Something struck a cord with me today. It’s been trying to strike over the last few months I think, but the release of Beyonce’s second film on her new digital album the self titled, Beyonce, gave it a little push and urged me to look back and reflect on 2013.
If you haven’t already watched it, I suggest you do so, immediately. It’s five eyeopening minutes of powerful statements, thought provoking ideas and makes you look at yourself from the inside out and consider what’s really important. One of the messages behind her fifth studio album is: “Finding the beauty in imperfection” and considers why us women compete so much with each other, not in terms of jobs or achievement but in our aesthetics and the way men look at us.
This past year has been full of achievements for me, I secured my first real job, passed my driving test, left my first real job to return to America and supervise a team of twenty-one staff, moved in with my boyfriend, hit a one year anniversary with him, finally lost two stone of university fueled weight, ran a 10k and most significantly and importantly I became comfortable in my own skin.
Since Year 9 I have ALWAYS been jealous of other girls, when I was 14 I envied everyone with a set of boobs because I didn’t have a pair till I was 16, at the age of 18 I went to university and gained a staggering amount of unwanted weight and became jealous of pretty much every female I met.
As the weight fell off, as it always does when you graduate I still saw a chubby girl in the mirror. When it wasn’t my weight that was the problem it was my skin, hair, lack of fashion sense or pretty much any other imperfection you could imagine.
But now I see someone completely different when I look in the mirror.
I can’t decide what prompted this turn of events, I don’t know if its hitting the 23 mark, falling in love or just my training my brain to appreciate what I have.
The truth is, I don’t look in the mirror and see a Northern beauty, far from it I look past my looks. Instead I see a brain that has secured me a BA and a PGD Degree and is more interested in reading a book than watching Geordie Shore, a mind full of ideas, creativity and dreams, a heart full of empathy and love for others and a strength that has kept me going through 2013’s more difficult times.
I’m going through a pretty difficult time at the moment, and often struggle to even get out of bed in the morning, but when I look back to a time when it was a few extra pounds ruining my day I see how far I have come. Truth be told I may not have actually lost that much weight and when I look at a reflection or picture of myself maybe I am the same girl with just a different mindset.
I can see how much I’ve changed, inside and out, when I look at images of other girls, whether it’s Miranda Kerr or some beautiful creature I know on Instagram, I no longer look in envy, instead I think, “You go girl”. I actually feel compassion for girls I know who can’t step out the house without a face full of makeup and a perfect set of eyebrows. I love going out without makeup, in fact I prefer it! It’s so refreshing to embrace the day with a head full of ideas and dreams rather than a face full of makeup.
I hope other girls out there find a way to embrace their own beauty and flaws, as the balance between them make you, you.
I still have a long way to go, we all do. Until the world stop rubbing their hands in glee when the Daily Mail publishes a news story on some innocent celebrity who “shock horror” hasn’t lost their baby weight one month after giving birth, or celebrates WAGs, reality TV stars and fame hunters over philosophers, authors and simply your average hard working mum, Beyonce needs to continue to spread her much needed message.