One day I was trying on my favourite bikini to check it still fit for my holiday. It did. Like a glove. To be honest, I thought I looked great. I’d been working really hard in the gym and actually remembering to feed myself at regular intervals throughout the day (instead of you know, eating nothing all day then eating my entire house and the complete cast of Newsies when it got to 8pm). So yeah, overall I was feeling pretty hot. And then I saw them. These long white stripes across my bum cheeks. I have stretch marks. Continue reading “How To Survive Feeling Like a 2/10 (When Everyone Else Seems like a 12/10)”
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I’ve always been told I’m headed for great things. I’d like to believe that. Who knows, maybe I am? However, right now I can categorically say I am not doing great things. I am nothing out of the ordinary. I’m average. I’m a student. I drink, I write essays and hand them in on time, I maintain a good grade, I go to the gym. I know that sounds quite productive, like the usual good student having fun but remaining studious, but it’s average. Masses of twenty year olds in the country are doing the same.
Now, that thought may seem like a belittling, negative one, but bare with…
All my life, I’ve been reassured by loving parents, grandparents, sometimes even strangers that I’m the “prettiest” , the “most intelligent” , and a “very promising” girl. That could be correct, given the right circumstances, but it’s probably not. This isn’t an “oh boo hoo I’m so ugly/stupid/useless” post, it’s positive, I promise, I’m getting to it. Basically, my whole life I was conditioned to be something special, something exciting. I was going to be a performer, I was going to be something so admirable, and exciting and I’d have hilarious stories to tell quirky strangers in bars. There was this huge pressure on me, particularly through college, that being ordinary, being like everyone else just wasn’t enough. That’s probably because it was a performing arts college, leading us all into a competitive industry, however, I do believe at some point everyone feels this same pressure. This pressure that to be important and popular and unique is everything.
I used to spend ages scrolling through Instagram looking at people I thought were the most beautiful. I wanted to look like all these girls with perfect make-up and gorgeous clothes, and I wanted to be surrounded by these gorgeous, edgy male models drinking gin and flashing their watches. They were the best, the elite and I wanted to be part of it. I wanted this lifestyle that involved gorgeous people, with cool creative jobs, who seemed to just effortlessly stroll into VIP Lounges and tell people stories about the time they met such-a-body from the radio or how they partied with such-a-body from TV through their most recent acting job.
Basically, I used to spend hours convincing myself I had to be something more than what I was. I’m not the sort of person who gets into VIP just by strolling in. I don’t even like clubs that much anymore, I’d really rather be in bed by 11pm. My stories are somewhat quirky, but they’re usually at the cost of my own dignity, and don’t often involve celebrities or much more than me making a fool of myself. I like gin, but I’d really rather drink it with my friends on a weekday than with some guy in a snobby bar who just wants to tell me how much his watch costs. I used to think I had to do all these things so I’d have something to impress everyone with, so I could be the kind of person who had a witty anecdote if ever needed. But really, how often are they needed? And who am I impressing?
The fact is, being cool, being new and exciting is nice. If you are cool and exciting and you have all these amazing stories and interesting careers, really, more power to you and keep up the good work. I admire that, and there’s still this part of me that wants all of that, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting that. But some of us aren’t there yet. And that’s okay too.
It’s okay not to be the most beautiful. It’s okay not to be the most intelligent. It’s okay to not have everything together yet in a nice Pinterest-worthy package of a life. You probably are headed for great things, but your parents will be proud of you if you’re happy. It’s equally as impressive to have what you need and not want more, to have a quiet life with a small circle of loved ones. Your job doesn’t have to be the most exciting to strangers if it’s exciting to you. You don’t need to post a quirky picture of “the best night out everrr [insert party popper/champagne emoji]” on Instagram every week to make people think you’re interesting. Doing the ordinary isn’t settling. Doing something you’re uncomfortable with is settling. Never settle.
I hope this made some sort of sense. If you need a summary after my rambling: Ordinary is okay. Most people are ordinary and they’re perfectly happy. Just be happy, and do you, boo, do you.
Recently, a lot of people I know, including myself, have had a whole load of self esteem problems. It’s something I and many others struggle with throughout our whole lives. It’s perfectly normal to have things you don’t like about yourself, but when this dislike turns to hatred, it becomes a problem.
Given it’s the whole “New Year New Me” time, I decided it’s time for this to stop. I know many people get themselves to a really dark places. Extreme and dangerous measures are taken to punish yourself for simply being you and this isn’t okay (state the obvious).
One day, when you’re ready, you’ll wake up one morning and realise you cant live like this forever. It’s impossible to be a functioning adult, going to work everyday while hating yourself. You’ll realise you can’t raise children with this attitude, you can’t maintain friendships and relationships feeling like you’re not worthy of them. You have to realise you’re the most important person in your life. You are very much loved, and your self worth is based on your opinion, no-one else’s.
It’s time to focus on ourselves. It’s time to better ourselves, not punish ourselves. Exercise because you want to be strong, not because you think you ate too much. Eat fruit and vegetables with everything, not because they’ll make you thin, but because they lift your mood and make you glow. Go out and party not for approval, but because you love your friends and you want to dance like an idiot with them. And for goodness sake, pick a nice smelling body moisturiser and use it twice a day. (I’m not sure why that helps but I swear it does.)
The reason these gorgeous yoga girls and hunky gym guys we all compare ourselves to on social media are so gorgeous is because they wake up every morning and think “I’m beautiful and I deserve to treat myself as such.” Don’t wait for anyone else to treat you like royalty, start yourself. Once you start glowing, loving yourself and those around you, you’ll realise your life isn’t valued by attention, Instagram likes, relationship status or the number of people you’ve pulled on a night out.
You become what you think you are. And it’s time to think differently.