I know that’s a horrible title for a blog post but that thought has rolled around in my head far too many times for me to not just let it out. So here it goes.
I’m not an expert. Not on fashion. Not on body positivity or really any part of life.
Really at this point you could just stop reading and leave believing what I have, about myself on countless occasions, but please don’t.
I may not be an expert but I have experienced some things that do at least qualify me for having an opinion and it can be your choice if you listen or not.
For the most part I had thought I had gotten my self doubt under control but if you remember back in January we did the #bodypositivechange initiative. A month of positive change inducing activities to help us begin to love our bodies and selves more. Sadly I received some surprising feedback.
Someone whom I don’t know essentially said to a friend, “I can’t listen to any more of her body positive crap. She’s beautiful and perfect. What could she possibly know about it.”
It was a bit of a gut punch to be honest.
I put a lot of work into that initiative and actually did all of the activities in advance. I tested them and use them myself. But beyond that I poured some of myself into the activities, there was something that cut deeper.
The idea that because this person, who knows nothing about me, believes that my face/body is “beautiful” and “perfect” and therefore I have nothing worth listening to. It knocked me down and made me doubt myself so horribly.
“Is that how people see me? My voice doesn’t matter because at this moment someone thinks I reach their measure of beauty? Is this a message I’m giving people? I’m not worth listening to?”
I wrestled with the doubt but old voices made the doubt yell louder than the voices of reason.
Until I bumped into a woman who had been to a past market event. She told me of her dear friend who actually was doing the things I had suggested and was finding them helpful. I nearly burst into tears right there.
The truth is, I’m no expert. I haven’t gone to school for this. But I have walked it. I’ve struggled through it. I haven’t shared all of my story and I know that it can be hard to imagine that there is an actual real person on the other side of social media, but I am a real person. A woman, mom, wife, friend, and entrepreneur.
I am a woman who has hated her body. I have despised it for not being able to carry the multiple babies that died in my womb. I have hated pieces of the body I am in and it in its entirety. I’ve feared the weight that comes with carrying a life. I’ve pushed myself too hard in an effort to loose weight. I have eaten my feeling until I was sick. I’ve starved myself to stay thin. Hurt myself. I’ve been sexualized and abused. And I have loathed not just the outside of myself but the inside too.
Behind every face there is a story. There is more to my story than I have been able or want to share. And I shouldn’t have to. I know that there will be people who don’t want to listen, and I’m okay with that.
But if I could be an expert at anything, if you could take my word, my advice or opinion on anything, it’s that I genuinely want you to never hate that beautiful, strong and unique person you are or the body your inside of.
That’s what I work on for myself everyday and hopefully what flows out of me towards you in all I do.