Yes the title is size does matter ladies – hopefully that’s got your attention in the right way! Hopefully you’re already a little angry at me – good, you’re meant to be! And now I’ve got you a little angry I’ll explain what I mean properly.
You may think what do I have to worry about in terms of body image, I have a very small frame and yes a good shape (not going to pretend I don’t because that would be offensive in so many ways) but here’s the thing it wasn’t always the case. At the age of 10 my primary head teacher said in assembly in front of the entire school ‘where’s the fat one, thought she was doing the next reading?’ I’m not 10 anymore, but as you can imagine that kind of thing stays with you. It colours the fact that you won’t allow anyone to take your photograph or post selfie images on social media. It colours the fact that you refuse to have mirrors in the house and loathe changing rooms that are a myriad of mirrors with harsh lighting. Shopping for me is like wrenching my very soul out piece by tiny piece till there’s nothing left so it’s easier to just say nah I’m good I hate crowds, see you later when asked to go shopping ‘because it’s fun’ no it isn’t!
Then the real body dysmorphia kicks in with puberty as your body changes and you become even more aware of how you look compared to others. We spend so long comparing ourselves. Not sure if anyone remembers that Gok Wan How to Look Good Naked programme but friends were desperate to get me on that just so I could start to see myself the way they do. Compliments – forget it, we think you’re lying or out for some gain.
But then something really odd happened. I had a very serious bout of depression and while some comfort eat I refuse. Food is the one thing we feel we have control over and deprivation is some sort of small victory when you have a distorted view of yourself. I ended up in hospital prepped for surgery because I was presenting with appendicitis but actually the ketones in my liver were causing internal damage and it took 8 hours of tests and questions to figure this out. I had lost far too much weight far too quickly and was told in no uncertain terms that if I presented again I would be on a drip and possibly sectioned for causing self harm to myself. So off to the anti depressants for me!
That was several years ago, I’m a healthy weight now and eat like a piggy so have no intention of going back into that darkness. Depression isn’t a place of sadness, it’s a place of abject nothingness that tears at the fabric of your reality. It distorts everything and while I know it’s possible to go back there I would really rather not. I don’t think the door is ever fully shut but equally if you’ve never known the dark you can’t appreciate the light. That’s how I have to rationalise it anyway, I know it’s not the same for everyone and don’t profess to have any answers.
So, back to today and why Quirky exists. A good friend of mine got me to take photographs of myself to try and get me to see myself the way others do. It’s not meant as a sexual thing, but the female naked body is incredibly sensual and I do now enjoy taking the pictures so needed a shall we say slightly different platform to post them on! Not sure my Mum wants them in her facebook news feed somehow!
So the point about size matters – ladies (and gents!) you can spend a lifetime worrying about my bum is too big or my boobs are tiny – but true beauty has nothing to do with your physical shape. It has to do with your brain, the way you act towards others, the kindness you exude when you help someone without reward. True beauty is in the way you supported your friend when they needed you, it has nothing to do with your waist size! If we could only learn this quicker it would make me very happy to see you happy rather than getting on the scales and worrying! Everyone is beautiful and we should celebrate that more.