Self esteem doesn’t depend on what you look like. If you’re having one of those days when you have angry red spots on your face, or if you’re having a day when the PCOS hormones make the hair on your face coarse and dark, it doesn’t mean that you are unattractive. Beauty truly is only skin deep – what is within comes to the surface. Yes, you always feel like you’re in a constant battle and this drags down your self esteem, but really – it is just hair and skin. It isn’t who you are. The people who matter the most don’t care if there’s some stubble on your chin when you wake up in the morning, or that you’re going through a bad patch with hormonal spots. What matters the most is that you take care of yourself – that you eat the foods that make you feel good, that you take the time to look after yourself inside and out. Wear your favourite clothes, paint your nails your favourite colours, wear red or purple lipstick. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Happiness comes from learning how to not care about what other people think of imperfection. If imperfection is the human condition, then it doesn’t make sense that people worry so much about what other people think. Nobody is perfect.
A few months ago, you were happy despite a few things dragging you down – now, with more things to be happy about, why are you still so prone to melancholy? There is no point in worrying and being anxious about things that haven’t happened yet. What matters the most is that you focus on the good things, the things that are achievable, the things that need your attention. Not the things that eat you up inside no matter how many words you type or write, no matter how much you try to outrun the dark hours sandwiched between 12am and 4am. Those things are just wasting time – time that should be spent writing, making a life for yourself, making things, sleeping, even.
It is up to you to change your habits and turn things around. Nobody else can do that for you. It’s a positive and fun thing to make changes in your own life and to reach out to other people. Have hope – and accept when things go wrong too. Not everything will go right. There will be crushing disappointments, but also times for celebration, as always. So lift yourself up and don’t stress the small things. Look at the bigger picture. Sure, on a daily basis there are some annoying niggles to deal with, but they are just that – annoying. Don’t let them stop you from living life, going out and breathing in the crisp cold winter air, taking a walk, savouring your own company and that of others.
The beauty is that you only get out from life what work you put into it. So, put yourself out there. Email people, pitch ideas, be confident. That shy and awkward teenager you were would be amazed at how far you have come. She would be so proud of how far she has come, from English classes where she wrote short stories and was encouraged by her English teacher, to writing articles for a national independent newspaper. She would feel that all her resilience and strength, all the heartache and soul searching she did was not for nothing. Maybe she would be sad that you’re letting yourself be brought down by something that can be managed, that isn’t exactly the end of the world. Besides, remember what you’ve been through to get to this point.
So what – you haven’t done an outfit post on your fatshion blog for a while? Try mixing up your wardrobe a bit and having fun with clothes again. Remember why you started that blog in the first place – to inspire other curvy and fat ladies and guys, to develop your own self esteem, to show the world that fat is not a bad word. It is not a word to be spoken in hushed whispers, blushing and halting. It is a word that you can identify with and reshape with its own positive connotations. It doesn’t mean you’re unhealthy because everyone is different. Remember who you are and remember that being who you are is a good thing, not something to be ashamed of. Lift up those words and identify with them, be proud and strong. Take photos even if you’re having a bad skin day – because above all, it is honest, and honesty is often startlingly beautiful. It will help you to accept yourself.
And – for whoever is reading this blog post – remember that imperfection is the human condition, and we are all beautiful. We all have things that we want to hide and cover up and disown. Don’t – because it is part of you, and life is more interesting that way. Be proud of your achievements and don’t be afraid to recognise them.
To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves – there lies the great, singular power of self-respect. ~ Joan Didion