During a Twitter chat on Tuesday night (#askablogger) the host asked the question “do you think blogs and social media have on effect on your body image or self-confidence in any way?”. I can honestly say no. The blogs I personally chose to follow and continue to read are all body positive. They are written by bloggers who don’t see the world through rose-tinted glasses and try to portray themselves as something they’re not. My favourite bloggers openly discuss their insecurities, flaws and passions; because of this I have a better sense of who they are as a person and I love them for it. I can relate and read their posts and feel as if I were talking openly and honestly to a friend. My advice is that if a blog is having a negative effect on your body image or self-confidence, unfollow immediately and start following bloggers that approach important issues such as femininity, body shaming and mental health in an honest, healthy and respectful manner. Examples include Tara at cattitudeandco.uk, Georgina at shemightbeloved.com, Holly at witchcake.co.uk and Olivia at dungarees-and-donuts.co.uk (if you know of any others please share them below!). Also, try to remember that the majority of social media platforms are completely idealistic, they usually portray an edited version of that person, all flaws and cellulite be gone! Obviously body confidence is a deep-rooted issue and is completely tailored to your own experiences. I’m not claiming that it’s solely caused by one aspect of your life, but for me I found surrounding myself with the right people to be an important step to tackling my own body image demons.
That being said my body confidence is at an all time low, however social media and the blogging community are not the cause. Watching your body change throughout pregnancy is a wonderful, beautiful and scary thing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of my bump. I find myself holding it with unimaginable happiness whenever I think of my baby girl, however, as my body slowly starts to stretch and morph into a new shape, I can’t shake this feeling of losing control. My midwife confirmed it’s natural to feel anxious and vulnerable during pregnancy, but that doesn’t help me feel any less uncomfortable in my own skin. Those body insecurities that plagued my teenage years have started to resurface, with a whole new bag of hormones to accompany it.
I’ve been taking a few steps in recent weeks to help confront these feelings. Simply lying in bed or in the bath and concentrating on my baby’s movements has helped tremendously. It gives me a better appreciation of how she’s developing and deepens the connection I have with her. It helps me embrace the changes in my body and reminds me how beautiful this journey actually is. I’m growing a tiny person inside of me, I may get a few stretchmarks along the way, I may get puffy and sore too but, I’m sorry, that’s pretty fucking awesome. Also talking openly with my partner has helped too. Sometimes flippant comments are made by those around you, usually from those with little understanding of what you’re going through, emotionally and physically, which can sting. It’s important they know the impact of their words. The comment, “ew, don’t get stretchmarks” nearly sent me over the edge last week and it wasn’t fully understood why until I expressed how this made me feel.
I feel like I’ve rambled on enough for now. You may disagree with what I’ve said, you make think I’m just being vain, narcissistic or even hypercritical. You have every right to feel the way you do. I just wanted a break from the beauty reviews to talk about an issue that is important to me right now. I’d love to hear your thoughts on all this especially from any mums out there; is any of this sounding familiar?