Big Girls Shouldn't Wear Leggings | Body Image Retreat UK
"You're getting chubby"
"Oooo look at those cheeks"
"Big girls shouldn't wear leggings"
These are a selection of the phrases I grew up hearing from older family members, phrases that many girls grew up hearing and they're the ones that left the biggest impression.
I'd like to say the cheers and well done's were most important but unfortunately, the human brain doesn't seem to work that way. It clings on to the negatives and allows them to manifest into beliefs and values that we misunderstand as our own.
I can remember being told by my friends I was awesome because I could wear a crop top and leggings in any weather (perks of being English, I guess). I don't remember when that stopped, but it did. I turned to baggy tops and jeans, jumpers and joggers. The 8 year old in a flowery crop top and leggings was gone and this insecure teenage girl who got bullied for having greasy hair and sweating to much replaced her.
If i'd have continued on the path of my early twenties, I'd be miserable, photographing weddings and working a job I hated, luckily boudoir found me and changed everything.
Working in such an intimate space with other women made me check myself. Nicole, how can you support these women if you hate yourself? That's where it all began. I improved my own body image so that I could help others with theirs.
It did not happen overnight. There were books and workshops, articles and movies, ups and downs... and I still work on it every. single. day. I acknowledge that not every day will be a good day, that's an unrealistic and unnecessary pressure to put on ones self. It's a balance between allowing yourself to feel and working to combat those negative emotions and conditioned thoughts.
I am chubby
My cheeks are adorable
I wear leggings
My advice to anyone reading this, hating their body and unsure of where to being; follow people who inspire you and talk about body image in a way that resonates with you.
Take the time to learn - read books, watch YouTube videos, listen to podcasts - there is an unlimited amount of knowledge free to those willing to learn.
Don't jump on the body positivity band wagon if you can't even look at yourself in the mirror. Body positvity is unrealistic, aim for body neutrality and take it from there.