Be Real, Be You

We are bombarded day and night with images in magazines, on the TV, and in movies that make us think we are not good enough. We are not, and could never be, as beautiful as the movie stars or the music stars. We are shorter, fatter, have a stumpy nose or wear glasses so how could we ever consider ourselves worthy? Our confidence revolves around the images we see every day and that's why I love the Be Real Body Image Pledge, supported by Dove. It's time that organisations portrayed realistic body image. It's time you had the confidence to be real, to be you.

An attack on the mind

When I was thirteen years old I was told I had to wear glasses. I had been struggling to read the blackboard in school and couldn't manage without them any longer. It was amazing to finally be able see further than a few feet in front of me while wearing my glasses but I now had to contend with the fact that I was a teenage girl who had to wear glasses.

I became "four-eyes".
I became "ugly".

Not only did I have to deal with raging hormones and periods but now I had to deal with awful people who called me names because I needed glasses. I was a timid child and didn't like confrontations so I tried to ignore the bullies and secretly cried into my pillow at night. I hated wearing glasses. The worst part was when bullies drew glasses onto stars faces in magazines and laughed because it made them look ugly. Wearing glasses was the mark of ugliness.

There were no stars who wore glasses, that I knew of, and it only made things worse. The movies didn't help either, there was always the classic librarian who suddenly became beautiful when she took off her glasses. It killed my self-esteem.

I remember a slight change in attitudes when Mel B (Scary Spice) wore glasses in public, suddenly it was cool to wear glasses. Those bullies began to wear glasses, everyone in school wanted to be 'cool' like Mel B. I wasn't "ugly" anymore, and no one called me "four-eyes" for a while.

Be Real

80% of women and girls wish the media did a better job portraying realistic and diverse body image. The Be Real Body Image Pledge encourages organisations to promote the responsible portrayal of body image in advertising, media, fashion and music.

It would be great if we could start seeing more realistic images in the media. Imagine what it would be like to see the real stars, not photoshopped magazine covers.

After years of being brainwashed to think that having a tiny waist and big boobs is beautiful I've managed to retrain myself. I used to laugh or judge women if they were overweight or flat-chested and I'm ashamed of that, but I blame the media. I was told what to think and was too young to know any different. Now though I don't do it, when I see an overweight lady running along the street in her lycra I want to shout out "Good for you!", I smile because she's making an effort and she looks great. We are all different and should celebrate our differences, not pretend those differences don't exist.

Be You

The best way to make a change is to be you. Go out there and be confident. Show everyone that we are proud to be different and we celebrate our differences. It would be a boring world if we were all the same after all.

If you like to wear bright and colourful clothes, DO IT!
If you want to have pink hair, DO IT!
If you want to wear joggers and relax, DO IT!

Whatever it is you love to wear, put it on and strut your stuff! And don't forget...

Be Real, Be YOU.

I created this post as a competition entry in support of Dove and the Be Real Body Image Pledge.

Linking with Share the Joy.