Body Image, Social Anxiety and Being in the Public Eye
Doing what I do and having a body like mine is something I find so challenging. I have a lot of confidence issues around my size - society and years of being bullied have convinced me it’s not worthy. That I’m not worthy of taking up space or being seen. Add social anxiety into that mix, and it can be downright crippling. It can make doing markets (as much as I love them while I’m there) brutal - I have a very hard time in the days leading up to them. I’m usually okay once I’m there and in the reality of it, but the stories my mind makes up beforehand are hard to get through.
I have a very, very hard time being in front of the camera, especially for modeling clothing for the shop. I’m so used to being critical of how things look on my body and wishing they fit a certain way. There are days I cry and wish I was smaller, partially because in my mind, it would make my job easier. I wouldn’t have to find models to wear anything below a size 12, and I could throw something on without worrying if it will rip or not. Most of the people I see who are doing what I do are much smaller in size - and they seem to be further ahead than I am. They can wear things I can’t, a wider range of pieces look better on them, and they’re what we’re taught beauty looks like.
Because of that, it sometimes it feels like they’re more likely to get a like, sale, or collaboration because that’s what we’re used to seeing. Yes, most days I am confident and believe strongly in what I am doing, in who I am, and what I look like. But I’m also human - there are days I wish it wasn’t so fucking hard.
I wish I had seen or heard more stories like mine growing up. Hell, I wish I saw more even now that I am grown up. To know that these things I go through are normal. That the feelings, doubts and fears are normal. That I’m not alone in them. I am all for self love and self acceptance, no matter shape, size, or mental state, but I’m also not going to pretend that that’s how I feel everyday. I struggle with doubt and self-loathing, sometimes more often than not.
So, I am doing my best to share the realities behind what I do - to share what living with mental illness looks like outside the little Instagram boxes. That self care isn’t all positivity and light - some days it’s just about making it through the day without harming yourself. All in the hope that maybe it will help someone, somewhere, feel a little less alone.