How is it March already?! I’m sure the days and months go quicker as you get older! That’s how it feels, anyway.
So, this post has been inspired by a book tour evening I attended last night: a Q&A session with the wonderful Giovanna Fletcher. I’ve wanted to meet her for years (my closest friends have heard me talk of wanting to meet Gi for a number of year, I *love* her books!) so I was delighted when I realised she was doing a meet & greet and book signing after the talk 🙂 ❤
Anyway, Gi has talked pretty openly in a couple of her blogs and vlogs about negative body image. As her new book ,’Happy Mum Happy Baby’, tells her story of motherhood, she spoke for a while last night about not liking her changing body very much during pregnancy (or before) . However, one or two events post-pregnancy helped her to realise that her body was “nothing short of a walking miracle” for growing two children.
I’m not pregnant nor am I a Mum (and I don’t intend to be for a very long time, if ever), but I can really relate to not liking my body and constantly criticising it. So I thought it was about time I talked about it, accepted it, and realised it makes me who I am. It hasn’t served me too badly over the past 26years, I guess.
Most of you will know that I have Cerebral Palsy. A condition I’ve had since birth. It means that my legs don’t work properly and so I use a wheelchair. However, what some of you might not realise is that I can only use my right hand. My left hand has a mind of its own and doesn’t really do much. Now, I’ve never liked it. When I was younger I called it my ‘mankey hand’ and certainly never wanted it in any photos. For instance, I won a competition in my first year of high school and my picture was put in the local paper. My teacher then wanted to put the article (including picture) on display in school and I stayed late at the end of the day to ensure she covered my left hand up when displaying the picture. “Nobody will even notice”, she told me. But it didn’t help, I still insisted, I *really* didn’t want my ‘bad’ hand being seen.
Back to last night…after the book signing (and photos) with Gi, the first thing I did when I got home was edit the photos to put up on social media. It was only today when I thought about writing this post that I realised I had cropped my ‘mankey hand’ out of the pictures to put on Instagram.
However, at the end of this post I’ve decided to share the unedited version. I am me, and I matter, even with all my flaws. Actually, people don’t care. Everyone else is *far* too preoccupied with what they look like themselves to be concerned with what I’m wearing, whether I look fat , or if my ‘bad’ hand looks particularly ‘mankey’ today.
Staying on the Fletcher theme, and to quote my favourite Mcfly Song: “We All Look The Same In The Dark” 😀 ❤
I am me. All the body image issues I had as a teenager (and still do have sometimes) took so much from me. They stopped me having fun and wearing what I wanted to at times. They took my health, my mood, and sometimes my friendships. I’ve now realised that it *really* isn’t worth it. I’d much rather be remembered for being a nice person who gave a damn about people and tried to do some good.
We’re all individual and beautiful (cliche as it sounds) flaws and all. I felt like I needed to share these thoughts. Big thanks to Gi for inspiring this post.
Thanks for reading