So I started an Instagram account last year, as if there is anyone on my Facebook friends list who can’t figure that out, but it has only been in the last few months that I have really chosen to dive in and explore the world of Instagram. Honestly, anyone who knows me well, knows my long standing reluctance to join the party due to privacy and lack of confidence.
But hey, if I’m ganna dive in, head first and all in is the only style I do.
One of the things I’ve recently discovered using Instagram is all the hashtags, I mean I’ve known for quite some time what hashtags were but not how to use them effectively, much less seen them as anything that I could ever need or want to use … But sure enough I did begin to pay attention to the hashtags other people were using and slowly began to dip my toe in the endless pool of hashtags scattered all over social media.
Anyway, during the last couple of weeks there have been a couple of hashtags that caused me to ponder for a moment. Not just about hashtags, but the whole Instagram world I had chosen to immersed myself in, especially the Plus-size Influencers I had started following and was gaining so much confidence from.
What really got me thinking though were hashtags like #flashbackfriday #throwbackthursday #tbt and what I would want to say to my younger self if I had the opportunity … I especially thought about that question in the light of the overwhelming number of plus-size women on Instagram who display a confidence that I never even knew a plus-size woman could possess, let alone was allowed to embrace.
Living a lifetime in a body that was deemed unacceptable by the world around me, right from the get go of my earliest memories, my larger build was something I had personally learnt to loathe from a very young age … And, as a result of the often repeated reference to my size during my childhood a great deal of my self worth rested in my size throughout the rest of my life to this point.
When I was starving myself and doing five times the amount of exercise any other person had to do to stay slim and healthy I was full of confidence and loved life, until the inevitable crash came each time from pushing myself far too hard.
However, when I was eating a normal, healthy balanced diet or when I was unable to partake in the amount of exercise I required in comparison to other people, due to illness and injury, I loathed the size I became and my confidence would vanish. (A story in itself for another day.)
My size coupled together with the thoughts I wrote in For All Your Infinite Worth meant confidence was never one of my strong suits.
So when I started to think about flashbacks and throwbacks, what I realised was that I don’t have a great deal of photos I can flashback or throwback to in certain periods of my life because I avoided any camera, specifically due to my weight at any given time.
The sad thing about that reality is that for the majority of my children’s lives I don’t have a great deal of photos or videos of me enjoying activities with my children. There are plenty of photos of them with Daniel, but not so many with me.
Even with Daniel, I shunned having photos taken with him as often as I could because of my size. Take for instance my first date with Daniel at his cousin’s wedding, Daniel had a camcorder which could have given us so many amazing memories to look back on and reminisce over, now 22 years down the track. But sadly, I avoided that camera as much as I could that day and the video memories we could have treasured never became.
The saddest thing by far as I think on the theme of flashbacks and throwbacks in the light of being plus-size … I actually was never as big as what I was made to believe or feel I was by all the people throughout my life that focused on my size.
Be it the loving kindness of adults who were trying to protect me from the cruelty of school yard teasing, the children that used my size as a source of entertainment or the girls that made fun of my early physical development to cover their own physical insecurities … It was a focus on my size throughout my childhood and teenage years that set a pattern of self loathing for life.
Absolutely, I was bigger than average sized girls my own age growing up, both in height and build, the luck of the gene pool, if you could call it that … Always that girl stuck up the back in class photos, stuck between the tallest boys, who were often shorter than me.
By the time I had reached my teenage years I had learnt that if I was slim I was acceptable.
If I was fat on the other hand, irrespective of how healthy I lived my life, I should be utterly ashamed of myself. The responsibility mine to cover every roll and every curve to avoid assaulting other people visually.
Suddenly however, at 46 I’m starting to accept those rolls and curves that I once loathed immensely, funnily enough that lessening of loathing came from the social media I once loathed just as much as my curves and rolls.
The Instagram world I found myself immersed in is a world where brave women, and even men, embrace their curves. Its a world where other people actually admire the curvaceous and plus-size … A place where both men and women who were once taught to loathe their own bodies, feel shame and cover up to save others from the offense of viewing a curvaceous body are finding acceptance.
I for one am amazed by what I have found on Instagram, the women who love their own bodies and embrace their own curves. Even at my age, with all my fat shamming experience I never believed a woman could accept herself curves and all.
And it is with that thought I have to admire all those women who are breaking down the stereotypes and revealing the beauty of women at any size, shape, age and physical appearance … There is nothing more beautiful than a woman who radiates confidence through self love, irrespective of who or what anyone else sees or tells her she is.
Now don’t take me wrong, I’m not an advocate of living an unhealthy lifestyle crammed with junk food and being inactive by choice. I’m an advocate for all people being accepted and respected for who they are despite the outward appearance.
I’ll be honest and say there can be that creep factor to the voyeuristic nature of Instagram and the possibility of who may be thinking or (Hmm, nope. We’ll just stick with thinking!) of pictures on Instagram … But to my mind the confidence I’m gaining and lessons I am learning from both the younger and older ladies on Instagram about self-acceptance and loving what you have is well worth putting the creep factor to the back of anyone’s mind.
I still don’t know I’ll be indulging in the weekly #SelfieSaturday or #SelfieSunday or doing daily photo shoots of my wardrobe. And, I certainly can’t see myself doing any of those nude shots with arms and legs strategically placed to make them tasteful … Kudos to all you Gals who can and do, giving women like me some new found confidence … You ladies are amazing!
But a tad more photographic evidence of my existence, with a selfie here and there surely couldn’t be a bad thing or too vain, could it!
So what would I say to my younger self if I had the opportunity, or any other person who needs to hear the same message….
“Love your own body, ever curve and every roll. Enjoy having your photo taken no matter your size or you’ll regret it in years to come. Above all, you know all those clothes you loved but never wore because you didn’t want anyone to see your disgusting fat rolls and curves … Wear ’em all, and wear them with the knowledge of how amazing you are!”
When it all comes down to it …
I might not be the prettiest coloured crayon in the box.
I might not shine as bright as more brilliant shades of glitter.
I might also wear the stains of a flawed weathered soul.
But no one can say that being unique doesn’t set me apart!
So move on over the classically beautiful and stunning young ones!
It’s time for this plus size late comer to have some #selfiefun … All in with a splash, diving head first!
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New Blog Post Excerpt … Flashbacks, Throwbacks and Selfies On The Side. – I recently got to thinking about #flashbackfriday #throwbackthursday #tbt and what I would want to say to my younger self if I had the opportunity … I especially thought about that question in the light of the overwhelming number of plus-size women on Instagram who display a confidence that I never even knew a plus-size woman could possess, let alone was 'allowed' to embrace. – You can read the blog post at … https://obsbyrebecca.com/2019/02/09/flashbacks-throwbacks-and-selfies-on-the-side/ – Or take the link to OBS by Rebecca from my profile. • • • #blog #blogging #blogpost #selfie #selfrespect #selfreflection #loveyourcurves #fullfigure #fullfigured #plussize #bodypositive #selfiefun #bodypositive #plussizepositive #selfliesunday #bbw #selfacceptance #myoungerself