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The Self-Love Column

Hi there and welcome back to my column. My name is Liz Alexander, also known as The Mummy Editorial. I am here to talk about the realities of body image and self-acceptance. I know this is something many of us struggle with but I truly believe that every single person deserves to be happy in themselves. In this issue, I want to open up about judgement and jeans size.

Let's explore what it is that makes us unhappy with how we look.

Comments from friends or family, society, or maybe the beauty industry. These are all things that we face all day, every day. We scroll countless times online capturing the “perfect image” in our minds without even realising it- even though it's only snippets of someone else’s day and not reality. We compare anyway. Sometimes innocent comments about appearance from family can really stick with us and impact us throughout our lives, so no wonder we constantly feel like we are not good enough. We are in a constant state of comparison. Especially now in lockdown, we are looking for a change or something to do and the first person we criticize is ourselves.

Judgment and how to overcome it.

Firstly, I want to ask you - who is actually judging you? If anyone is, it's usually yourself. That lady who looked at you funny the other day is out there in the world now, not thinking about you. Something that worked for me, was flipping the negatives into positives, for example: we should be filling our social media feeds with images of real women/men, honest accounts of daily musings, and diversity. Accounts that you can relate to, really understanding that life is and never has been perfect for anyone. Not being afraid to unfollow accounts that don't inspire you or make you happy in your own life. Why fill your day with people that unknowingly make you feel so bad about yourself? It's like constantly striving towards something that just does not exist. It's exhausting. So give yourself a break, find like-minded people not for comparison but for relatability. It may also help to alter your mindset, so that if you see someone looking at you they may be comparing themselves to you and actually not judging you at all. It's about flipping the thought process.

Jeans too tight?

It is very possible that many of us have gained weight in lockdown which can really get us feeling down, bloated and unmotivated. The ‘memes’ circulating online have been putting so

much pressure on society to ‘lose weight quickly’ which is atrocious. The diet industry is worth billions and that is because we are repeatedly trying to lose weight. So they are gaining millions from us going on and off fad diets and we are gaining nothing.

Some things I want to say to help you - first and foremost - just remind yourself that you have survived a global pandemic and if eating nice food got you past the daily struggle - be proud of your body for protecting and nurturing you. You tackled the good and the bad days. So be kind to yourself and what you have been through. It is also a fact that every brand sells the same size jeans but they are clearly not the same measurements. So I find I am one size in H&M but not the same in Zara. It’s not your jean size that defines you, we are more than numbers. It’s not about changing your body, it's about growing to love it for what it is.

Getting fit and healthy is important but do it for the reasons that make you happy in the long run and not ending up back at square one in a couple of months' time. Never be ashamed of going up in jeans size, our bodies always change, grow and develop. By choosing body acceptance over a diet you are choosing self-love over self-judgment. You are beautiful.

Liz x