I have a very strong memory of lying on my bathroom floor, consumed by how much I hated the way I looked. I didn’t look right and people didn’t like me because of this. My body was wrong, my hair wasn’t long and blond, I was ugly, I was fat, I was repulsive. I was six.
I felt like that for as long as I can remember. I can still hear the words people, children, teachers, family used about me. Those words dictated my self-image for most of my life.
I don’t quite know when that changed. It was some point in my early twenties, when I had moved away from these people and started to live a life of my own. I was able to love myself and people were drawn to that rather than the lonely, broken girl who didn’t know how to be in a healthy friendship or relationship.
Accepting and loving myself was a huge step in my life.
When I was asked to contribute to the What I See project my first thought was of my early life. Of looking into the mirror with narrowed eyes repeating the insults that were handed to me daily. There is so much difference in what I see now to what I saw then.
I feel no shame about my body, I see past what it means to other people to the person who lives inside it.
If you’ve not heard of the project yet please take a look at the video below to find out about it.
My story stands alongside those of other women who have shared their thoughts on what they see in the mirror. You can head over there, give me a thumbs up if you identify with what I’m saying, browse the other videos and even upload your own take on the question.
Following my film it falls to me to introduce Kate Russell who speaks about being hyper-critical, being a role model and taking on the boys in her video.