The Body Diaries: Taking up Space

My series The Body Diaries‘ has been such a hit. I’ve so many women telling me how much the interviews are inspiring and helping them! I am so wonderfully proud and happy that I’ve received a response like this. As part of this series, I think it’s important to document the ups-and-downs of my relationship with my body.

My dress size has gone up

Since going through puberty, I have always been a UK size 12-14. Recently, my dress size has gone up to a 14-16. It doesn’t sound like much at all and, in reality, it really isn’t. Yet, in my mind, this slight increase has made me so much more aware of my body.

In the last few months, I have really struggled with my body and how I look. That teeny tiny change in size caused my confidence to plummet. I felt like I was taking up so much space and that everyone was always watching me. I was hyper-aware of my body and the way it moved. I made sure I covered the ‘offending’ parts: my rounder stomach, my arms that jiggle and my bum that has suddenly grown wider. I didn’t wear clothes that I love because they showed and accentuated my body rather than hid it.

But why has this impacted me?

Recently, I’ve been thinking about why this change in my dress size has impacted my confidence so much? Why have I been so worried having my body on show? Why have I felt so ashamed that my body is taking up space? Like, seriously, why has this become a thing that I’m worried about!?

Then I realised, women are conditioned into thinking that they shouldn’t take up any space! Whether that be with their body or their words. My relationship with my body, I realised, is linked to the way women are expected to be in society! Not only through the consistent bullshit that diet culture spits at us. But, also, that there is still a part of my subconscious that thinks, as a woman, I should be quiet and not get in the way.

I’m not having it

After my mini-epiphany, I’m adopting a much more ‘fuck-it’ approach. I’ve never been quiet with my words. I run a blog,  I am always chatting on about politics and I never stop going on about social issues. Basically, I never shut up! So why should I think that I’m taking up too much space in society because my body is a bit bigger?

I’m not having that. I won’t hide my body because it might not be deemed desirable by some. I’m going to wear what I want, rather than thinking ‘that trend will make me look bigger’. This is my body. I’m going to take up this space. This is my space to claim, just like I do with my words.

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