We all hate our bodies. We all want to be longer, thinner, bonier, better.The media ruined us and we’re all on a diet. That’s what we’re told anyhow.
I’ve decided to search out all the young women in my life and quiz them on how they really feel about their bodies. Here is the first interview in a series of what will, hopefully, be many.
Hollie. Blogger, Baker, Art-maker. 20.
What do you see when you look in the mirror?
H: Normally my naked body before I go to bed pretending not to not be cold while I try to look sexy.
What do you think or say to yourself when you look in the mirror? Or do you say nothing?
H: I’m not really a deep person…
What is your favourite part of your body and why?
H: My hands or eyes. Because I’d be lost without them. Because I can’t make art without them. Because I can’t paint without my hands because I’m not skilled enough and I like to see things, I like to see the world. And you know [having no hands] would make wanking incredibly difficult.
How is your body different to what the media wants from you?
I feel a lot of the time like the media want me to hate my body, and I guess that’s what makes it different, because I don’t. I’m not saying I don’t wish I had a flatter stomach or a bigger bum sometimes, but I don’t hate how I look. I don’t have a strong desire to change. I love the little flaws, the wrinkles on my belly button, the scars from eczema and accidents.
When you’re getting ready to go out, what is your goal?
I want to look good, don’t we all? Maybe I’ll pick a skirt that’s a bit shorter and tighter than I’d normally wear, or a top with a bit more cleavage. Alcohol makes me feel braver, so I’ll wear something brave.
How would you rate your confidence out of 10?
Seven. I’m not unconfident with my body, but I don’t by any means see it as perfect. I don’t walk around flashing it off but I don’t feel I have to hide it, cover it.
Do you feel happy with yourself?
Describe your relationship with your body…
When I first started using my body within my art, I began to get confident with my body. I became familiar with the shapes, the curve of my hip and the size of my boobs. I know and understand my body.
Do you think how we look is important?
I feel like as a feminist I should say it doesn’t matter. But here I am with beauty products coming out of my ears, doing sit ups every night before I shower. I don’t think it should matter to other people how we look, but if you care about your appearance, no one should undermine that.
How do you think young people feel about their bodies? Do you believe that the media has fucked us up and distorted our vision?
Of course the media has fucked us up. We all wish we were thinner or curvier or had bigger muscles or a smaller bum. We want our skin to be as flawless as they tell us everyone else’s is. We shouldn’t let the media tell us how they we should feel about our bodies.
I feel like we should all be happy about our bodies, because they’re ours. It doesn’t matter whether you have wrinkly skin, scars, fat, hair you don’t like, whatever it is. Because you’re beautiful and you should be happy about that.