Food For Thought Friday: Body Image

Something I have really come to realise lately is that we as women are super hard on ourselves.

If you are anything like me, you can easily see the beauty in other women but struggle to sometimes see it in yourself.

I read some blog posts the other week that were follow ups from the hashtag trend on Twitter #MySwimsuitStyle. For those who haven’t heard of it, the gist of it was encouraging women to post photos of themselves wearing swimsuits showing off their own personal style. And honestly? They’re beautiful. Women of all shapes and sizes. I am envious of their confidence – confidence evokes beauty and they obviously feel it. Or they are brave enough to fake it. Either way, I’m envious and willing to bet that there are many women out there in the very same boat as me.

Isn’t it funny how we can admire it and envy it but we still wouldn’t be caught dead doing it because while we believe in everyone else, we are so critical of ourselves?

I’ve always been pretty self conscious of my body and if I could go back in time to my teenage years and early twenties I would slap myself around the head and give myself a stern talking to.

How many of you echoed that thought looking back? I am sure some of you are nodding along with me.

This was me in Greece 10 years ago and I still wouldn’t wear a bikini. I was totally a cover up with boardies and singlet kinda gal. Slap me. Such a waste.


Motherhood and age have changed my figure and I have a few body hang ups and confidence issues and yet my husband still says I am beautiful. My friends and family tend to agree with him. They don’t see myself the way I see myself when I look in the mirror and isn’t that sad that we can spend our lives with such hang ups? I wish I could see myself the way my husband sees me.

How much longer will I waste being critical of myself and praising the confidence and beauty of others?

It’s time to take action and not just sit here being envious of other women but doing something about gaining the confidence to do it myself.

I have decided I will wear a swimsuit this summer. I will change what I think I hate and I will try and salvage some body confidence.

I want to be able to jump through the waves with my little boys and enjoy myself, not worry about what people think of me (and honestly, no one is looking at me, it’s probably all in my head!). I want to go to the pools and swim and not have this hanging over my head.

I wrote a post about Why The Boys Starting Swimming Lessons has me Breaking Out in a Cold Sweat and I did go in with him once (he HATED every minute of it, my youngest son that is). He clawed and screamed and perhaps exposed a boob to the dads on the sidelines (apologies!) so I didn’t have to endure that again as he wasn’t having a bar of it and we stuck to the paddling pool for the rest of the term which doesn’t require a swimsuit (much to my relief!). But I really want to just get in and enjoy myself and go down the hydroslide (hopefully my boobs stay where they should be by the time I get to the bottom as that was just a tad mortifying!).

I don’t want to waste my thirties repeating the same mistake I did in my twenties.

Will you? Do you have body hang ups as you get older?

26 thoughts on “Food For Thought Friday: Body Image

  1. Well said- you’ve nailed how so many of us feel. I wrote about a similar thing recently- how I wish I could go back to the first time I thought I was too fat- as a skinny teen. We waste so much time feeling bad for no reason- I think seeing real women is key to turning this around- we need to get rid of airbrushed, unrealistic ideals and embrace the fact that we all come in different shapes and sizes.
    Amy @ HandbagMafia recently posted…Bonds Mama ManiaMy Profile

  2. Oh yes, I definitely have body hang ups! Before having my son I was very petite and then bam…my body completely changed. I have worn my swim suit on a few occasions, but with a kaftan over the top and when I take it off, I feel so self concious. I have vowed to not worry about it for the sake of my son and having fun, it’s just not that easy, is it?
    Eva @ The Multitasking Mummy recently posted…A Great Big Dinosaur Adventure V-LogMy Profile

    1. You sound very similar to me Eva, I spent my teens and twenties petite and then after kids I remained somewhat slim but my tummy didn’t! This makes for awkward dressing and self conciousness galore. I look pregnant if I don’t dress strategically (think floaty tops) which is why a swimsuit is such a nightmare for me as how do you disguise that in a swimsuit?! I want to not care but I just do.

  3. Great post and great blog. I am in the fitness industry and I still have hang ups with my body. I am a big fan of Taryn Brumfitt from the Body Image Movement. She is doing some great work on this very topic. Thanks for your honesty and I will get into bathers with you this Summer. 🙂
    Neets recently posted…7 Essential Cycling Tips for Every RiderMy Profile

    1. Thanks Neets! I will check out your blog too but I’m not much of a fitness fanatic (more an anti-fitness fanatic) 🙂 I haven’t heard of Taryn Brumfitt, I’ll look her up.

  4. I think I probably had a few hang ups in my teens, but for some reason haven’t had any since. I’ve always been pretty fit, and I think that helps, but I rocked a bikini through two pregnancies in my early 40’s, and afterwards as well. There are a few photos that look pretty ordinary, but I just figured that’s how I was at the time, so be it. I’m nearly 50 now and still feel great in bathers. I definitely wouldn’t care what my shape was like now, as long as my body is strong and serves me well. We all worry about stuff that is a waste of our time…I know I do, but the whole body image thing must consume so much potential creativity, positive thought, relationships…everything. We need to let it go. Go out and buy a really cool, flattering pair of bathers as soon as they come into the shops!!!
    Michelle@myslowlivingadventure recently posted…48 hours in UbudMy Profile

    1. I totally agree Michelle, I hate that it bothers me so much that it prevents me from just going out and having fun at the beach with the kids! I bought a swimsuit on special for $10 that was the most flattering I could find, my husband likes it anyway! Funny how I tried on so many expensive ones and ended up with the cheapest. Totally trying to break this cycle of body hate.

  5. Life’s too short to have body hang ups, kids have made me get over my fear of hydro slides, love them now. I remember mum sunbathing at home in bikinis, we only have one body and one life got to make the most of it. Porirua hydro slide is fun not fast you and your boys will love it, dark slides on the other hand still getting over fear of darkness and speed. You should see taupo in Summer bikinis on lakefront, lots of tourists who don’t care and they shouldn’t.

    1. I love hydro slides, I just hate wearing a swimsuit. Gonna try and get over it this summer though now the boys are older and going swimming will be more common place.

  6. Great article and something I can relate to definitely – but have found so less since I’ve been living overseas in germany. I think where we live and the social expectations placed upon you have a huge impact. Like you, pre babies and ,living in NZ which IMO is avert superficial culture, I would hide my figure away and would never wear a singlet (exposing my arms) or a skirt above my knees. Now i look back and like you i think”what a waste – I had an amazing figure”. Now I am 5 years on, with 2 beautiful sons, and 20kgs heavier than pre kiddies – but now I live in Germany and I expose more flesh and am more comfortable in my own skin that I’ve ever been. I want to lose weight but that’s because i want to be healthier. The Germans are very non superficial. Women often don’t wear make up day-to-day and no one really cares what people look like. And yes, older women do not shave! Men walk past a hot woman in the street and don’t even look sideways. Nudity is not a big deal – men and women frequent saunas naked and no one bats an eyelid -it certainly has no sexual connotations to be naked in front of one another. Consequently, I’ve found it huge release – I am quite comfortable going to the supermarket without brushing my hair, no make up and wearing track pants. No one cares, no one takes any notice of what i look like and I certainly don’t feel objectified or not good enough because I’m overweight.
    Food for thought……

  7. Sadly I have body hangups even though I really shouldn’t. I don’t normally swim much in summer (we are not much of an outdoor family) but we did swim daily when we headed to the US earlier this year and no-one there seemed to care about their bodies. So I cared less about mine as well. I hope that continues when summer rolls around here again…
    Kirsty @ My Home Truths recently posted…5 ways to help kids through griefMy Profile

    1. Sometimes it’s just a matter of facing the fear and doing it anyway, fake it till you make it! I might have to try that attempt this summer.

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