Sometime in the last couple of months, I decided to change the subtitle of my blog from ‘Affordable. Achievable. Delicious’ to ‘Because you, my friend, are a total freaking babe’. Maybe you noticed the change? Maybe you were confused by it? I know a few people have been because I’ve been asked why it isn’t food related, so I thought it deserved a bit of explanation.
In the last year or so I’ve gained a lot of self-esteem and confidence in everything about myself and it feels incredible! I can happily say I am now in a position where I don’t look in the mirror and automatically criticise myself, I don’t worry about what other people will think about my outfit in ways that has me almost tearing out my hair (which I used to do almost daily) and I wear make-up for the fun of it. Even when my self-esteem was at it’s lowest, I knew that there were more important things about me than the way I looked, but for some reason, that niggly voice in the back of my head was very loud and very powerful and made me doubt myself over things that I knew weren’t that important. Getting dressed, even just to go to uni was a big task, let alone to go out and see my friends and I agonised over things like not being as quick-witted as some of my friends, or at quoting things that were relevant and hilarious at the time.
Strangely, even when I would stand in front of the mirror, prodding and squeezing and pushing the skin around on my belly, annoyed at myself that it wasn’t flatter, I preferred the way I looked in my underwear than I did in clothes, because nothing ever fit me the way it did in my head. It was a constant battle every day to do something that should be simple, because of the expectations I had put on myself from the way I perceived outside influences and the pressure that then caused me to put onto myself. I valued myself by the amount of compliments I could get about my style and the way I looked, so spent hours trying to look as unique and effortless as possible (now isn’t that ironic?).
In the second half of 2013, when I started putting all the things I knew into practice, started exercising regularly and finding out the foods that worked best for my body, I started gaining self-confidence, and that niggly voice began to slowly shrink. All of a sudden, I was proud and excited to wear midriff tops, I started wearing clothes that made me happy and I rediscovered the fun in dressing up, playing with make-up and taking selfies. When I broke-up with my boyfriend of over six years, I no longer had someone to seek constant validation from, and that validation I wanted was forced to come from myself – which has been a huge lesson for me. I was so used to asking him what I looked like, or if what I was wearing was ok, but now, when there is no one to constantly ask, I’ve learnt the value in going with what my own gut tells me. Now, if I receive a compliment, it’s not something I’ve asked for, so it does mean more, but at the same time, I don’t tie myself to the compliment, because the person who I am and my relationship with myself have a higher importance than my image does (and quite frankly, I think I look pretty damn good too, thank you!)
While I do still have ‘fat’ days and frumpy days, most of the time when I look in the mirror now, I can’t help but love the way that I look. I still don’t have a flat belly, but it’s a pretty one, and daymm… I have legs for days, a butt that wont quit, bangin’ hair, a beautiful, genuine smile, cute freckles, adorable feet, and lovely breasts. Two years ago I probably wouldn’t have been able to say that about myself, but now I can, and it’s an empowering feeling.
Tying beauty to self-worth is a universal problem, and while it tends to effect women more often, it’s certainly seeping into the psyche of men too much too. It’s so hard to hear the beautiful people in my world constantly criticising themselves about the way that they look, because I struggle to see what they see. I understand how they feel, because I used to be there, but I want to show them that they are so much more than what that niggly voice tells them.
That is why I’ve set out to empower as many people as I can to realise that they are a “total freaking babe”. This isn’t about thinking you look hot (although it will certainly contribute to that), it’s about loving the person that you are and absolutely celebrating it. To me, a babe is a person who embraces all that they are and shares it openly with the world however they like. They see the weird, quirky, dorky, creative, nerdy, clumsy, awkward things that are a part of who they are and they OWN them! They aren’t threatened by other people in their world, because they know that only they can do what they do the way that they do it. They have passion, they have confidence and they seek to only build up those around them, instead of tearing them down.
It’s my goal to be a total freakin babe like this and for everyone else too to. I encourage friends while they are criticising themselves to stop for a second and tell me that they are “a total freaking babe” – and I get them to repeat this as loud and as confidently as they can until I can tell that they truly believe it, because that’s the kinda dork that I am. There are enough judgemental idiots in the world bringing negativity because, I dunno, they get off on it, or it temporarily makes them feel better, so why add to it by letting the niggly voice win? If you look in the mirror and can only see the negative, look for at least 3 positives (you know they are there). Appreciating the way that you look is not a bad thing! You’re the only one who has to live in your body, so you’re the only one who has to like the way it looks. So get that tattoo you love that you’re Mum says looks tacky, wear that lipstick you’re intrigued by that your friend says looks trashy, wear that “slutty” skirt that makes your legs look fabulous, shave your head in that crazy way you saw on Tumblr, or stop shaving your armpits if that’s what you’re into, take as many selfies as you damn well please and hashtag all over them if you want to! (#babentheshitoutofit)
You are worthy and awesome and have something to contribute to the world in any way you please. Not everyone will like it. Not everyone will get it. But you will, and that is all that matters.
That is why I changed my subheading, because the something I have to contribute to this world is my writing, my positivity and my love, and this is how I choose to share it. Now, no matter how you feel right now, no matter what is going on, I want you to tell me you’re a total freaking babe, and believe it. Love and nurture who you are mentally, physically and spiritually and do what you love and everything will be ok…