The way I look

10th May 2013

I’m going to write a sort of personal post. The kind I tend to stir away from on a regular basis. There is something scary and intimidating about divulging certain aspects about one’s life. For me, and I assume most others, it is a fear of judgment; a fear of what other people think of us.

And that is what this blog post is about. The fear of what other people think of me.

I’m the type of person who happily says they do not care about what people think of them; that I have little shame and am happy with who I am. I’ve only recently realised that this couldn’t be any further from the truth.

Rationally I realise people make judgments and their opinions just don’t matter. But I still let comments affect me. Specifically, comments in reference to either my intelligence or the way I look. Mostly the latter.

I’ve always been slim, or “skinny” as most people call it. I’ve never been able to put on loads of weight, even though on several occasions I tried, much to my frustration I stayed the same. I grew up with kids, and adults, asking whether I was anorexic, calling me a rake or asking if I eat enough. Admittedly I’m not big, but I’m far from being anorexic. I’ve never had a problem with food and I’ve never been physically unwell because I’m ‘thin’, in other words there’s nothing medically wrong with me. I’m fit as a fiddle. A PE teacher in secondary school called me ‘chicken legs’ in front of other people; I’d always hated my legs and this didn’t help.

I’m not trying to sound hard done by. I know I’m lucky to be healthy and lead a pretty normal life. I’m just fed up with comments about appearance. Only recently I was at a tube station and a random man asked me if I was anorexic. Firstly, I find comments such as that rude and inappropriate (which I told him). Secondly, if I was anorexic or anyone for that matter, how would pointing out a terrible mental illness help? It’s insensitive. His comment ruined my night. I felt self-conscious and assumed everyone was thinking the same.

That might sound over-dramatic and this may all sound trivial. I personally feel this whole Daily Mail-esque world we live in has made it seem almost natural to criticise ourselves and others. Everyone is suddenly too fat or too thin, too tall or too short. And when people make comments about the way we look, it hurts.

At 22 I want to be able to care less about what I look like. To realise not everyone gives a crap about how I look in my profile picture (which I’m never happy with). I’m working on it. They do say your own biggest critique is yourself.

Subjects and posts such as this always attract a certain amount of criticism. To some people it might seem like I’m moaning about nothing. And maybe those people are right. I needed to vent though. 

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