I have been overwhelmed by the reaction to my recent post highlighting my experience of a teenager in the fashion industry; I hoped it would ring true with some at the least, and inspire at the most and it appears to have done both! I felt so strongly about the piece that I sent it to lots of women and organisations that inspire me asking for their thoughts. One of my favourite bloggers, ReeRee Rocket, responded by asking me why I thought I didn’t allow the comments to affect me. I have been mulling over this ever since, and think I have the answer!
I do feel that, like a lot of personality traits, it is a mix of nature and nurture. What I am about to reveal is not a blanket answer that guarantees that all negative attitudes are repelled; however, I hope this will give you an insight to how my brain works!
I have always stood out; I was an exceptionally tall child standing a good head and shoulders above my class-mates even in Infant school. For some unknown reason, strangers would feel compelled to highlight my stature to me. On, what felt like a daily basis, shopkeepers, train attendants, dinner ladies, parents would exclaim “wow you’re tall’ or ask “how tall are you?‘ Instead of the smart alec answer I wished to give ( ‘What!!! I was four foot when I left the house!’ ) I would smile and just continue with my day. Like many physical attributes, assumptions are usually attached; usually, you are older than you are, more responsible and, something I always struggled with, sporty! So, I reacted like the self-assured, responsible person they believed I was.Over time, these traits become embedded into my psyche and I become those things. However, this meant that I grew up being different; instead of slouching and hiding my size, I exaggerated it . As I got older I would wear heels to raise me to at least 6ft 2, my hair was short and all the colours of the sun so I couldn’t hide away. I was, and still am, quite happy being different and to stand out; this self confidence has just crept into most elements of my self image including my body shape!
The other area was the message I was given by my family which is pivotal in creating self-confidence. For as long as I could remember, we were told that happiness and effort is most important thing when it comes to success. We were never told we couldn’t do anything, and my parents never said what they wanted me to be. The word diet was never mentioned in our house, no food was bad and nothing was banned. We were told we were beautiful, but also clever, kind, hard working, friendly, honest; all the things that make a rounded person. So at 15 years old, as it is now at 33 years, my self worth came from so many avenues than I was politely told to loose weight I was able to brush it off as just an opinion and carry on with my life.
So, in short, how has this Teflon lady been created?
1. Embrace your differences and celebrate them.
2. Build you self worth in a variety of areas so you can always feel fulfilled!
Till next time x