Body Image Series: Part 2
The first part of the body image series was on self-love vs self-hate. You can find it here. In my body image series, I hope to discuss and open up more about my thoughts on the way I look, accept every flaw, even the ones I don’t particularly find pleasing to the eye and fall in love with myself deeply and unconditionally. By that, i mean . . . fall in love with myself, mind, body and soul. xo

So here’s the thing: the only part of my body i remotely even like are my breasts. When, however, it comes to everything else . . . well, there’s an issue. I pick at every flaw, every scar, point it out even when it can go unnoticed, stab at it until I reduce myself to nothing but the negative thoughts swirling around my brain. Whenever I wear a crop top or even a cami, something that moulds to my skin, I breathe in, my mind screaming at me to suck in my gut, to stick my chest out a little further so my tummy appears just a little smaller.

It’s something that has been playing with me for ages now, and though I am taking measures to become better at self-love and embracing my body, it is so hard, especially when someone I trust(ed?) threw this very insecurity in my face during an argument. She, for years, has known how much I hated my body, how insecure it made me, how terrified I was of J seeing me naked and vulnerable, his hands touching the soft flesh of my stomach, but when it came to this argument, she brought it up to make me feel bad. Of course, I said some nasty things too, but when it comes to physical appearance, that’s a new low, more so when it’s something so hard to be rid of. The lower part of the belly is the hardest to lose and it is so damn infuriating.

The pressure to be perfect is entrenched in the way I conduct myself, the way I eat–it’s no longer intermittent fasting, it’s me trying to control portions, eat a little less so maybe I’ll lose some inches of my waist–to the way I think; the encumbrance is deeply rooted in society’s beauty standards, because it is them–society, the media–whom dictate how we feel about our overall worth. If our bodies aren’t up to par, then we’re nothing, allowed to be criticised and judged and laughed at. But even with a body that is still somewhat accepted by society, because I’m not really fat, and aren’t fat people judged the worst?, I am not society’s idea of beautiful. Where I feel good dressed in a midi Missguided dress, I feel the complete opposite bare, in front of J, whether I’m sitting or standing.

Sometimes I find myself trying to adjust myself, change the way I sit, if only to look better so he still finds me attractive. But he does anyway and I know that, so why do I still try to breathe in, not eat, or if I do eat, feel so guilty about it that I drink mug after mug of coffee just so I can, excuse my phrasing, shit it out?

Whilst I know it may not be the healthiest way to go about it, right now, it’s what feels as if it’s working. I don’t not eat. I still will stuff my face with Dairy Milk Oreo whilst re-watching Gossip Girl for the billionth time, but I will drink coffee right after, and have fruits too. And if I do eat, it’s usually once a day, like it has been for the last couple days. Of course, I know beauty is skin deep and there is more to us than just the aesthetics of our face and our body; it should never get to the point where you feel like someone lesser just because you’re not society’s idea of perfect.

And I’m telling myself this, just as much as I’m telling you: nobody is perfect, no body is perfect. Even Anne Hathway, extremely successful and super gorgeous, has had difficulty conceiving and a number of other issues, some we may know, and majority of it we don’t. Angelina Jolie, Hollywood’s sweetheart, suffered with mental illness. Even celebrities struggle. We shouldn’t–I shouldn’t–be comparing myself to the women have intense exercise regimes, personal trainers, a strict diet, and god knows what else. Not to mention, all these women are working for it, for the bodies they have.

Since I last wrote my body image post, I might’ve done some planks here and there but it wasn’t enough to actually make a difference. I keep saying I’m going to do it. But the problem is I’m always lacking energy; I am constantly, always, exhausted, to the point where I can’t bring myself to get up.

The way we look, our body’s image, shouldn’t get in the way of living, enjoying and savouring life to the fullest. I know that one day, my body will be home to a baby I’ll nurture for nine months, keeping them safe inside me, and then providing them with the nutrients they need to survive even after their birth, so I need to love myself a little more, cherish my body more, before it changes and evolves and expands and nurtures, and then love myself again. On the surface, over clothes, I have a body deemed pretty attractive, but beneath those layers, I have, I believe, two massive rolls, not including my love handles.

These are things I hate looking at when I see my reflection in the mirror; in my bedroom, I have one directly opposite my bed and another mirror to the left of it. So whenever I wake up in the morning, I walk past the mirror and stop and stare at myself, picking away and stabbing at every flaw, criticising the body I’ll be in for a lifetime, wishing I could just close my eyes, make a wish to become thinner and it’ll come true. But of course, it never does and it won’t unless I make it happen. And even if I don’t, well, beauty is only skin deep and there is so much more when you peel back all the layers and look beneath the surface.

Society’s standards of beauty are forever evolving and it should never define the way we see ourselves.

Sumaiya Ahmed, Self Love vs Self Hate

I need to accept that for myself and love my body. So this is my journey to self-love and having a positive body image. I’m trying.

Sumaiya, x

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