Why do we find it impossible to love ourselves?

How many times have you looked in the mirror and actually liked what you saw in the reflection staring back at you? How many times have you told yourself that you'll only be pretty if you lost a certain amount of pounds, grew your hair a bit longer or fixed the crook in your nose that no one else seems to notice but you?

I know I can't speak for everyone, but I'm assuming that everyone reading this has done that at least once or sometimes even as often as every single day.

My all time favourite episode of My Mad Fat Diary is this one (from about 24mins - 27mins). It shows Kester (Rae's therapist) teaching her to love herself, by imagining her calling a 10 year old version of herself 'Fat' and 'Ugly' - words which she uses to describe herself every day. This scene has really resonated with me ever since I watched it, and I really do think that it puts things into perspective. When you're destroying your self esteem, you're also destroying your younger self who endlessly believed in themselves and their potential. The thought of that really does break my heart.

At 10 years old, we were carefree and happy - but what changed? What made us feel inclined to hate at least one thing about ourselves? What made us feel that inevitable sadness when get when we stand in a changing room cubicle and nothing seems to look 'right'?

This definition of beauty has been adapted by society and a narrow mould has been created which is almost impossible to fit into. Apparently if we don't have a narrow waist and shapely legs then we're simply not good enough, and will never be described as 'beautiful'.

A couple of days ago, my friend (hiya Scarlz xxx) showed me an advert that she is using in her textiles project. It was from the 1950's and showed a woman moaning about how she was too skinny, and was looking at easy ways to put weight on. I couldn't help but think about how different things are nowadays, how most people are looking at 'Quick and Easy Ways' to lose weight, which sometimes even verge on being dangerous.



It's strange how things change.

I know women (and men) of all ages find it difficult to love themselves, yet I can't help but notice how much of a struggle it is for teenagers. At an age when you're the most vulnerable you will perhaps ever be, the way you look seems to be of every importance. Through platforms like Twitter and Instagram, we see these people with 'perfect' lives, 'perfect' figures and 'perfect' skin. Subconsciously, we are comparing ourselves to them, and looking at what they have that we don't.

When you really think about it, makeup/skincare or any other beauty brands almost promote self hate, just so they can make money out of it. You HAVE to wear mascara because it'll make your eyelashes look longer, you HAVE to buy our new nail varnish because it'll make you look nicer and you HAVE to buy this face wash because it'll make your spots go away overnight.

As a highly talented procrastinator, on a night where I was supposed to be getting through a mountain of work, I instead resulted to watching random videos. This resulted in me stumbling across a channel named 'Style like U' - 'a mother-daughter team leading a movement that empowers people to accept and express their true selves'. I was immediately drawn to a video featuring Melanie Gaydos called 'Beauty Is a State of Being'. (here) I had never actually heard of Melanie before, but I'm so glad I know about her now, as she has since become someone who I massively look up to and admire. The video is utterly beautiful in every sense of the word, and I really do encourage you all to watch it.

The song 'Toothbrush' by DNCE features the well renowned plus size model Ashley Graham. After doing some research through social media, I found a link to her TED talk ( here ) which is, without a doubt, one of the most amazing things I have ever watched. The way she words everything she speaks about is just fantastic, and it was so encouraging to see someone who was so comfortable with who they are - who has risen from the challenges she has faced, and defied expectations of shallow people who told her that she would 'never make it'.

If you take anything at all from this blog post, I'd love it to be this - You ARE enough, you ARE beautiful and the only thing that could ever be ugly about you is the way in which you belittle yourself. At the end of the day, 'Beauty is a state of being' and no matter how physically 'flawless' you are, if you're a horrible person then it accounts for absolutely nothing.

So eat that donut, wear that dress and when you walk past a mirror find something you love. Life is way too short to go about hating yourself.

Grace x


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