I've been meaning to write this post for a while. In fact, I've been wanting to write it for such a long time that it's kind of gotten in the way of my ability in writing anything else thats's overly emotive. I guess when you post your life on the internet you allow yourself to sit under somewhat of a microscope - especially your physical appearance - and I guess it's finally time I addressed the elephant in the room for once and for all.
When you post photos of yourself online it can seem pretty vain. I get it. You post a bunch of outfit photos on the internet and bam, you're in love with yourself. Although (and I think most bloggers/internet people will agree with this) that's not always the case. I've been doing internet 'stuff' for almost eight years now, and I've been posting on this blog regularly for two of those years - the majority of these posts being photos of myself. And whilst some of you guys might completely disregard what I'm about to say, the truth is is that I have literally hated how I look for years. I've mentioned my battle with depression in previous posts, but I've never really spoken about some of the reasons I used to feel so low and - long story short - a bulk of it really was just me struggling with my appearance. Whichever way you look at it - whether you think I'm crazy or you agree that I was somewhat lack-lustre in the old looks department - it was how I felt. And it feels really good to be able to say that that way how I 'felt' and no longer how I feel.
So I publicly broadcasted the fact that I had lip and chin fillers (be sure to check out my post all about my dermal filler experience if you're interested) and over time I've found myself in a routine filled with fake tans, whitened teeth, acrylic nails and hair bleaching. I've become more familiar with the gym (I'd like to humbly slip in the fact that I *chose* to go to the gym at 6am the other day..) and I've taken control of my diet in a bid to get the body I've always wanted. I've begun to wear lighter coloured contacts after years of wanting bluey-grey eyes and - if that wasn't enough - I also took a trip to the dentist the other day where I had one of my front teeth filled to fix something I've been conscious of for quite some time. So you know, nothing major.
I've never hidden anything that I've done - I mean, how could I? You guys probably see my face more than some of my own relatives. It'd be near impossible to hide what I've been up to without just taking photos of my ankles forever more (which by the way, have stayed the same). Sure, I haven't hidden anything, but I haven't really spoken about my semi-sudden transformation either. I know, I know, I've not had any drastic surgery or anything done, but when I was going through some old posts a few weeks ago I realised that, actually, all of these little things have kind of accumulated in a way that makes me look like a very different person. I'm going to leave a link here to one of my older posts that's less than a year and a half ago, just so you guys can see the difference.
Now I don't mean to go all psycho therapy on you guys - and maybe it's just because I know what was going on my head around that time - but I think it's safe to say you can tell I wasn't feeling so great about myself. I wore baggy clothes because I felt that was what fit my body best, I wore hats almost all the time because it covered a portion of my face, I hid myself in outfit pictures because I didn't like how I looked, and even after the photos were taken I tried to edit the crap out of them to salvage whatever I could. In fact, I specifically remember telling Ollie (and this was only a few months ago) to stop asking me to look at the camera, and to get pictures of me looking down or away instead, because I looked better that way. And smiling in a picture? Pah! Dream on. But now? Now I literally feel like I'm looking at a different person when I scroll back to those photos.
I know we all grow out of awkward phases and - generally - a lot of us get better looking with age to an extent because we manage to figure out what works best for ourselves and what looks absolutely ridiculous. But, up until now - at 23 years of age - I never really felt like I figured out how to look good. I mean
sure, I'll look back on these photos in a years time and think, jeez, maybe I shouldn't have done my makeup like that, but at least I can look back at them knowing that - at that moment in time - I felt good about myself.
I've had so many people talk to me about my fillers, my fake tanning, my contacts, telling me that I was 'pretty enough as it was' and that 'I don't need to change' and they're all completely right. I didn't need to change, I wasn't ugly. I've known that this whole time. But knowing that and feeling that are two completely different things. Sure I might have fallen in love with myself a few years down the line but, at 23 years old, I thought, why wait for that 'might have' moment? I lived 23 years looking at people and wishing I looked like them, and then when I matured a little in my later teens I spent a few more years wishing I could just transform myself into a better version of me - one that I pictured in my head. It wasn't a complete transformation into some form of Victoria's Secret model (although if someone can start some form of Kickstarter campaign for that I won't say no), it was simply to change ever so slightly to be able to be the best version of me, in my personal opinion.
I remember my mum always told me not to worry about what other people thought. She said it to me when I was called weird for playing video games instead of playing with dolls, she said it to me in school when I was made fun of for getting good grades; she also said it to me when I was a My Chemical Romance loving emo in secondary school. So when it came to that pivotal moment in my life a few months back, when I decided to change myself, the only real piece of advice I had in my head was to not listen to what everyone else thought. Everyone, literally everyone I spoke to told me I shouldn't do the things that I've done, my Mum included, and even though her advice was pretty solid throughout those twenty-odd years, I guess it kind of backfired on her on this one occasion. Because I ignored what everyone else said, and I did what I always wanted to do. Sorry ma.
Like I said I know that in a few years time I could have woken up one day and felt completely at peace with how I looked, but having felt genuinely depressed (and I don't say that word lightly) for years about what I saw back in the mirror I didn't want to take that chance. And so I slowly changed things bit by bit, building up my confidence along with it. Sure, my chin night be 40% fake, my lips might be a bit fuller than mother nature intended, I might shove fake eyeballs in my face most days and yeah, I might rub brown stuff on my body every week to get a tan. Stripped back, I probably look almost identical to that girl in the old pictures. With all this new 'armour' (as I like to call it) on, yeah, I guess some people would say I'm 'fake'. Fake or not on the outside, the new-found confidence and love I have for myself is very much real.
WHAT'S THE BEST ADVICE YOU'VE EVER BEEN GIVEN? PS. I LOVE YOU GUYS!