Tuesday, 8 April 2014

On Boy Bums & Moon Faces: A Post About Body Image


...Never let me do that again.  I can't pull it off.  Some goes for "Yo". Much as I want to be, I am not Jesse Pinkman....  Bitch. Let me start again.

Hiiii!  You smell lovely today!  I like what you've done with your hair.  Very interesting.  Did you do it on purpsose?  Oh, what have I been up to?  Just winning the star letter prize for Women's Running Magazine!  

I subscribe to and devour the magazine every month, so I thought I'd write in and kiss some ass, because I'm a creep and wanted to show my gratitude  (apparently they don't accept locks of hair bound with your own knicker elastic.  Just letters.  Weird, huh?).  I nearly fell over when they emailed me to say that my name was going to go into their magazine and that I'd be getting free trainers for it - New Balance W870WB3 trainers, I'll have you know.  Observe my awesome modelling skills (and poor hoovering skills):

I had a day off today and decided to take these neon puppies for a spin.  Reaction to them inconclusive as I stupidly ran for four miles and had to walk/limp back another four because I had hurty feet and knees.  Yes, that is the medical term for it.  Chose at the time to blame the beautiful, glowy shoes, but in hindsight probably should've stuck to a shorter distance on my first jaunt in them.  Plank.

Anyhoo, forgetting for a moment my total lack of common sense, I wanted to write about body image tonight.  Butt kissy and saccharine as my letter was, it's how I really feel messages in the media should be.  

Growing up, I've had some screwy-as-fuck ideas about how I look, or how I expected I should look.  It's only recently, and mostly through running that I've started to come to terms with the fact that everyone thinks irrationally about the way they look at least from time to time, and that appearance doesn't matter anywhere near as much as your mental and emotional wellbeing.  I find that how I feel about myself totally depends on internal stuff like whether or not I'm tripping balls on endorphins after a good lollop in my stretchy pants. My self image rarely depends on things like whether my fringe is doing what I want it to do at the time (clue: it never is).

Seeing as people seemed to respond well in my last post to the fact that I often pee'd my pants as a kid, I've taken it upon myself to further embarrass myself for your amusement this week by compiling a list of the absurd things I thought about my physical self whilst growing up.  Here goes:

1.  The Chins:  At around age 10, I convinced myself I had a HUGE double chin -  I saw myself as some kind of hideous toad/child hybrid. My mother dearest, instead of informing me that I was ridiculous, and even if I did have a double chin that I should give no further shits about it, thought it'd be funny to tell me I could fix it by doing "chin stretches".  Cue at least a month of giving myself lockjaw by gurning in front of a mirror and sticking my bottom teeth as far out as I could. Must've looked like I was constantly on a come down from ecstasy/similar gurn-inducing drug.  Suspect this is why I still chomp in my sleep.  Because of the stretching.  Not ecstasy before bedtime.  My dreams are fucked up enough as it is.

2.  Moon face:  Also convinced self that my features were to small for my massive, egg-like face and that my eyes, nose and mouth all converged together in the middle of it like they were conspiring against my ears.

3. In my eyes, my belly button sat too low on my midriff. I don't recall why this was of any importance, but it the time, it was pressing that I figure out how to change it.  Note: I was unsuccessful at sussing out how one moves one's belly button, so it remains in the same place to this day.  Under my ribcage and above my trousers. The shame of it!

4.  Boy Bum:  Back when baggy jeans were all the rage - the ones where the big ass wallet chains hung from your pockets (and those pockets were deep enough to transport entire baguettes inside them), I was told at a house party by a boy that my jeans made me look like I had a boy's backside.  In all fairness, they did. But, being drunk on alcopops and hormones, I decided that it wasn't the jeans and that my arse was irretrievably, unforgivably mannish.  I took the throwaway comment as being 100% a major failing on my part, when I should actually have dumped my drink on that insensitive little shit's head. Not that I'm bitter. Honest, I'm not.  Bastard.

5. In my early teens, I got a little obsessed about my posture, because I'd "learned" that my shyness at school had something to do with the way I held myself.... It's what the magazines were telling my anyway. Good posture = instant social ability and oodles of confidence.  Obvs.  So, I went about correcting my apparently Quasimodo-esque stoop by shuffling to the bus stop looking like I had an ironing board stuffed up my jumper and a large candle up my bottom.  Funnily enough, I didn't evolve into a straight-spined social butterfly as I fully expected to.  Just melted into a slouchy lump whenever I got home from school and didn't have to sit like I had a bloody back brace on for the rest of the evening.

I wish I could tell you that those were the only things I worried about, but you know me well enough by now to know that that would be a bare assed lie.  And I don't want to lie to you, reader. 

Oh! Oh! And while I remember - when I was little, I also wholeheartedly believed that it didn't matter too much how I looked, as long as I magically morphed into something "acceptable" by the time I was sixteen.  I wasn't even old enough to know why this would be required of me and my boy-arsed, moon faced, weird little body by that age, but sixteen was apparently the cut-off point for when you should reach physical attractiveness.  I don't think sixteen year old me, weighed down by eyeliner and an impressive beard of spots was all too impressed when her time rolled around to shine.   

Point I've been (poorly) trying to make is that everyone has hang-ups and more or less all of them are irrational and stupid, even if we are likely to be stuck with them to some degree right the way through our lives.  

Example:  I bought night cream the other day because I convinced myself that at twenty six years old, my face is collapsing from the forehead down.  Think the irrational thought, laugh at how bloody absurd it is and move the fuck on with your day.  

Now, please excuse me, I have to go and top up on the old Q10.  I feel a sagging sensation underneath my fringe.  Good day!


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