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  1. The Life of Jea says

    Ever since I was a child, I have been called ugly (a pale and (then) ginger kid = bad combination). And unlike the other mums, my mum never, not once, told me I was pretty, so I assumed the ones saying I was ugly were right. I think my mum grew up the same way, so it wasn’t meant as a bad thing from her, it was just what she knew, but it damaged me.
    When I post photos of myself, on instagram, I get super happy if someone comment something nice about me. I don’t really believe it (yet), but I get happy. There’s always that “if I show more skin, more people will call me pretty” voice in the back of my head… I know it’s stupid but… yeah…

    With that said, when I post a selfie, or a photo of me, a part of me is going “yes, you show them you’re good enough just the way you are!” And that part of me is taking up more and more space in my head. Instagram and selfies has actually helped me feel better about the way I look, and all of these people showing of their bodies, skinny, fit, plus size or what ever, is making me feel better about showing of my own body (and face).
    So I’ll show of more and more of myself (shorts, shorter skirts etc), and very slowly, I am starting to feel better about my looks. If someone is being rude, I can just block them. But when people say kind things, it does build me up, and I will not feel as bad about myself when I go outside 🙂
    But after being called ugly for more than 30 years, it takes time…

    • LauraJ says

      There’s always that “if I show more skin, more people will call me pretty” voice in the back of my head…. This isn’t stupid at all! Society has a set standard formula for beauty which changes all the time. It’s almost a game of luck.

      Like if your hair was curly in the 80’s or you were super skinny in the 90’s. My fear is beauty today, has become so similar and fake. Most of the biggest Instagram stars have had lip injections, boob jobs and other tweaks.

      I’m sorry your mum never called you beautiful as a child, because you should have been told back then and you should be told now.

      Working in cosmetics, I would see countless women who had no idea what their great features were. I would say wow, you have this amazing eye colour or great cheekbones, and they would always reply by bringing themselves down.

      I don’t think most people who post, are truly happy with themselves. But we should all try our best and I’m glad you’re starting to feel better.

      And definitely ignore any bullies. As a child, I was the darkest kid in my class with all these blue-eyed, blonde hair girls, and they always said they were the prettiest.
      And I’ve seen bullies on Instagram target so many people, regardless of their following or appearance.
      You are attractive and more than that, you have great character and a rich personality.

      • The Life of Jea says

        Thank you 🙂 My mum said that she didn’t mean that I wasn’t pretty, she just thought I knew that, and she wanted to lift up everything else. I get where she’s coming from but…

        I’m glad I’m not a teenager in todays world, the pressure to look like everyone else is just mad.. And I can NOT get over all the girls, about 16 or 17, with shorts that show of about 75% of their bum!! One was wearing shorts that were like a g-string!! In a shopping centre!!! I don’t even have pants that small….. 🙂

        • LauraJ says

          Okay I admit I use to own a pair of hot pants at 17 and they showed alot. I cringe so badly about it now, but at the time, I thought it looked really good.
          It’s a terrible memory!!! I hate today’s makeup though. Trying to look like a plastic person almost.

  2. K.M. Sutton says

    Such an interesting topic and perspective. For me personally, when I am at my most insecure, I hide, from relationships, pictures, nudity, etc. I don’t want to showcase myself, even if it does mean I would get to “keep” the man. When I am at my most confident (which seems to be happening the more I get older and probably because I don’t give a f@$#%) I have no problem baring all.
    Speaking to American culture (because I do feel the others such as Britain and Australia are much more accepting) and Hollywood, I think their is a huge double standard with woman showing their bodies. They are damned if they do, damned if they don’t. People (and it includes other woman too, nit just men) want women to be the Virgin Mary while still having the skills of Aphrodite. Women can’t win.
    Sex is an issue that is so taboo and so controversial, and people get judged so easily whether it is slut-shaming or being prudes. And that is where we need to change the narrative. We need to do what makes US happy. Which doesn’t mean we necessarily go with the status quo or we won’t be judged, but as long as you are doing you and are okay with those decisions that is all that matters. Thanks for sharing beauty! <3

    • LauraJ says

      Thank you for this amazing comment! I think it can go either way when you feel insecure, kind of like how after a break-up, some people stop eating and others eat more.
      I don’t think the UK is more accepting! When I travel around Europe, there is more carefree vibe. But the UK can be full of very judgemental people when it comes to sex and showing skin.
      It is exactly true what you said. Women are suppose to be the Virgin Mary and then have this wild, kinky side to them. We really do need to change the narrative! x

  3. thatfeelinginside says

    I have never thought about this before but I really enjoyed your post. So interesting and a lot to think about here. Such a raw post and i’m so glad you decided to post this. Makes me so mad how much women are objectified still, people want to put us in boxes and get mad when we don’t fit in them. I’m so fed up of feeling like if I dress a certain way or do a certain thing someone will try and label me. Such a weird world were living in. You look amazing in that photo by the way!xx

    • LauraJ says

      Thank you! It is so frustrating that there is still so judgement about women and how they choose to dress. And it’s not even just regarding how much skin we show, but whether to look too dressed up or wear too much makeup etc. xx

  4. beyo11 says

    This is a great post. Will need to distinguish between mechanism of coping with mental “pain” and cultural connotations of body image. The first is definitely person centric, everyone have their own mechanism, body flaunting or otherwise. The cultural issue are deeper and need to be addressed, posts like this is a great platform to do so. I believe, that women should be confident with their bodies , showing it or not should be entirely up to them, in an ideal world. I think we all should be addressing the issues concerning body image and confidence, forgetting all other related issues that will always pop up around it, as it distracts from the issue of confidence and women freedom to decide. This is paramount. Society have to accept that concept…. Great post

    • LauraJ says

      Thank you so much for reading! I love this point! Society throws all these other issues and things around women and body confidence. That it’s almost like the main issue is not being addressed. To me, I wish the stereotypes could die down.

      Women who do show their bodies tend to linked to certain words and certain meanings, completely taking away their power to be themselves. I love responses like this and you’ve made me see this concept in a new light, so thank you!! 🙂

  5. crystalsandcurls says

    This was a really raw, interesting post! I think women spend a lot of our lives being objectified, whether we consciously realise it or not, and that can have a really profound effect on how we see our worth and personal qualities. So a lot of the time when we are feeling bad in other areas, outside validation that you’re attractive and essentially worthwhile can be massively appealing xxx

    • LauraJ says

      Thank you!! I’m not sure what age I noticed it, but growing up, girls are definitely encouraged to believe they should focus on their appearance, which then turns to sex appeal.
      In my primary school, it was the boys who ranked the girls and who got to decide who they wanted to date. The girls just went along with it. I say date, but really that word didn’t mean much then. xxx

  6. Infinite Living says

    Such a tender and courageous post! I love your writings for this same reason always – your honest sharing about your experiences, and you raise some very important thought-provoking questions. I have always guarded against being seen as only for my physical appearance but in the process placed limitations on myself as a person, trying to strike a balance between expressing freely as a person and wanting to be seen as I am beyond my physical appearance. Your post truly touched me.

    • LauraJ says

      I can’t tell you how much your comment made me smile! Women are judged very quickly. And I understand easily why you have wanted to be guarded away from being seen purely for your physical appearance.
      It’s a hard balance to strike because women tend to be put in boxes. And hopefully in time, I wish those boxes can break down.
      Thank you as ever for your lovely and thoughtful comment. I’m forever grateful! 🙂

  7. Melina Elisa says

    When I was younger, I was extremely uncomfortable with showing skin in fear of being called a slut of some sort. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten much more comfortable in my skin and thus wearing whatever I felt like during that day. I don’t think I’ve ever done it for attention, even though in some settings it’s kind of…nice? Who doesn’t love being called pretty, beautiful, cute, sexy, etc. I feel like people aren’t happy no matter what we do though. We cover up, we’re prudes, but got forbid we show some skin. We’re labeled as sluts. Oh well, I guess you can’t make everyone happy.
    Sidenote, how did the guy respond to these pictures you took for him? Great post! xx

    Melina | http://www.melinaelisa.com

    • LauraJ says

      The guy loved it lol, which encouraged me to continue. I wouldn’t do it now, but at the same I enjoyed the rush of having my ex-boyfriend still show interest. I guess I didn’t want to admit we were over, so I kept holding on and used my body to make him continue to speak.

      We really can’t please everyone. It’s crazy that it’s 2018 and women are still having to choose whether they care or not, if they will be called a slut or a prude. Thank you for reading girl! xx

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