So many things have changed over the years, but one thing that has remained the same is my ability to criticise and devalue myself. This may sound like damaging behaviour, and it is, but unfortunately it’s something present within many of us.

Something I’ve become increasingly conscious of, as the summer months creep ever closer, is my weight. Perhaps my appearance truly has changed, but I’m beginning to doubt that it has to the extent I believe. After scrolling through older pictures of myself, particularly ones from a time when I was very unhappy and lacking in confidence, I was surprised to see how I looked, objectively. When I look at these images with the power of hindsight it fills me with a sadness that I was so cruel to myself for no apparent reason. So that begs the question whether that criticism was really warranted, and if not why it was such a present feeling.
The lines between reality and our perceptions of ourselves are blurred so easily and often to great detriment. It’s a well exhausted topic, that of body image, but for good reason. The way we see ourselves can be so different from the way others see us. In no way am I attempting to solve the issue of body confidence by talking about the cliché contributors such as models and the media, however I feel a reminder is necessary; A reminder that we our are worst critics and, too often, for no real reason.
Imagine yourself at 6 years old, perhaps wearing a pirate costume, dressed like a princess or just playing with a lightsaber. Now imagine that little girl, boy or whatever gender you identify with, is sat in front of you. Would you tell that kid that they’re fat, a disappointment or waste of space? “Of course not, that would be cruel”, I hear you say. So although this sentiment may seem a little fluffy, I urge you to treat yourself with the kindness you would treat that infant with, because they are still in there somewhere and they’re more vulnerable than you may realise.
Of course there are many factors in why a person may view themselves in a certain way, but to me it’s becoming clearer by the day that I’m far too critical of myself. Striving to be better can only go so far before it becomes self-deprecating. So perhaps it’s easier said than done, but as I change and grow I’m going to challenge myself not to criticise that. Understanding oneself physically and mentally is simply a part of growing up, albeit a very difficult one.
“I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence and
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same”
David Bowie

2 thoughts on “Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

  1. Well-said. Your self-awareness shone through in the sentiment but also in your writing.
    It’s a welcome reminder regarding body image because I’ve been very confident in how I look since my late teens, after overcoming terrible body insecurity and dietary obsessions in my early teens. I’ve recently started to doubt my confidence in my figure however, and I was starting to wonder if really my boobs are too small and my legs aren’t as slim as I thought etc. Yet there has probably been no significant change and other people always see you in a more positive light so realistically I shouldn’t worry.
    Nice Bowie quoting too!


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