Mental Health advocate Georgia Dodsworth is our Guest Blogger this month, she is currently featuring in our #ApplaudandReward Campaign so we asked her to share her experience and thoughts on body positivity.
As a child, I was very comfortable with my body, as my Mum always supported, empowered and nurtured the relationship I had with myself. I didn’t see a size, however, my peers at school did. At 8 years old, I remember feeling trapped in conversations about body image. Who has the perfect figure in the class? Who is the prettiest? Who has the best legs? Etc. It was like a horrible sickening quiz show, yet everyone joined in, and it was a usual lunchtime topic to talk about. I would go home feeling confused, as my Mum raised me to love my body, yet why was I hearing differently in the outside world?
When I hit puberty at the early age of 12, my view towards myself became hateful, and I would compare myself to my peers who were undeveloped, still in their childlike petite body. I began to feel embarrassed in weekly P.E lessons, as none of my friends had to wear a crop top bra, why did I? I gave up my weekly dancing classes which I took 3 times a week because I always felt 10 x larger than everyone else in the class, as my breasts suddenly protruded and hips widened.
I remember feeling very embarrassed about my body, and my shape. Looking back now, I understand that I fed my body with so much poison, but the poison was what the world was thriving off. Glossy magazines would put skinny airbrushed ‘perfect’ looking models/celebrities on the cover, and I would automatically judge, compare and hate myself.
My view on my body changed only very recently when I began to realise the words I’m feeding myself such as “fat” “ugly” and “big” were starting to become detrimental to my mental health. I remember making a conscious decision to stop using and thinking those words. It is a challenge to get into a habit of thinking and speaking positive thoughts about your own body, but it’s vital to a happier you.
Some days I wake up, and leave the house without properly looking in the mirror, and then the rest of the day I think nasty thoughts about my body such as ‘You look so fat” “That girl opposite you on the Tube is so much prettier than you” and it’s because I haven’t paid my body the attention it deserves!
I have now developed a routine which is a core element of my self-care practice which is moisturising my body with a scent filled cream/lotion whilst looking at my body in the mirror, and focusing all of my attention on how beautiful and powerful it is. Yes, I may have rolls, stretch marks, lumps, bumps, spots and eczema, but that makes me who I am! Why am I going to spend years and years hating on a body that isn’t airbrushed, when I can airbrush it myself by feeding it positive thoughts and speaking affirmations out loud!
Social media can play a massive part in poor body image. I have unfollowed people/brands that don’t inspire or motivate me and have replaced them by following great advocates for body positivity such as Callie Thorpe, Sonny Turner, Megan Jayne Crabbie and Olivia Campbell.
Clothes can make you feel both positive and negative about your body, and as a plus size, I find it hard to find fashionable clothes, however, it is becoming much easier now as most brands have a plus size/curve range.
Underwear can make you look and feel fabulous! Finding the perfect bra and getting fit can be quite a daunting process, especially if you have a big bust such as I do! However, I have recently discovered Curvy Kate and their bras are both very sexy, but very comfy, a perfect combination! All have matching knickers which don’t slide down, don’t cut into your tummy, they feel so smooth.
I have a good relationship with food, and I will not judge myself if I want something sweet like chocolate!
By practising body positivity, and living your truth, you are promoting it. People will start to see how happy and confident you are within yourself and they will hopefully embark on the self-love journey, and join in the body positivity movement in discovering their true beauty.
It’s important to find friends that respect you and your body. One of my friends, Kaleya, really gets it and understands when I have bad body positivity days. She reminds me that I am beautiful and that I shouldn’t compare myself to anyone. We all have bits we don’t “Like” about our body, but it’s about moving that to one side and really accepting and loving the imperfections.
If you've felt inspired by her open post on loving, appreciating and taking care of your body then check out our body positive #ApplaudandReward campaign! Where you see flaws, we see beauty!