Being A Middle Girl - Stop Judging Everyone!

As New Year’s resolutions are currently desperately trying to be upheld, and the most popular one being “I’m going to lose x amount of weight this year”, I thought that I’d write about something that is under-discussed in the world of weight loss and how we perceive our bodies. Being a girl that has never really had an issue with my size or how I look, I have found the past few years of becoming inundated in social media and coming to university extremely difficult. The constant consumption of an idealised body type on Instagram, and seeing girls sigh, cry and stress when they don’t look how they were hoping for in that dress before a night out- despite them looking drop dead gorgeous- has meant that (through no fault of anyone else) I have been made to feel "bigger" or like a "thick" girl. Personally, I have no issue in being associated with these adjectives, but having my size constantly brought up to me in these little ways, has made me feel like maybe I shouldn’t be as okay with myself as I previously was. Specifically, towards the beginning of last semester, someone asked me “How are you so body confident?”, to which I replied “I don’t think I am body confident. I think I’m just confident...”. I kind of left the pre-drinks feeling as though my body was something that I, and others, should aim to be proud of because I ‘manage’ to be confident with it, instead of just accepting it for what it is and moving on. Although this comment was obviously not meant maliciously, I felt like she was almost saying “There’s something not quite right with you, so how do you deal with that?” Can it not be normal to just be normal, without the responsibility of having to address my body and size?

In terms of social media, of course, I am above the standard size of the girls that you’d call an Instagram model or a social media influencer. Being in a world where the slimmer figure is publicised and celebrated (which is great, too!), I feel as though that girls who look like me are kind of just put into a “bigger”, “thicker”, or even “plus-sized” box, almost by default. As I said earlier, there’s nothing wrong with being in that box, but why do I have to be categorised? What about those of us who don’t fit into either box? Can’t we just enjoy being ourselves? Why can’t every body be celebrated in the same way that smaller, and now bigger, bodies are? Why do we even feel the need to celebrate bodies- they're literally unavoidable?

It seems that the more that we categorise people, and the more that we question people’s body confidence, the less we’re actually making the normality of being all different shapes and sizes normal. I love the body confidence movement, and I can definitely see how it helps a huge number of people, but I also can’t wait for the day where it doesn’t have to exist. Let me explain, this is because then we would have reached a point where everyone feels equal and normal without having to use labels like ‘plus’, or ‘bigger’, or ‘skinnier’ to enjoy being themselves. Lots of clothing brands have recently started to show items of clothing on different sized models, both online and in-store, which has been amazing! I’m pretty sure that we have all ordered something online after seeing it on the model, put it on and just laughed at ourselves as it looks nothing like it did on them. However, where these companies are tripping up is when they shout from the roof top about how great they are for using different sized models. When brands do this, I feel like they are normalising the fact that every body is different less and less. It should just be the norm that this happens; of course a top is going to look different on someone who is a size four, compared to someone who is a size twenty two.

(Image: Good American)

Personally, when I think about how I perceive my body, I think “I’m not slim, I’m not plus-sized, and I’m not thick. I’m just normal.” I’m a size 12. Sometimes I love the way that I look, sometimes I don’t. Just like anyone else! I could probably lose a bit of weight, but even if I lost all of the fat on my body, because of my bone structure, I would still not be ‘slim’, and I would still not be ‘big’. My confidence comes from within; I make myself feel happy, and confident, and sexy through my body language, my charisma, and my humour. I try to look after myself and stay fit and healthy, and sometimes I don’t. There are times where certain aspects of my body makes me feel shitty, but at the end of the day, no body is the same, and that makes it normal to be different. I don’t want to be congratulated on my body shape or size, or asked about how I am body confident, as I really am nothing spectacular. I’m normal. I’m average, and I certainly have no super powers when feeling good about myself. However, if you’re a size four... You’re normal too honey! Size eighteen? You are as normal as they come! Size ten, six, twenty two, and anything in between is normal. We need to fight the urge to be categorising ourselves in any other box that isn’t equal.

I feel like there are very few people who speak out about their experiences with body image in this way, so hopefully hearing someone saying it how it is out loud, and being proud of it, makes you more willing to embrace your body type (whatever it is) and be proud of it, too.

(Image: Pinterest)