feeling body neutral in a world of ‘# body positivity’

2020, fashion, mental health

Hello!

We all know that loving the body you live in when we see numerous other bodies of all shapes and sizes all over our social media every day isn’t easy – ‘is this what normal looks like?’, ‘should I look more like her?’, or even ‘everything would be easier if I looked like that’.

Whilst it’s easy to say we shouldn’t think that and we should love our body however it looks, it’s never that simple, is it?

Body positivity is fantastic but wow it can be super intimidating if you’re coming from a place of years of self hatred and insecurity!

A YouTuber and influencer I’ve been following for a few years, Lucy Moon, used the phrase ‘body neutral’ on her instagram once (probably a few times) and it made me feel immediately at peace – stay with me, I know it sounds melodramatic – it just made me feel like I wasn’t fighting for this ‘glorious’ positivity that I felt like I had to feel. It gave me a phrase that I could look to that meant I could work towards feeling more comfortable in my own skin without having to love and adore everything I’ve spent so long trying to change.

Feeling body neutral can be a step towards body positivity – maybe one day I’ll love my body for everything it is, but right now I don’t hate living in it and that’s enough. It takes time to break down those mental barriers and feeling body neutral is such an inclusive step towards that. But even being body neutral is enough. As long as you’re not hurting anybody – including yourself – you don’t have to love every part of you.

My relationship with my body has completely changed in the past couple of months – I went from hating every ounce of my body to the extent that in the past I’ve had to cover up mirrors because I just couldn’t bear my own reflection to being comfortable (most days!) in my own skin. Strangely, what changed that was wearing a motion capture suit in front of my masters class.

I’d thought about volunteering to be the motion capture subject ever since I found out we were doing motion capture – the thought of pirouetting and dancing around the studio and making something creative out of it was super fun. But I hadn’t connected that wearing the motion capture suit meant showing every single lump and bump I had to a group of people I’ve realistically only known for a few months.

I volunteered, the realisation hit me, I had a minor internal panic, then I did it anyway because I was having a ‘brave day’ and sometimes you have to push yourself to do things you don’t want to do. I went to put on the suit and I was mildly mortified and then when I walked into the room… no one cared! There were no side glances, no one was violently sick and my best gals even made me feel good.

Then we learnt all about the mocap software and I danced and pranced around the room with a power ranger esqe version of me on the screen and it was a super fun afternoon. Then I pushed myself even more and went on a night out that evening (for my anxiety, that was a big deal) – and I put on a playsuit I’ve had since for five years and it still fit (granted it was a different fit but I felt amazing!) and I wore my new docs and I felt on top of the world with my best mates by my side cheering me on.

Some weirdo jiggled my wobbly arm in a nightclub and I wasn’t phased? Mostly concerned as to why a human would touch another human they don’t know that way but I flipped him off and danced the night away!

And since then, I’ve felt exactly that – body neutral. There’s still the odd day where I’ll touch my belly fat and think I’d quite like to just slice it all away, but then I get over it and my boyfriend tells me he thinks I’m sexy and I’m like you know what? I don’t feel sexy but I am gosh darn adorable.

Body neutrality gave me the space to be okay with my body without loving or hating it and if you’re having a tough time right now – don’t push yourself to feel any particular way about your body. Try not to spend time overanalysing or scrutinising – where clothes that make you feel nice, surround yourself with people that make you feel fabulous and if following ‘body positive’ people online makes you feel pressure to love yourself when you don’t, click unfollow.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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is this confidence? | outfit

2018, fashion, lifestyle, mental health, photography

Hello!

I’m really getting into fashion at the moment – I touched on this in an outfit post before but for a long time I felt trapped in leggings and oversized t-shirts and jumpers because I’d put on a lot of weight and I didn’t feel like I could justify experimenting with anything else.

But I’m moving on – I’m broadening my mindset and telling myself I deserve to experiment with fashion too! I’m also losing weight so a win on both fronts.

And I’m so loving experimenting with new styles – funky trousers that aren’t jeans or leggings are my jam at the moment (especially if they have an elasticated waist!) (and yes I just used the word ‘funky’ unironically).

trying with all my might to be edgy… (cardigan – TU at Sainsburys, tee – dorkface etsy, trousers – Nutmeg at Morrisons, boots – Primark)

I have a lot of t-shirts, I really need to have a ruthless sort out and throw away from of the ones I know I will never wear but I’m enjoying figuring out alternatives – different shirts and jumpers, mixing smarter looking trousers with more informal sweaters and shoes that might not be the most flattering but I think they look cool and they’re comfy so why not?

The feeling of leaving the house nervous and if I’m out in town or on the bus or popping to the shops, I often felt like the world was staring at me – if I heard laughter I’d assume it was aimed at me and I’d done something wrong for one reason or another. But it’s not! I now feel like I love what I’m wearing and I love this style I’m finding and I feel more me than I ever have.

It’s all a work in progress – whilst I’m in the process of redecorating my bedroom and I’ve just finished building a new wardrobe and transferring all my clothes over, I know I definitely need to have a sort out and a clear out, maybe even sell some of my clothes on depop or one of those sites? I’m really thinking about starting a capsule wardrobe and making myself think about the longevity of what I’m wearing – I need to stop buying things for the sake of memories or because it’s got Hufflepuff on it (very guilty) but I definitely need to do some more research first.

I’m really liking sharing what I’m wearing on instagram and writing about it here – it’s not a vanity thing, I don’t think anybody should be inspired by what I wear, but does any fashion blogger? I don’t think any fashion influencer probably didn’t start out thinking ‘wow I the way I dress is so great I need to tell other people so they start dressing like me’ – it’s almost certainly that they were really passionate about what they bought and wanted to share it!

Because who doesn’t get excited when you get a really good haul of new clothes?

Maybe one day I’ll be writing outfit posts that aren’t deep rooted in body image and self esteem, but for now – I’ve done my time talking about how difficult I find it to like what I see in the mirror (and boy when I’m at my tap dance classes seeing my reflection in the mirror is still bloody difficult) but having these positive posts about improving my relationship with my body is something that I 100% want to document and promote!

If you have any tips on having a capsule wardrobe or ways to ruthlessly cut down how many clothes you have please do let me know! I’m a bit of a stranger to all this!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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This is my Uniform

2018, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

So I’ve talked in outfit posts before how I have a funny relationship with my body and the clothes I wear – when I started uni I was the lightest I’ve been (in my adult life) and now I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been. I’m starting a new workout routine and trying my best to eat as healthily as I can (we can but try and I really like biscuits) but my relationship with clothes is as rocky as it’s always been.

It kind of hit me all at once the other day – it was just as it started getting really warm in the UK, I don’t presently have any shorts that fit me and all my dresses were in the wash because I’d already worn them that week, so I pulled this outfit together.

I was intending to take a picture of me in this outfit but I got too nervous about it so I made this image instead… [ new look jumpsuit ] [ boohoo jumper ]

The trousers are actually a playsuit I picked up in New Look a couple of weeks ago and I thought a v-neck oversized jumper made it a bit less formal and a bit more convenient.

But I got scared, put on the leggings I feel safe in and one of two band tees I actually feel comfortable wearing outside the house, even though it was so hot and wearing black probably wasn’t a good idea.

tee: Busted merch / leggings: ‘Cosy’ from Primark / hoodie: my boyfriend’s wardrobe (also Primark, I think)

I would have been more comfortable in the yellow outfit, but I was so put off by the idea of wearing something different to usual and more out there that I could bring myself to do it.

That’s quite sad and a little bit pathetic, let’s be real.

By why do I have this uniform that I’m so scared to step outside of? That’ll be because experimenting with fashion or trying something a little bit different may draw attention to myself, which isn’t something I’m massively concerned about. But it would also draw attention to my body and, to me, my whole body is a problem area so in my head trying something a bit different is like inviting people to scrutinise my big ol’ problem area.

Again – sad and pathetic. I know it’s dumb, I know no one’s scrutinising my body as much as I am and if they are they should probably reevaluate their priorities. But I’m so self conscious I just can’t help it.

Though I’m not sure I want to change it – I love the idea of having a capsule wardrobe, but is a capsule wardrobe meant to conform to this ‘uniform’ I’ve given myself or is it meant to be a series of really adaptable pieces that all fit with each other? I feel like it’s meant to be the latter, so it doesn’t feel like a uniform but it’s still minimalistic.

Maybe I’ll start being braver, I think this starts with getting rid of more of the clothes that don’t fit me and finding clothes that are a step out of my comfort zone but still make me feel comfortable because they actually fit me. Who knows – I’m sure I’ll still have days where I stick to my uniform (because leggings and a tee s a staple, let’s be real).

Whatever happens, I’m sure I’ll document it but this is my declaration – I’m going to try and step away from my uniform.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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Snapchat: SophieALuckett

one day, I’ll love you | outfit

2018, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

Let’s be flat out honest here – I really enjoy doing outfit posts and talking about body image and body confidence, so I wanted to do a follow up to this post, which was quite negative in conclusion and I got a fair few messages from people who were worried about me after that one.

I’ve always had a mixed relationship with my body – as soon as I hit secondary school it’s like my brain suddenly flicked a switch and I labelled myself as ‘fat’. The battle began with hating myself, comparing myself to my stick thin friends and staring at myself in the mirror at dance with nothing but pure resentment for myself. I reached a sort of peace in 2014/15 when my tumblr blog was a thing and every time I posted a picture I got lots of strangers on the internet telling me they loved how I looked (also my hair was lush).

Then I came to uni and got a boyfriend in second year I piled on a whole load of weight. Like 4 stone of weight. And I don’t say that to evoke reaction or sympathy (though there’s nothing to be sympathetic for), it’s mostly for my sake – I can’t be as ‘ashamed’ of my weight if I put it in writing, right?

Cardigan: Primark (mens). Long sleeved t-shirt: Long Tall Sally. Culottes: Primark. Sneakers: Primark.

Whenever I see people talking about body image, I see them talk about good days and bad days and I think the thing that hits me the most is I don’t have ‘good days’ with my body. There’s no point anymore where I like or feel happy in my body. So when I was thinking about what I wanted to wear for my next outfit post, I decided I wanted to wear something that made me feel fabulous.

And I couldn’t think of anything.

I don’t feel that surge of confidence in an outfit anymore, I have days where I feel less self conscious but that’s mostly because I’m wearing something that drowns me and no one can tell what kind of body shape I have in the sack I am wearing. But that’s not the same. I don’t ever feel that surge of self confidence that I used to get when I looked like this.

Heels: New Look. Jeans: M&S Tall. Top: Primark. Jacket: Probably Primark, I don’t know it was 2015.

But you know? This feeling isn’t necessarily a bad thing and it’s definitely not the end of the world (hear me out) – because it’s knowing that it won’t last forever that’s important.

Recently I’ve been coming to terms with my weight in a way I haven’t done since I was about 12 – 9 years ago. I’m not happy with it and I don’t like my body (at all) but doing anything about it right now isn’t a priority – I know I fairly recently wrote a post called ‘you can keep your health kick‘ but other than trying to eat a bit healthier, making time to go to the gym and workout isn’t something I have time to prioritise right now.

And if it bothered me that much I would prioritise it, so I’m deciding not to.

Just this week I placed a rather large ASOS order exclusively from the Plus Sized range and I’m really excited to have a bunch of new clothes that will fit me more comfortably! I’m slowly phasing out my wardrobe so I 1) have less clothes because wow I can hoard for Britain and 2) have clothes that actually fit me! Rather than a half a wardrobe I don’t entirely hate and half a wardrobe I’ll ‘wear when I lose weight’.

I’m working on getting my fabulous back.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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Snapchat: SophieALuckett

I hate that my boyfriend is so silly when he takes pictures for me because then the photos that are actually okay (like this one) are at dumb ass angles.