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Sunday, 28 August 2016

An Illusion Of Confidence


I've lost count of the amount of times that I've been told that I must be 100% confident with my body and my thoughts because how else would I put 'everything' online.
 It's not something that bothers me intently.. but as social media and the online world can often present an entirely false image of our lives.. our best bits, best angles, and best days.. I thought I'd just pop by to say 'Hey.. it's not always like that.' 

I started to think about how it is possible for me to put myself 'out there' online when I've had such crippling issues with my body image in the past and then it hit me.. that's precisely the reason I do it.
I think that within the blogging community I have found acceptance and there's no doubt that it's given me confidence. I've realised that subconsciously I seek approval from others and even a 'Girl, you styled that shirt so well' can do wonders in clarifying what I might have already thought myself. 
Whereas some can look in the mirror and be comfortable with the image they're putting out to the world and not question it.. I guess I'm still seeking something. I'm not sure whether that's a self confidence issue or an openness to different ideas, and to change.

I know that it's nothing new here but with the digital age pumping out 'perfection' on a regular basis, it's hard not to get caught up and I think that there's more focus on 'beauty' now more than ever. Societies standard of 'beautiful' women are used to sell cars to men and quick fix diets to women and although we all probably have an achievable body that is tighter, fitter and more 'instagrammable' than our current one.. there's definitely something to be said for being comfortable in our own skin too.

People seem to think that because I can post full length shots of myself on this little space in the internet that I must be head over heels in love with myself and the truth is, most of the time, I'm not even comfortable. I can't even tell you how many photo's I used to take to find one that I was comfortable with sharing. 

As my blogging life has continued, I've learned which angles work best for my body and hide the bits I'm more conscious of which makes the editing and selection process a lot easier to deal with as I'm not confronted with my worst angles as often as I used to be. 

I think that part of the beauty of blogging is that we're all so different and doing things in our own way, yet we can all share these things in common at the same time. I'm not really one for the term 'real women' as let's be honest.. we're all real... but it's nice to have some differentiation in the women that inspire us, and I think that the blogging platform really is an awesome environment for that.

For those of you that also dabble in sharing yourselves in this wonderful little online world, you might agree that it's a strange situation we find ourselves in.. wanting to balance portraying 'real life' whilst also keeping up a certain level of aesthetic that is not only appealing to your readers/viewers/pals, but perhaps also to brands too..

I guess I've just been in a bit of a 'funk' with my appearance lately and I wanted to share that with you.. not for sympathy or reassurance but as a way of saying 'Hey, behind that Instagram filter and occasionally hilarious hashtag, I feel exactly the same as you might do sometimes and for some reason.. at the moment I'm finding it more difficult than usual to snap myself out of it. Essentially, I guess it's about accepting that you can't please everyone and actually.. why would you want to? Strangely though, I don't think it would really matter if everyone in the entire world was like 'DAMN GURL YOU FINE' because actually, I'd still be obsessed with how my hips jiggle after a little too much (is that even a thing?) pasta.

As a teenager I had an incredibly unhealthy relationship with my body but as I've gotten older, I've managed to level it out a little and no longer go to the extremes that I used to in order to make myself 'pretty'. I think my job helps a little with that too.. sometimes we can become so incredibly focused on the way that we look that we forget how amazing our bodies really are and how hard they work every second to keep us alive. Seeing people in less fortunate positions sometimes helps to give me a little perspective. 

I guess that's the thing isn't it... it's so easy to become disillusioned into thinking that people really put everything out there to be judged but I for one, have a very carefully curated amount of myself that I'm willing to share with the online world. Now don't get me wrong.. this is a transient thing and sometimes I feel more like sharing certain things than others.. Sometimes I'll get a bit personal and sometimes all I want to talk about is shoes but I like to think that I've got a good balance going on. 

I try to share enough with you so that you can get to know me... so that we can become friends and we can all relate on some level.. but I also like to keep parts of myself private because essentially, I guess I'm still that person who's scared of being judged or being called out on something that I'm insecure about.

How much do you share online? And do you think that it's good to keep certain things private, or are those the things that you want to read more?
Do you find it refreshing to read the occasional 'honest thoughts' posts.. or does it drag you down?
I think that in some cases, we almost enjoy the intrigue of a perfect life that is totally not achievable because it gives us hope and a distraction from our own lives.. would you agree?
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