Today’s outfit got me thinking about how we see ourselves differently than other people do.
That might seem a bit of a tall order for a pair of trousers and a crop top. But, much like when I nearly didn’t post these pictures, I had a bit of a weird reaction when I looked at these on the camera.
It was a nice warm summer evening, and we were off to drink Pimms by the river, so I went for my super comfy Heyday beach pyjamas, with a crop top that I’d bought a while ago from ASOS and keds. I felt a bit nautical and jaunty and topped it off with sailboat earrings.
But when I looked over the photos on the camera I pulled a face. I saw short legs, and chunky arms, and a pale, flabby tummy and I wondered whether maybe I should be ditching the crop tops after all.
But Mr LLL was surprised by my face pulling, as he thought I’d be super pleased with the photos and in his eyes I looked fabulous.
We’re so trained to think about all our “flaws”, or how our bodies differ slightly from airbrushed perfection, that we forget to focus on the good things.
I don’t know about you but I don’t spend my life watching people walk down the street and thinking about how out of proportion their short legs are to their long body, or how wide their shoulders look, or how bumpy their hips are.
Sometimes I might be floored by how amazingly tiny someones waist is, or the envy inducing muscle definition in someones arms, but invariably when I notice something about someone else it’s something positive.
My short legs are relevant when shopping as I have to know whether I’m going to fall over my trousers or not (These have a 27″ inside leg and I can *just* wear them with flats), but should I really be caring about them on a daily basis when I’m heading out for the night?
I’ve done a pretty good job of learning to think differently about my body over the last few years. To focus on what it can do, rather than how it looks. I’m proud of what I’ve built, both in terms of mentally changing how I look at food and exercise, and in terms of actual physical strength and fitness. But context is everything, and when I look at outfit photos I still find myself judging them through a filter that wants to look like all those 6 foot tall, Amazonian, supermodel, bloggers that seem to exist in an alternative universe (also, how do they all get photos in the middle of the street without getting run over?).
It breaks my heart when I hear other people talking about their bodies in a negative way, and to know that I do it too is disappointing.
I don’t think there’s any easy way to make yourself be kinder about your own body. But in future I promise to pull myself up on it the same way as I would someone else. To make note of the times when I am judging myself harshly against an impossible standard and to actively seek to turn those criticisms into positives, and to never talk about myself in a way I wouldn’t talk about someone else.