There’s always a lot of talk isn’t there about how social media is the modern world’s root of all evil?
Truth is .. evil will always find a way but the positive flip side of that is that so will goodness and kindness. For me, social media has provided me with a career and a living. For those of you who don’t already know a lot about me my day job is in marketing.
What it’s also given me is confidence — YES! I know — I can hardly believe it myself. How did that happen?
For a long time I stayed off Instagram for myself. I thought it was full of beautiful people with amazing lives spending all their time on perfecting their flatlays and yes it is that for a small minority of people. Now I partake in the odd bit of ‘styling’ I know that this isn’t the full life story for 99.99% of people. I’m by no means putting myself out there as a stylist by the way here. I’m just learning and having fun because I’ve always had to do this social thing from someone else’s perspective for work.
However, now I do indulge myself I have seen how the people I have chosen to interact with empower each other and lift each other up and you know something? It’s really quite wonderful.
Don’t get me wrong I’ve seen the dark side, too a little bit myself over the years and some of the shit really nice people have to put up with is beyond me. Just this week I commented on a Facebook post on a blogger’s page who in my book is helpfulness personified — Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb. I had to step in. I can’t just stand by when this type of ugliness creeps up on someone unawares. Thankfully, Catherine didn’t really need my help. She can handle herself — but what about those who can’t?
Anyway, I digress — I’m meant to be writing about confidence. Mine specifically.
I lack in confidence — big style. In EVERYTHING 🙁
Most people I know don’t believe me when I say this so I kinda don’t talk about it much.
A big part of my confidence issues lie with my lifelong weight struggle. Most of my adult life it’s been the elephant in the room for me hindered by a cocktail of steroids to dampen down my cyclical asthma. I’ve battled and battled. In my 50th year 4 years ago I managed to lose 3 stone and completed a half iron man in California. But I just couldn’t sustain that level of determination. Nor was I interested. I’m also a weakling with ….
The attention span of a gnat and the metabolism of a sloth.
Don’t get me wrong when I believe in something I can ‘sell ice to Eskimos’ as the saying goes. It’s just I often don’t believe in myself. Plus, I’ve got used to the passive aggressive comments about my weight — ‘you have such a lovely face’ is the most used and yes by people in my circle who should be raising me up. They know who they are! Comments like this have worn me down over the years and I think I kind of gave in and lived up to their expectations.
But something has changed for me.
I’ve watched on the Insta sidelines – all these fabulous women I’ve connected with — posting daily fabulous photos. I’ll call them ordinary and by that I mean it as a compliment. Ordinary as in the sense just like me but you know how those sidelines make you feel, right? Not the stalking variety just the ‘why don’t I feel as if I can do that’ sideline?
I’ve always loved fashion.
So this weekend I decided to take the plunge.
In all my plus size glory!!
I’m a size 16-18 in case that helps.
I felt awkward you probably can tell can’t you? It’s a bit like when you are a kid and you see everyone diving in the pool and you know you want to do it but you just aren’t ready ..lol!
But for so long I’ve been that kid at the side of the swimming pool.
I can’t begin to count how many photos my eldest son took. Mr Bbed wasn’t behind the camera. He’s not quite ready for his ‘Insta -Husband’ title — yet! Although he’s helped me a little on this photo journey of mine — he does seems to look at me with an air of something I can’t quite pin down. Ha! Ha!
He has always been my biggest champion, though — through thick and thin.
I’m a ‘tiny’ bit happy with this picture. Enough at least to put it ‘out there’ — yes — I’m going for it — on social media and the world wide web.. yikes!!
It’s time I started liking myself again and stop trying to live up to other people’s expectations.
They can be what they want to be, too, but I’m going to get happy being me again.
I can’t quite express today everything I wanted to say and how I feel about this new shift in me but it’s a start and to think that social media had this positive effect on ordinary me!
At this point I’d like to say don’t expect daily #whatimwearingtoday posts. Little steps!
I don’t have enough clothes for one but for me it’s not really about that. For now it’s about the fact that you know what? I should love myself more and never be frightened to take the plunge in anything. Some things have happened to me in the last 3-4 years that have made me frightened but there is always sun behind the clouds, isn’t there?
I’d also like to shout out to the bloggers and Instagrammers who probably won’t even realise what they have done for me and how they’ve made me feel:
Catherine as I mentioned earlier from Not Dressed As Lamb
Hilda from Over the Hilda
Vanessa at Voguish and Calamity
And the fashion and happy fixes I get from:
There are loads more but these are just a few of the girls I always look out for and love to chat and interact with.
Hopefully, if you’re reading this and sitting on any sideline then you know what to do — JUMP IN!!!
We are all extraordinary after all!