Life of a Mum, Other fabulous ladies

Body Image- guest blog

How many of us have suffered from body image issues? *hands go up*.

Since starting my Instagram page back in April, it became apparent to me how many of us women (and men too) have struggled with the image in the mirror. One minute we are young and innocent with not a care in the world and the next – BAM, we base all of our worth on our shape, our size, ‘our beauty’.

We are subjected to a constant barrage of images and inferred expectations of a construed idea of what is ‘beautiful’ and we can’t see past it. 

My daughter is 11. Do I want her to suffer those same afflictions? Hell no. We aren’t born hating our bodies, we are taught to do that. By the beauty industry, by social media, by the imagesthat we see day in and day out. I was about that same age when body image began to have an impact on me, when the words of others started to really cut deep. Then the questions in my head started. Why don’t I look like the ‘perfect’ girls in the magazines? Why are there no models that look like me?
In this day and age with so much social media surrounding our children, we need to build them up. We need to help them to love and embrace their bodies. We are all unique, all different and that’s okay. The world would be boring if we were all the same wouldn’t it?!
Children also need to know that our bodies are not just ornaments to be looked at, they are instruments that support us to do so many amazing things.
Our bodies are great, they help us to walk for miles, talk to our dearest friends, eat our favourite foods, read some wonderful stories and even jump in muddy puddles!! The children all around us are becoming consumed by their appearance more and more and that’s so sad. We need to help them to focus more on their skills, their unique traits and their amazing talents. 
I’m sure that we all want our children to feel happy in the skin that they are in. We also want our children to be good people so let’s support them into putting their energy into being kind, being adventurous, being well respected, being confident, having a good heart. All of the things that have nothing to do with the outside. We are enough, they are enough, everybody is enough and we are worthy just the way that we are.
Useful links for supporting children with their bodyimage;

Follow Anupa on insta Sparrow legs instagram

Guest Blogs, highlighton other fab ladies, Other fabulous ladies

The Lockdown Diaries – Acknowledging Anxiety in Isolation (guest blog)

Words and images by @chameleoninhighheels

When the government (quite rightly) extended the lockdown a couple of weeks ago, I wondered whether this was the perfect ending to a day I’d rather forget. To be brutally honest, it was a shite day. On the surface it was lovely: sunshine, a walk, a socially distant conversation with a friend we met in the park, time in the garden, meals together, family time. Bliss. Only it wasn’t. In my head, it was hell. Doubts about myself and others, returning to normal life, staying locked up, it was all a big, scary, chaotic and scrambled mess.

The familiar lump in my chest and stomach resurfaces, it spreads its claws uncomfortably around my organs and renders me unable to think straight or to see sense. I try to work out if this is related to lockdown, or if there are other demons at work. I think it is both. The fears and doubts have been there a long time, but now are magnified by a world that projects fear and cannot be a safe place for us right now. I try and rationalise my thoughts and talk myself through what I can and can’t influence. I listen to the conversations in my head and weigh them up. I counsel myself and know that the shrink in me is right and wants to kick me off the imagined couch, but I am not ready to leave, not prepared to say: Yeah, I am fine now, thanks for the session.

My thoughts are as stubborn as the monster inside my body. Normally I would schedule a meet up with one of my closest and most trusted friends. Such things have to be talked about in person. But I can’t do that. I would probably also start doing lots of things to distract myself. But today I can’t do that either.

All the dinner is cooked, there is no more food to cook because the fridge is empty, I had my daily exercise and colouring pictures with my daughter gives me more time to think than I can handle. I tentatively tell one of my friends via text and it helps, she is understanding and downright fabulous. She doesn’t try to fix things for me. She is just there. I can breathe more easily. And then I just do something I read the other day by Glennon Doyle: Sit with it. Sit through it. Experience it. And let it pass over.

It’s a bit of a challenge to sit in peace when you have two kids crawling and climbing over you and a puppy chewing on your clothes. But I sit, and I allow myself to feel crap and I endure those feelings of inadequacy, loneliness and anxiousness. And I survive. I still don’t feel great and am far from being a bundle of positivity, but those inner restraints have loosened a little. I am aware that lots of people will be feeling up and down during this time, and many are feeling like this all the time. I also know that everyone’s experience is unique and personal and definitely valid. My feelings may seem ridiculous to some but they are real for me and I have the right to those experiences.

That doesn’t make me weak, stupid or unloved. I am strong – I will get through this day and others; I am knowledgeable – I am aware of my mind and I know that not all feelings are real but they can seem so; and, most importantly, I am loved – not by everyone and that is ok, but I am no less worthy than the next person.

This has been a deeply personal account of what is going on inside me, and I know that I have made myself more vulnerable with this than ever before. I am never dishonest in my blog posts, but there are many things I do not share as freely as others. Whilst I am always scared of repercussions, I am not afraid anymore of revealing a bit more. We are locked up, but we are not silenced. And I have been silent for too long. 

We all have good and bad days, and from now on I will be more willing to openly share the good and the bad, without holding back, in the hope it will speak to other so they know they are not alone.

Read more from Chameleon in high heels here- CIHH instagram