As you will see below, the truly wonderful Big Purple Duck decided to have a shot at helping us women to realise how incredible our bodies are in the wake of a “large nipple” article. I told her how proud I am of her for doing this and how empowered I felt…..I volunteered to do my own….here it is…..(eek)
Firstly, this has not been easy in any way shape or form. I am someone who has struggled with her body image for more years than I’ve had Diabetes – at that point, I began seeing my body as even more broken and useless. That alone makes finding things I love about my body hard enough, and at every body part I examined I came up with a negative. Then I challenged those thoughts and came up with a list that surprised even me at points.
- My weight. I’m shocked at this one, I’m grossly overweight and have been trying not to be for most of my life. I have literal breakdowns sometimes when trying to choose clothes, find sites for my infusion sets or places to wear my pump. If I lost weight, the issues I have with my back and hips wouldn’t be as immobilising as they sometimes are but… I’m really attached to my insulation. You see almost 16 years ago, the extra weight I carry literally saved my life! I desperately want to lose weight, but I have a fear that it means losing my safety net. This is not a healthy way of thinking and I’m working very hard to punch through that mental block.
- My cross-bite. It makes my smile a little wonky and my mouth seems uneven when I talk which makes me feel insecure, but it also means my smile is unique and always genuine.
- The body language I use. I’ve worked really hard at connecting the person I wanted to be (the person I was and am) with the person others made me feel I had to be. For so long I had hyper-awareness of my body language because “it gives me away” as if it was a bad thing to be authentic. Now, I’m not ashamed that my body language may say I disagree with you, or I no longer wish to be part of this conversation or that I’m gonna hug you any second (or that I need you to hug me any second). I love that my body instinctively does this.
- **Trigger Warning** I love my feet. They’re small, my toes are in proportion and I can paint my toenails all sorts of crazy colours. My feet also mean I can explore new places with my dog, boyfriend or niece (and other people), discovering something new or seeing something for the first time that I’ve driven past and not seen before, makes me smile. It means I’m mobile and can freely get out and about, I can dance in the kitchen with Matt, I can make a silly noise everytime my niece touches my feet to make her laugh, plus Matt’s nephew says they don’t smell – so that’s always a winner!!
- My eyes. They’re a nice almond shape which I’ve inherited from the Irish side of my family, they’re hazel although they tend to look more green and they look good with no makeup or with makeup. They’re the one feature on my face I proudly highlight without any hesitation, even if that’s just “putting my eyebrows on” to make sure they’re framed. My eyes reflect my emotions in a really beautiful way, they sparkle when I’m happy and they sparkle when I’ve cried. They get very red and bloodshot when I’m tired which, in that moment before I go to bed to rest them; reminds me that I’ve lived that day.
In addition to all of this, my eyes are the most important tool in me learning to look at my body as a whole and realise how beautiful and strong and healthy it is.
Why not take a look at your own body and share what you love about it. I hope this has inspired you, dear reader, to challenge some of the negative beliefs you’ve formed about your body image. Let’s spread the Body Positivity and stand together instead of tearing each other down.
This post is a little out of my comfort zone, but I feel it is called for. This week I read an article in The Guardian (link here) reporting (hilariously, do go read it) a ‘trend for smaller nipples’. You don’t need me to tell you about the unrealistic expectations our society has of women’s bodies […]