I am Bronwyn. My closest friends and family call me Bee. I have a little scar next to my eye from standing on a chair in nursery, shouting at the top of my lungs for a marmite sandwich and an undying love for foam bananas. I’m terrified of zombies (despite the fact I know they don’t exist). Having worked in a baby shop and children’s nurseries- I know a ridiculous amount about babies without ever having had one (and for some reason I could list off 15 pushchair brands, but struggle to recall what I learnt last week at Uni). I love cats, but fear them equally- for I find them peculiarly unpredictable creatures. I study history because I enjoyed it and it seemed to close the least doors for me in life. I’m an open book, my emotions are splashed across my face the second I feel them, I’m oversensitive, silly 80% of the time, prone to over-apologising and ultimately imperfect, but not insignificant. I am a people person. I like to please. I am working on accepting that not everyone will like me all of the time- and that’s OK. I have been, and still am, vulnerable at times and have found confidence isn’t borne out of things going right, often confidence grows when, quite frankly, the shit hits the fan.
I am a work in progress. I am enough. I belong. I am me: perfectly imperfect.
Remember you are too. Your best is enough. You belong. You are fiercely loved. You are perfectly imperfect.
16 million people in the UK experience a mental illness. 3 in 4 mental illnesses start in childhood. 75% of young people with mental health problems are not being treated. Suicide is the biggest killer of young people in the UK. A study recently showed that more than A THIRD of teenage girls in England suffer from depression and anxiety.
These are some scary figures. Though social media is not the only reason for this, I think it has a huge impact. Our lives are not perfect, but nobody’s is. We’re humans, we all have sadness, worries, family issues, friendship struggles and all the crap that goes in-between. But we don’t publicise it online very often because it’s private, we don’t want people knowing.
Scrolling through your Instagram feed and seeing everyone else’s seemingly magical life can leave you feeling alone in life hurdles. It’s hard not to think everyone else’s life is perfect when you only ever see the best bits, the fun, the laughter, the happiness and the celebration of life. But this isn’t ReALiTy.
We all do it, we show the best bits of our lives. We need to talk more, and by talk I mean honest talk. Social media is never an honest representation of how that person really feels. Ask people how they are doing, even if their lives seem rosey through Instagram. A simple ‘hey, how are you?’ can open an honest conversation about LiFe.
Putting on a ‘brave face’ is so easy when you’re sat behind a phone, or a laptop, uploading to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. But let’s be ReAl, we all know its a bunch of fibs. Life is beautifully imperfect. You have to have the bad days, for the good days to shine so bright.
Yesterday, I posted on my Instagram about an email I got from my Dissertation Tutor, that quite frankly was a pile of poop (if you want to check it out, click here). Again, something I haven’t really discussed on Instagram, Twitter or my Blog is the University Strikes. Something that has affected me in a HUGE way. But I haven’t spoken about it much as it’s one of the naffest parts of my life right now. But yesterday, as I sat at my desk, opened up my emails and was told that my Dissertation (that I have practically written over the last 4 weeks) included themes my Tutor deemed ‘irrelevant’- I decided I would talk about it (following a melt down and a pep talk from my boyfriend). Due to the strikes, I have had little to no contact with her, so cracked on with my work, thinking all was good. I thought my dissertation plan had been approved- as I hadn’t received feedback- and I would make the most of the 4 weeks of strikes. Anyway, I decided to email back saying that I had already written these sections and I believed they were relevant. I even told her why, in depth. So I’m awaiting a response and hopefully I will have convinced her.
This totally HoNeSt Instagram post, written with puffy eyes and butterflies, gave me some of the best feedback I have had to date. People were so sweet, giving me encouragement and saying they had experienced similar things. It made me realise, people identify a whole lot more to the ReALiTiEs. These realities of life include the down days.
So if you’re feeling low and you feel comfortable sharing it on social media, you could touch someone else who is struggling. We all fight battles, some of which nobody knows about. Some days are a little bit foggy and we have to realise its OK not to be OK all of the time.
“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty” – Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience.
Be yourself. Self-confidence is the most attractive quality a person can have.
Summer shopping this year has been an interesting experience. For some unknown reason my body decided to grow big ass hips when I hit 19, resulting in great frustration when my shorts from last summer wouldn’t fit.
It’s pretty easy to compare your figure to other peoples’. I went to the beach with a group of school friends last week, and we all have such different figures. Some look the same as they did at school. Others have changed rather drastically.
Everyone is different. I would love to feel great in a pair denim hot pants. I just don’t. But this year, I’ve really gotten into cotton shorts. I ordered several pairs from Boohoo and LOVE THEM. I’ve got a few lacey ones, some patterned ones and brightly coloured ones. And I feel good in them.
Maraboli is so right. The girls I look at and envy- do I envy them because they look good in things I perhaps wouldn’t? Yes. But is their air of confidence equally as enviable? Hell yeah.
Be unapologetically yourself. If you got a booty- flaunt it. If you can pull off skimpy bikinis- do so.
Wear what makes YOU feel good. What you see as imperfect, others will see as perfect.
There is no doubt about it- I prefer winter clothes. Jumpers, fluffy socks, leggings, and huge scarfs. What is there not to like?
I’m not really sure how I feel about the idea of a “summer body”. I attempted a summer body last year, with the added pressure of wanting to look good for Freshers. Then it was Christmas. That’s usually when the countdown begins. It’s okay, you think, I’ve got 7 months until my holiday. Then Easter creeps up. Then exam season- where most students lock themselves away. Now, I’m sat here with my “winter body”.
It got me thinking about my “summer body” and how this “ideal” makes normal people feel inadequate for summer. A season. It made me question, why do we put the pressure on ourselves and others?
Plus Size Models don’t seem “plus” to me. Since when was a Size 12 a “plus size”? What are we suggesting to people? That having hips or bigger legs or bigger bust is to say you’re “plus size”?
Having a healthy lifestyle is one thing, but genes are another. I do not have a thigh gap, or small butt, or normal size boobs. Whatever “normal” may mean. But I’m not “plus size”. Or maybe I am- I looked on one website and the plus size model had the same size legs as me. But these features are for the majority down to genes.
I have a size 8 waist, a size 10 bottom and a size 12 bust. Sure, some styles suit and fit me better than others. But why on earth do I go looking online for clothes in my size and come away feeling overweight?
I always hear people say how they used to think they were overweight, but in reality they weren’t. It frustrates me that girls can flick through a magazine and end up feeling inferior. It’s easy to forget that it’s a models’ job to look good, to go to the gym and keep up the “summer body”.
Fashion plays a big role in this too- skinny jeans will always look better on someone with a thigh gap and beautifully long legs. But if bootleg jeans were the “in” thing, us curvy girls would be rocking them.
I just think we need a reality check. Everyone is a different shape. It’s normal to envy someone else or admire a feature of theirs. But lets not make people feel uncomfortable by the pool as their “summer body” means more booty, more bust and little less toned belly.