Baring the flesh
It’s summertime, the days are warmer and everyone’s showing flesh. It feels like everyone else around you has the confidence to wear short-sleeves and swimming costumes but many of us, the idea of shedding the layers causes nothing but stomach-churning panic. Worries about weight, body shapes, bodily hair, scaring and stretch marks often overshadows our ability to enjoy the hot weather with our friends and family and feel comfortable in our skins. We are pressured by the bombardment of perfect, airbrushed bods. Unrealistic beauty standards that leave us staring at our feet in shape.
It’s your body and it deserves to be loved
I have scarring from years of self harm, my figure isn’t perfect and my shaving routine would probably leaving some reeling but it doesn’t matter! Your body is yours and it is amazing. It carries you through every single day, no matter how good and bad. It is resilient and beautiful. It may not function perfectly all the time but that’s okay. Your hair keeps you warm and your skin protects, stretches and heals. It is a collective of intricate systems that work around the clock to keep your alive and so what if your fat content and distribution isn’t the way some beauty magazine says it should be? All bodies are valid.
I didn’t start respecting or liking my body until I was pregnant with my son. It suddenly dawned on me what incredible things the human body is capable of. It can carry and grow another human being, keep them safe, provide them with nutrients and then endure intense pain to bring them into the world (as well as recover from that!). Once I gave birth to my son, I felt like super woman. It was in this intense rush when the thought dawned on me, My body has done something spectacular, why have I spent so much time hating it?’
Self harm scars: To show or not to show
Deciding whether or not to reveal self-harm scars is a difficult and personal decision to make. It is ultimately a case of individual comfort zones. You decide, where, when and if you show your scars; there should be no pressure to show or even to hide them.
Please don’t be ashamed of your scars. They are marks from a time where you did what you had to do to survive and cope with immense pain. Other people may not understand this. They may judge or criticise, I’ve certainly had plenty of ignorant remarks made about my skin but these people have no idea of your story and what you’ve been through. Their judgement is born out of a lack of understanding and not a measure of your worth.
You are here. You have survived and that is wonderful.
I am so proud of you!