uncomfortable I look, and I think this comes from a deep-seated self-consciousness about my height and figure. From an early age I’ve been head and shoulders above my friends, and have gotten used to the fact that comments like “Gosh you’re tall” are usual when meeting someone new. But this doesn’t make me any less conscious of my height, and the attention it brings. 

I think perhaps if I were an outgoing person, I would be far less affected by being tall, but as a shy girl from the outset I have always found it difficult to face the looks and comments that come with being almost 6ft. I realise that this could sound extremely vain – ''does she honestly think everyone’s looking at her?'' But there is a sense of height-induced paranoia that I know both I and my mum (also nearly six foot) feel when in social situations. I don’t resent my height, and I have always gone by the mantra of making the best of what you have. I think what I dislike the most is the idea that it’s the first thing people notice when they see me, and it’s the immediate description that I’m given : the tall one. I guess what I’m trying to point out is that people are people, not heights, weights or shapes, and as difficult as it is not to judge someone on their appearance (I know I’m guilty of it too) I think we’d have a lot less problems with body image if it weren’t such a fundamental part of our perception.

I think this photo of Danni really shows off her sense of style. Although I would LOVE her to wear dresses without jeans, I know that this is difficult for her...Even colouring her nose in with highlighter couldn't persuade her to do this for me! You would think that Danni, of model-esque proportions, would feel empowered rather than cowed by the constant barrage of "model proportions" that women especially are exposed to yet it makes her more uneasy with herself. I hope in our next post we can try to examine why...I think the saddest part of this is how self conscious this has made my gorgeous and intelligent friend. I wish that she could see that's what people see rather than her height. This insanely stylish girl is an inspiration to me and makes me a MUCH better person. I think anyone who knows Danni will attest to the fact that she always looks gorgeous and unique (I am reclaiming this word to describe something positive rather than the weirdy beardies it seems to be synonymous with!) as well as being the nicest person they know and hopefully this article will be a step, however small, to help her realise that :)

Are you confident in your body? Do you judge other people? What's the nicest thing about you?



ze bethany. said...

you are both silly bums.
you are both gorgeous.
you are both LOVELY.
you are both insanely good at outfit-putting-together.
but, unfortunately, you both smell and i shall add you to the list of people-i-am-buying-pop-up-showers.
and I am a witty, witty child ;)

Unknown said...

These are great! I really love this trend!.This looks amazing!My Favourite Choice is evening shoes