Friday, 30 November 2018

Body Trends (& Why They Need To Stop)


Trigger warning: this post contains content that may be triggering to those affected by eating disorders.

Cassey Ho aka Blogilates recently shared a post about how body types come in and out of fashion and how we treat our bodies as though it is a trend. She shared her body edited to the different ideal body type of multiple decades to show how the ideals change with each ten years that pass. She commented on how we shouldn't treat our body the same way we treat clothes - scrunching them up and throwing them out to replace them with the hot new thing as soon as they go out of fashion.

And it got me thinking. I had never really given this a huge amount of thought but, after seeing this post, it kinda gave me that hangover that coming to a daunting realisation often does. I started to question how big a role body trends play in my relationship with my own body and how, over the years, this has affected my self-esteem.

As a kid of the nineties and a teen of the noughties, skinniness was king. Kate Moss famously said 'nothing taste as good as skinny feels' and the TV was jam-packed with stylists trying to recommend flattering clothing to contort our body into that ideal. The boobs were big and everything else was small. Apart from me - I wasn't small. I have always been a little chubby (I still have nightmares about the year 6 weighing sessions that I'm still not entirely sure had any purpose other than humiliating us at our most vulnerable age) and, unlike today, there was never someone in the media saying that was ok or that I could still rock the most killer outfits without having to swear off carbs for all eternity. I always kinda felt like a 'before'. An ugly duckling waiting to transform into a beautiful, Britney Spears-esque butterfly. Looking back, the body trend that was popular at that time did affect how I saw myself because everyone felt pressured to transform themselves into this ideal so all I saw on TV was people who looked like that. And obvs if you're on TV then you are someone that my teen self would have aspired to be like. Cue years of low self esteem and feeling kinda shit about my body. Years that I didn't need to feel like that but because my body wasn't 'on trend', I did feel like that.


Fast forward and all we hear is 'boobs are out and bums are in'. Everyone wants that Kim K look. Even I have spent many an evening doing squats and donkey kicks and whatever the hell else they say can grow your booty just in the hope of having a less pancakey butt.

Before I got pregnant with Ava, I finally reached the weight loss goal I had been chasing for years - I had made it to size 8. But, when I got there, suddenly I didn't want it because it wasn't what was 'in' anymore. After all that restricting and gruelling exercise routines and going to bed with a rumbling belly, I realised that my skinny body wasn't popular anymore. It felt like running a marathon then suddenly finding out that they moved the finish line. I am ashamed to admit that diet culture had made a real home for itself inside of me and I was adamant to become whatever was 'hot'.

I saw tweets all the time body shaming less curvy women (one that particularly sticks with me was about John Legend having a bigger butt than Chrissy Teigen which basically insinuated that she wasn't feminine simply because of her frame) and they made me feel inadequate. There wasn't enough hours in the day for me to do enough squats to get a Nicki Minaj level butt. Nor enough money in my bank account to just buy one. So, for a little while, I just didn't wear bodycon or anything that showed my shape. Once again, I opted out of certain things because my body didn't fit the bill of what was hot at the time. I mean, I couldn't open myself up to the world for them to ridicule my tiny butt.

But then I got fed up of hating myself and my body. I got fed up of always trying to reach these standards that are so fleeting. Like Cassey says, we can't treat our bodies like fast fashion and I want to reverberate that sentiment so much. Yes, I am not 'slim thick' but I am also not bothered. So, here I am rocking bodycon as a size 12 woman with a pancake butt. And loving my life.

We need to start celebrating all bodies because each and every body is wonderfully unique - and that is what makes them so amazing. We are all individual and having one body type held up as an ideal is dooming most of us to feeling inadequate and unattractive. So let's stop chasing these ideals. Lets be grateful for what we have. And lets empower each other in a world that pits women against each other.


Outfit:
Dress: Femme Luxe* (here)
Coat: New Look (here)
Boots: New Look (similar)

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3 comments

  1. I loved reading this blog post. It is such an important topic!

    Danielle xx
    https://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

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  2. So spot on! It's so exhausting how one day a certain look is in and the next, it's out. Our bodies definitely should not be trends. We come in different shapes and sizes and they all should be loved and celebrated. I'm Nigerian and there's a general belief that African women are curvy. Whilst I'm on the curvy side, I've never had the big bum that usually accompanies such curves and it made me a bit insecure when I was in high school. But I've learned (and I'm still learning) to accept my body the way it was created and to love it. You look amazing in your dress! xx

    Coco Bella Blog

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