45. Body Ody Image

Disclaimer: the title alludes to a Tiktok song, I am sorry if you don't understand it. Or maybe I am not sorry, rather I commend you for not falling down the rabbit hole that is Tiktok. You should most definitely enlighten yourself by this song of which I will leave a link to at the end of this blog post. Beethoven did once say: "Body by Megan Thee Stallion is a cultural masterpiece that pushes my Moonlight Sonata into the closets of irrelevance. Pure genius." Therefore, if Beethoven said that, you have no choice but to listen. Kidding, he did not say that. How could he? He has been in his grave for nearly 200 years! His spirit actually just insisted that I speak on his behalf in this blog post to inform y'all of the masterpiece that is: Body by Megan Thee Stallion. Okay, on with what this blog post was supposed to be about; body image.


I think I can speak for everyone when I say that body image and one's relationship with it is complicated. In this post, I am going to disclose myself and my relationship with body image quite extensively. It is a personal relationship, that is for sure, but I thought that because everyone has this relationship that it may find readers by helping them understand their own relationship a bit better. Taking from what I just learnt in my media and communications class on social media; good interpersonal communication is built upon three things: relational norms (reciprocity and opening and closing conversations), social rituals and self-disclosure. So I'm going to take that last point and exploit the flip out of it, you are going to get an all up-close-and-personal commentary on whatever I have to say on my relationship with body.


Let's just say that my relationship with how I see my body has been an interesting one. It is an ever-evolving roller coaster that surprises me everyday. You know, sometimes I will wake up, roll out of bed, look straight in the mirror and think 'damn!' Usually this is when my nighttime's digestion routine has pulled through and shrunk my stomach's muffin top to the point where it gets me contemplating auditioning for Victoria's Secret that very day. Other days, everything but that thought enters my mind. Usually thoughts of terrible convictions take control. Sometimes, the morning mirror informs me of its unsuccessful procedure in eliminating whatever junk I put in my belly the night before. And if the unwanted belly fat still remains after the morning deposit dash to the toilet (was there really a better way I could of described taking a s**t, I would be interested in knowing if you have anything better to suggest), then that really gets me in a dump (no pun intended). This really sets up the tone for the day's level of body confidence.


As I write this for instance, I am at my parents' house because of the unfortunate recent contraction of strep throat. The day was a mild sunny 18 degrees celcius so I dressed myself accordingly in some mom jeans and a cropped tee. These items would allow breathability in the unknown anticipation of a heat rush that strep throats kindly brings with it. It gives my medium size bod some shape to it without being too overbearing. Now I find myself in my mum's sexy Roxy board shorts (lol) because of the sun's basking ability while having my back to it which make a girl's fever go through the roof. So, one could say that the level of body confidence right now stands at a solid 5.75, because these board shorts cut above the unacceptable height of my knee, right in the middle of my thighs are really pushing the acceptable fashionable boundaries.


Personally, I have in the past struggled to identify with my body because of the female bodies represented in media. This is generally because I have got the curves but do not fit into the 'plus-sized' narrative. And I definitely do not align with the Victoria Secret's model physique. I found myself in this 'medium-sized' limbo that was rarely shown in mainstream media. Dolly Alderton in her 2018 book Everything I Know About Love seemed to have the same dilemma as I and expresses it flawlessly. She writes "I never felt overweight, but my body type was often muddily described as 'a big girl'." She then goes onto to talk about how she comes "from a long, tall line of giants." Which again, resonates with me as both my mum and dad are of giant descent. I'm tall myself but not even close to being lanky. Dolly writes that she "wasn't one of those adorably tall, lanky teenage part-foal-part-human girls - I was broad, with big boobs and hips." It genuinely felt like I was talking to myself but Dolly's words were taken out of my own psyche and plastered onto paper. And here is the home run of relatability that stuck the nail in the coffin: "I never knew how much I was supposed to weigh, because every girl was half my height and talked about their 'fat weight' as being a weight I hadn't been since childhood, which engendered a great sense of shame. That, partnered with boredom eating and puppy fat, meant I was shopping for size 16s when I was not yet sixteen. I was aware I was bigger than my friends, but I always had faith that my shape would make more sense when I wasn't a kid." Gobsmacked. I was gobsmacked.


Dolly completely described the feelings that I experienced in my pubescent years. I was the first girl in my year group to get boobs. The shame. The horror. The embarrassment; I was becoming a woman! The discomfort I felt was only emphasised by a comment a family friend told me (he was like 7 or 8, I would have been about 10 or 11) on a camping trip while playing football. Back then, I was the tomboy who was the captain of the girls' football team and wanted nothing less than being associated with becoming a developing female. So when this 8 year old approached me and said "Ella, you're getting boobs", the raging mortification that engulfed my body was nothing but my worst nightmare. I remember that my arms rapidly crossed up over my chest to cover my boobs - as if that was ever going to deny the existence of them - and announcing to him that he was in fact wrong and that I did not have boobs.


Fast forward to 13, my boobs were beyond the point of being able to pretend that they didn't exist. The girls were fully established, buckled in and were there for the long haul now. I had switched from football (soccer this is) being my full time extra-curricular past time after school to dancing full time. I did it all: tap, jazz, contemporary and hip hop. Side note: I was never good at hip hop. But dance required a lot of movement. And I was dancing almost everyday after school for a few hours and all day on Saturdays, so it was an especially big amount of movement. More embarrassment ensued when the dance teacher had to talk to my mum after class one day to tell her that "Ella needs better bras." Damn. What quickly followed was a visit to The Fitting Room, a lingerie store whose logo is "beautiful bras for bountiful busts". Can you imagine how little tomboy Ella's spirit felt when she did not just get boobs, she got a bountiful bust. There was no going back to football now, sweetie!


Obviously, as you get older you grow into your boobs and curves. Suddenly they became a blessing rather than a curse. Suddenly teenage gals "wished they had your boobs". So that all made for an interesting, confusing and overwhelming time growing up. At least it wasn't boring; just full of insecurity (insert me pulling a peace sign and pouting my lips). One thing I have to thank is: Tiktok. Yes, it may be a bizarre thing to thank, but let me explain! There is an actual community of girls on there, like myself, who are medium-sized. This newly found community creates brilliant videos on body positivity. For instance, this one video by @josiejabssss goes like: "I'm not fat, but I'm not skinny? + Thick thighs and love handles? + Wide ribcage? + Stretchmarks? + Bigger than all my friends and them telling me I'm skinny? = confused and insecure!" Stuff like that only works on Tiktok, but you get the drift.


Your own body image is your journey to go on. In a world of extensive comparison (through the wonderful phenomenon that is social media), it is difficult to remember that you are the only person that you should compare yourself to. It will be an up-and-down relationship, but try to perpetually appreciate everything that your body gets you through. Rewire your mind so that rather than jumping to criticism, thank your body for letting you breathe, giving you energy, taking you wherever you want to go, recovering after obliterating it resulting in a dreadful hangover and letting you experience your crazy life. Take care of it; do exercise, moisturise and put sunscreen on everyday, eat clean and well and get sleep. As I say this stuff, I know that is obvious but it is sometimes the hardest thing to do. I hardly achieve consistent self care, but we can always try. Let this be your reminder to do something for your body today. Because damn, it does a lot for you.

Thank you so much for reading! If you have any further questions based on this blog post or anything else in regards to this blog, be sure to get in contact with me through this website or through the blog's Instagram linked below.


LINKS:

~ Link for previous blog post: https://www.madein2000.com/post/42-we-f-ked-up

~ Link to 'Body' by Megan Thee Stallion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBOtyXVSsgg

~ Link to 'Born In 2000' instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ellawasbornin2000/

~ Link to 'Born In 2000' opinion form: https://www.madein2000.com/we-want-you-r-opinion


Make sure you send through recommendations, considerations and comments in regards to this blog. If you have anything that your wanting to hear, Ella is listening! Be sure to subscribe to the mailing list and become a member to receive notifications and more information.


This blog will encompass the life of a 20-year-old kiwi chica. Composed of stories, advice, life lessons, worldly observations and whatever else Ella's life brings to surface. For all of this and more, read my new found blog 'Born In 2000': established on the 28th of October, 2019. Where Ella Gibson explores her life that exceeds all limitations. Publications should be expected once a week. Also, be sure to take this present moment now and rock it!

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