My biggest desire is to make content that touches others, informs and spreads love.
Social media, specifically Instagram has made a huge impact on my life. I could go back and form a very detailed social media timeline but, that isn’t the purpose of this blog post. Today is to talk about how social media influences the way I feel about myself and fuels my belief in my frequented #BeYourOwnBeautiful. Like most stories, this one has two sides.
So, let’s start back a few weeks ago when I found Angelina Dupilsea, a.k.a. @anaxtingangel a.k.a. fat chick in Miley’s new video ‘Mothers Daughter’. Funny thing is, I came across her Instagram before I saw the video. When I saw the video, I was like to myself: “I think I know who that is” and sure enough, I did. The first time I saw Angelina it was a fully nude photo (taken in the name of art) with a flamingo standing on her. I am obsessed with Flamingos so of course, I had to find out if it was real and sure enough it was. I started following Angelina that day; after looking at her other photos and posts I kept thinking “OMG this beautiful woman is doing her thing, things that are amazing! She is not letting her size hold her back at all”. I was so intrigued and full of admiration (note that my first thought was ‘what a beautiful woman’; remember that for later).
Second ‘finding’ I’ll just go ahead and jump on the bandwagon of talking about this next person, the amazing lyricist Lizzo a.k.a. @lizzobeatingand who’s tunes I have been checking out since I saw her on Ellen. What really got my attention though was a post that she put up, which was a recording of her speaking truth at one of her concerts. She said: “I want you to know I love you very much and am proud of you. I want you to know if you can love me you can love you GD self”. Lizzo then made the crowd repeat a mantra to themselves and then to the person next to them, having them repeat: “I love you; you are beautiful and you can do anything” . She said she believed that: “we can’t change the world if we don’t save ourselves first”. Wow, what a wonderful truth! Whether you like her music or not, this chick is bringing it. Man, oh man, that was a wake-up call for this 40 year-old.
Now, how do these two people tie into this blog… Let’s go back to me not paying attention to what I was ordering and purchasing yet another full body suit swimsuit. Turns out, it was super cute even if the chest area is super dooper too big; thank goodness it comes with extra padding. Anyway, the part that upset me was the ruffle. What was I going to do? The ruffle was going to make wearing shorts over it stupid looking. Also, this is the first full suit I would have that wasn’t black, ’cause you know, black is forgiving… So, here is when things started to spiral in my head. I put the swimsuit on, got some pictures, and I’m saying to Jeremy that “Maybe someone will want to buy it from me” (after considering selling it) and he said to me: “Why do you want to sell it” and I was like: “Because it will look stupid to wear it with shorts”. Pay attention now… Jeremy says: “So don’t wear shorts, it looks fine without them”. WHAT?! What was he saying? I replied: “Let me get this straight, you think I look good enough in this swimsuit to be in public with out shorts covering my legs?”. My mind was blown, but in typical Evie form, I didn’t let it go. I kept talking about it. Going over the possibility of wearing the suit. Could I?! Asking Jeremy in every way I could think to find out what he ‘really though’ about my legs, what he ‘really thought’ about the suit. I can be extremely annoying when I get something on my mind and can’t push it away.
So, I sort of just filed it away and stopped talking about it because frankly my mind needed time to wrap around this new idea. Later that night, we were lying in bed, doing our nightly rituals of checking our phones before sleep. Jeremy says: “Look this girl has your suit”. Now ladies, you know sometimes our men do things in order to make us ‘feel better’ or what they think will help. This did not help, in fact, I tried to act all nonchalant. So looked her up on Instagram, and screenshotted her picture instantly. Let the obsessing begin…
What does it mean to obsess? “To fill a mind of someone to a troubling extent” apparently, and that is exactly what I did. I showed a close friend the picture of me and the picture of the girl Jeremy showed me and was told: “Well, it just looks tight on you”, which I was quick to say it was not tight at all. Why did I get so offensive about it? This is a young girl, with a much smaller body. I should not be comparing my self to her or to anyone else. Yet I did. This went on for a few days, I have pushed posting a vlog until now where I am doing a review of my new clothes because you will see me in the suit mentioned in this blog post. You will see all of me in the suit.
This is where the social media accounts I mentioned come into play. I was showing another friend the @anaxtingangel account and saying how pretty she was. My friend says to me: “It must be nice for you to finally see someone with similar figure!”. You know those moments when you’re speaking to your pet and they turn their heads to the side as if to really listen?. That was me. I just know I turned my head to the side as if to say ‘What, are you serious?’. So of course, I begin to study those photos on her account and sure enough, we have similar body shapes. Not exact but similar, and yet way closer than anyone else I follow. So that begun the thought process. A day passes and by this time I have looked every inch of @anaxtingangel’s page over. I was mesmerized. Thinking about all the things. Of course, for me because my health is so at the forefront of my mind I wondered and assumed she must be healthier because she does all these things. She must not have the pain I have, on and on… Then I find I start Googling trying to find others in my swimsuit. I found one more. Now I have three examples of this swimsuit on three different body types. I screenshotted this new picture and kept going back and forth between the two girls and mine. Then it just hits me, why does it matter how healthy someone is? Better yet, why does it matter how much I look like someone else? None of it makes it ok to see anyone’s beauty and be critical of your own.
Let that sink in deep. Why can I see others beauty and not my own? Why do people push all the time the good fat vs bad fat ideology? Why can I be ok with someone else and not ok with me?
Then I was scrolling @lizzobeatingand and I saw the post I spoke about above: “We can’t change the world if we don’t save ourselves first”. I felt like It was tattooed on my heart. I could not get it out of my mind. So, I pulled up those pictures of those other girls and I mentally listed everything I liked about their photos. Then I did it with my own photo but I also said what I didn’t like and then really dug deep of why I felt that way. I did it with an open heart and mind. I did it with the idea that I truly do want to change the world. I want everyone to feel beautiful and to consider the idea that everyone has beauty, and it is how we view others that adds the ugly. Not everyone will be your type, will have features you adore, have the same beliefs or feelings you do but everyone has beauty.
Social media has a lot to do with this. How is today different from when I was a young teenager? Well for one I thought I was the fattest human alive; I was longing to be thin, and I honestly believed that no one else had my issues. I was not aware of a world filled with humans just like me. Since I was about the age of 20, I become aware of a world that I was not sure where I fit in. On the outside we seemed to share similarities but still felt alone. Now in the present I am positive I am not alone; I am not longing to be thin, but I am comparing myself highly to women that are similar or like me in some ways. Comparison has to stop. No matter if your comparing yourself to thinner women or women your size, comparison is dangerous. I struggle, while I see my own beauty and am pretty confident chick, I am also full of doubt and fear. I struggle with dressing myself in a way true to the way I feel about myself versus what I think others are thinking. I struggle to see my beauty. Most days I do ok. Most days I am able to see the beautiful women I follow and just see them as who they are without comparing myself to them, but… There is that but again… Some days I struggle. With this swim suit and the idea of could I wear it without shorts I was comparing my body to others….
If I can so clearly see others beauty why am I still finding so much fault within myself? I’m finding so much fault in fact that I can’t seem to want to fully open up and share me. Why am I feeling less of a person because I am different? I am telling you beauties daily how beautiful I think you are while I am looking back at my self and saying: “You’re pretty, but…”. Why do I add the but? Well there is psycological reasons why I include the ‘but’, but, the biggest reason why is that I COMPARE MY SELF TO OTHERS!, which is why I believe in #BeYourOwnBeautiful so much.
This is where this is not a thin thing, fat thing, black, white, old, young, or gender-specific thing. Comparison does not discriminate. It attacks everyone’s minds. So, this blog, Instagram post, and even the haul vlog I’ll be posting collectively means a lot to me. I’d like to think 3 women can wear the same suit. All can see these things: three separate women, all having similar taste (at least where swimwear comes in), all beautiful in their own ways, all love Torrid (as a fashion outlet), all are trying to live their best lives. Of course, with your eyes, you will see the size, color, sex, fit… Of course, you see these things but you don’t have to dwell or compare. No one is better than the other. Different, yes but beautiful in our own ways.
Social media can cause us to go deep into a place we should not with comparison. On the other hand, it can give us people who inspire and encourage us. It can connect us with people we can grow in ideas, emotions, from knowing. Sometimes it can just help you see beauty in your self and others that others wise you would never see. Thank you to Jess @jessydez and Jessica @curvystyleswithjess for letting me use their images, and for being beautiful inside and out. Side note: I wish my name was Jess!
Some people do not like #BeYourOwnBeautiful but I don’t think they understand it. Since I can only truly talk about myself in this manner, here it is for me. When I was younger, I lived under the impression that I was ugly because I was fat; that if I had lost weight, I’d be beautiful. I COULD NOT SEE MY BEAUTIFUL. Then I begun to see that the word ‘fat’ doesn’t mean ‘not beautiful’. I even learned ‘fat’ for some did in fact mean beautiful. #BeYourOwnBeautiful for me was a slow movement. As much as I hate this next part, I begun to see myself as beautiful through the eyes of my ex-husband. The problem with seeing yourself positively through someone else means that they have the power to take it away. Which he did to some extent. The only good point was the seed had been planted; I just had to go back and replant it correctly this time. Not wanting anyone to have that power over me or you, I begun to push #BeYourOwnBeautiful. It is not about everyone being considered beautiful to everyone else, it is about being beautiful to yourself.