Gold teeth, grey goose, trippin’ in the bathroom? Bloodstains, ballgowns, trashin’ the hotel room? It’s the life Skins sold to us as teens and the life Lorde shot down. What’s it really like being fresh-faced and fancy free? Here’s another look at the life of a 21st Century 20-something navigating all the obstacles that come with having a female body.
Becca. Peace Policer and Student. 21.
How confident would you say you were?
I suppose it depends in what way, I don’t have body confidence in the sense that I’m happy with how my body looks or comfortable with it. However, I am proud of my body for what it has been through and how it’s coped with it and I’m confident it’ll carry on coping and handling whatever is thrown its way.
When you look in the mirror what do you see?
An awful lot of fat and wobbly bits that I wish weren’t there, along with some not so nice stretch marks. Although I also see a rather nice pair of boobs too.
What do you say to yourself?
If I’m feeling pretty for some reason (sometimes I’m wearing makeup, sometimes my skin’s just having a great day) I think damn why can’t I look like this more often and then will be vain and admire myself and probably take some selfies. If I don’t feel pretty, I usually just pull at all the awful bits that I don’t like and feel sorry for myself.
What is your favourite part of your body and why?
Probably my boobs. I think they’re a good size and just look pretty nice for a pair of boobs.
What is your least favourite part of your body? Can you say anything nice about it?
Probably my belly. This is the hardest question so far, the only thing I can think of that’s good about it is the fact the fat keeps me warm and protects what’s inside my body.
How is your body different to what conventional beauty standards expect from you?
Well I’m not tall or slim, I’m the opposite. I am short and fat. My skin is textured, red and spotty.
How do you feel about these differences? Is there a story behind them?
In terms of my height I really don’t mind, I couldn’t care how tall or small I am compared to others. Sometimes it’s a good excuse to not help get things down from high spaces or clean somewhere up high. My weight I’m not so happy about but I suppose it tells a story about how I’ve felt over the years. If you look back on pictures usually when I am a bigger weight I’m not happy with my life and so I comfort eat.
How has your body changed as you’ve entered your twenties?
Dark circles under my eyes! Which makes no sense since I sleep faaaar too much and I thought you got them from not sleeping enough. However, that might be complete bullshit and I just didn’t know.
When you’re getting ready to go out, what is your goal?
To feel comfortable and happy with how I look. It depends on my mood, sometimes I love getting dressed up and playing around with makeup and other times I’m not in the mood for all that and will throw on a pair of jeans and a comfy top and I’m ready to go.
When do you feel good about yourself?
If I eat something healthy! It makes me feel so much better, so I don’t know why I don’t do it more. Also if I accomplish something, so when I got a first in an assessment that made me feel pretty darn good
Would you change anything about yourself?
The way I treat my body. I might indulge my skin in pamper sessions but I really need to learn to look after and love my body better.
Do you feel happy with yourself?
In some ways, I’m happy with how hard I’ve worked and where it’s hopefully going to lead me in life. But I’m not happy with my body, some aspects of my personality and my fight with mental illness.
Do you think how we look is important?
Unfortunately, it impacts someone’s first opinion of you and can decide whether someone wants to talk to you or not. It’s absolutely ridiculous but our society is bloody ridiculous at times.
What is it like being a twenty something woman in 2017?
Stressful. So much about our society is still stuck in the old ways, the pay gap for example which I still can’t believe is a thing! Being judged on what you wear and other people thinking it’s okay to stare or even try to touch you. Although I am fully aware that I am also very privileged and lucky. I am able to access an education, work, vote, wear what I want and choose not to have children or get married without people looking down on me. Even though we’ve still got a long way to go as a society, we have also come a long way too.
How do you think young people feel about their bodies? Do you believe that the media has fucked us up and distorted our vision?
I think the majority probably don’t like their bodies. The era of photoshop and technology has royally fucked up young people. It’s all about thigh gaps and big pouty lips. When you see all the touched up photo’s of celebrities and models it makes you feel like crap and you start to wonder why your body doesn’t look like that. This is causing so many young people to have eating disorders, body dysmorphia and other mental illnesses, yet the majority of the media couldn’t care less along as they’re making money and headlines.
What is your dream for the future of yourself or the world in general?
I hope I’m better in terms of mental health. I’d rather be healthy mentally than be slim. I do also hope that I can look after my body better and become healthier and not for appearance reasons but for my own physical and mental health.
I hope the world learns to be equal and that we’re all just human beings no matter where we were born, our skin colour, or religion, our gender and our sexual preferences. We’re all just people.
Photo credit – Sophie Turner