Here we are again, with another edition of The Body Diaries. This week I am super excited to be chatting with the most wonderful person to follow me on Twitter, a huge history buff and someone I consider a political soulmate. Darcy has been one of the biggest supporters of this series, so I am thrilled she is taking part! Grab a cuppa tea and get ready to dive into her relationship with her body.
(TW: this interview discusses eating disorders so reader’s discretion is advised)
Give my readers a little introduction to you. Who are you and what are you about?
My name is Darcy, I’m 23 (almost 24!) and I live in Hertfordshire. I graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2015 with a degree in history and I am currently working in a start-up business as a progressions manger. I’m a proud member of the Labour party and I really feel that my political roots are an important part of my identity, along with being a feminist and humanitarian. I suffer with depression, anxiety and anorexia nervosa. I try to be as open and honest about my mental health struggles in a bid to help remove the taboo stigma that surrounds it!
How would you describe your relationship with your body?
My relationship with my body has always been heavily clouded by other people’s opinions of it, consequently I have disliked and been unkind to it for as long as I can remember. When I was 13, I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. Even when I was wearing clothing for a 7-8 year-old child, I still stood in front of a mirror and cursed at my body! I mostly recovered well and was weight restored by the time I was 16-years-old and, for the first time, I briefly enjoyed my body. At the age of 19, I went to university and gained a total of 5 stone. I was using food as a source of comfort to deal with being away from home and an abusive relationship I was in. In May of this year, I was, once again, diagnosed with anorexia. My relationship with my body has hit a low but this is something I’m trying very hard to change. The treatment I am receiving at the moment for my eating disorder is centred around accepting, embracing and being kind to your body. Honestly, I struggle with this most days! I love my body for never giving up on my despite what I have put it through and I hope, that one day soon, I will be able to say I’m okay with how my body looks. I am in awe of people who are proud of their body and I am so excited for the ‘body positivity’ movement to become standard thinking in a generations time (here’s hoping!).
Tell me which 3 parts of yourself that you love the most?
This answer consisted of a lot of typing and erasing, I’m quite sad about how much I struggled! I would go with my eyes, my smile and my hair.
What is your go-to outfit that makes you feel like you’re the hottest person on earth?
Anything high waisted with a tiny strappy top because I don’t have to wear a bra!
How do you try and get over the bad days you have with your body?
I try to remember how amazing and reliable my body is – it has carried me through many emotional and physical journeys. I am so lucky to and privileged to have a healthy body! I also try to remember that I am so much more than just a body. I have an amazing job and I am so valued by my bosses which has nothing to do with my body. My boyfriend, friends and family show me so much love and enjoy spending time with me but that isn’t because of my body – it’s because I am caring and funny (hopefully!). I have had days where I have been unable to look in the mirror because I am too upset by what I see. I have learned to just take eachday as it comes! We are our own biggest critics but nobody ever sees the flaws in the magnified ways that we do.
What tips would you give your 12-year-old self about body confidence?
I would say that the media lies and to ignore what anybody tells you your body ‘should’ look like because the photoshopped women everywhere don’t even look like that! Also, there is no competition and one person’s beauty does not take anything away from your own – you will never have the body of a super model if that isn’t your full-time job. Accept the things you can’t change and make them yours!