On Episode #5 of being An SSBBW I talk about being able to be comfortable in your own skin. Especially after last's weeks video, "Today I hate myself" I felt this was the perfect time to approach this topic. Although this is something I could talk about in many videos in depth, here is what I wanted to touch upon this week.
Feeling comfortable in your skin is not limited only to people of size. Most humans have a period in their lives where they lack confidence in themselves., dont quite feel comfortable around others, not liking the way they look, act, or dress, etc etc. Most of us have those feelings in our teens, but it can haunts us into adulthood
What I have heard from people over recent years is, "Rebecca, You are so brave to wear that shirt without sleeves" or "Rebecca, no way could I wear a dress that short, I wouldn't want people to see my legs" or "Rebecca, I love how daring you are with your clothes at your size, I really admire that, I hope to get there one day."
The biggest thing I used to notice when I heard these type of comments directed toward me, is that most of these people are significantly smaller than me. I would think, no way should they have body issues, I mean they have better legs than me, or are taller, smaller etc etc. That used to be my first response because that is what I had conditioned myself into thinking. That to be smaller is better and more beautiful etc etc. And that is the case for many people, and that is ok. I have said in the past, beauty is subjective, a guy isn't a jerk because he doesn't find big people attractive, and a guy that likes super big women isn't a freak.
I use to think that being smaller means they shouldn't have body issues, I mean god, what are you complaining about? I am three times your size be happy with what you got. How we look to others and how we look to our own self is very very different. It took me many years of self introspection to get that clear in my mind, who I was to me and not to others. And more many years to see that it doesn't matter the size, we all have struggles with self image.
Many FA's often ask me about why their partner doesn't see themselves the way they do, and I think this goes way beyond size and is really part of the human condition, ego, and self esteem, its all tied together. We could open this up to a big psychological and philosophical debate about human minds and society norms etc etc, but all people suffer through this. When it comes to overweight people however, I will say this, I know that people of size are often shamed and ostracized because of their weight. People like to give lectures, throw insults, tell you that you are killing yourself etc etc. This all contributes to what a person sees and feels when they look into a mirror.
To be called fat in this age, is akin to being called a lair, a thief a cheater, a bum, a slob. There is a big movement to take back the word fat and not to be afraid of it. Its just a word describing the truth. If someone is fat, they are fat. It doesn't mean they are less than or this terrible person. Living and growing up in a world where this is the case there is no wonder why so many people aren't comfortable with that word and that they struggle with self acceptance.
For 90% of my life I wouldn't show my arms because I thought having big arms was disgusting and to have people see them was the worst thing ever. Those thoughts were a learned behavior from my mom and sister. Both, when they were bigger. refused to show their arms because of their size. They were always so much smaller than me, so if they didn't show their arms, no way should I show mine. Same with my legs.
This goes back to when other plus size women compliment me on being "brave" or "daring" or "courageous" I am none of those things. I had to put in alot of work to be able to see myself correctly. As trope as it may sounds, it comes down to loving yourself the way you are, faults and all (not saying being fat is a fault but this goes beyond just size) The only way you can be confident in who you are and to love who you are is to say, "I am a flawed human being." We tend to be really hard on ourselves, having feelings of guilt for our actions. "I shouldn't have done that" "Ugh I should have said this" " God I really just hate myself" When you accept that for better and worse you are who you are, and that the only way you can make decisions for the betterment of your life, is to love every flaw, every ugly part about you that you may have. Only from that total acceptance, can you make the healthy decisions you need to make, that are long lasting and for your own good.
It was only when I looked at myself and said ok, I may not love all the decisions I have made, I may not always love the way I look, I may not love the way I speak or act or what kind of a friend I am. But even with everything I dont like, I love me, I love who I am. You know how most parents love their children no matter what? We need to love ourselves the same way. Once you get to that part, then moving on to realize that what other people think of you isnt your business, learning how not to take on other people's thoughts and energy onto yourself, and to remember that small thing, you and only you are in control of your life. When you believe and get to that place knowing that you are a valuable person; worthy of happiness and love, then you will wear sleeveless shirts, and short dresses and bathing suits on the beach. Then what other think or say dont affect your world and you can life your life your way.
So be patient with those that are struggling with self esteem. Be positive and uplifting but realize this is a journey they have to go through and get through on their own. They have got to want to make a change. It doesn't happen overnight and I still times I hate myself, I hate things I have done, or thought, or looked like, but I am not stuck there like I use to be. I know how not to dwell, but to move on, see what I did wrong, make the changes I need to for the next time I face that situation, and maybe, next time, it wont be so bad. This type of thinking is very much tied into how we look and our confidence. It all comes down to how we feel inside .
That is my view on how to feel comfortable in your skin. If you are struggling with that, no matter your size, feel free to reach out, comment or email me at Rebecca@beinganssbbw.com
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