#metoo

Me too.

 

Then again, who hasn’t? I remember reading brave women’s stories about awful things that have happened to them when the me too movement was at its strongest. I remember thinking that it’s good that they share. Altogether, it’s good to talk about this. About everything, really. We should all be a little bit more open about difficult things in life – maybe that way we would understand each other a little better.

Though I have to say, this is not gonna be one of those posts. I’m ready to say #metoo, but I won’t go into detail, reminisce about things that are in the past and only do me bad. Yes, somehow, I’m trying to turn this into positive.

Body image & being comfortable in my own body

A while back I had a photoshoot with my lovely friend Mia. She took photos of me and I ended up really liking them. I actually opened up about it straight away in my Instagram, but I knew it was a subject I needed to do a proper post about. On my Instagram I said, that I’m not used to tight clothes or showing cleavage, but on that particular day and photoshoot, I felt comfortable enough. Being comfortable in tight clothes or showing a bit of cleavage might not seem like a big deal, but it actually goes deeper than that.

Having to go through a tough time growing up as a woman has had an impact on my body image. I don’t always feel comfortable with my body. I have talked about my history with eating disorders before, but what I didn’t talk about, was how dressing up sometimes makes me feel. Or how it feels to get attention from men (and or women). If I’m wearing something tight or revealing, I feel like my body is more ‘out there’ and I get the feeling of discomfort. I have never wanted to be seen for my body or my looks. Too many times I have walked out the door only to be felt like a walking human (woman) body.

I should have all the rights

And funnily enough: the fancier I dress, the more looks I get. And that is still somewhat uncomfortable. It’s the most awful feeling in the world: putting on some fancy clothes, looking pretty and then thinking and knowing: I can’t wear this. What if I get too many looks? My body is showing too much! And these thoughts are crazy. After all – it is my body! It should have all the rights. I should have all the rights. It’s just me.

I remember being fourteen, wearing a black jumpsuit with heels and walking to the bus stop ready to meet my friends. I felt great. Free and beautiful. A car slowed down and some man whistled at me. Instant remorse. It is unfair, how someone can take away the pride and beauty of me just being me. How someone can make me feel as I was out there for him as an object.

I also remember one day, where I was wearing sneakers, that were like boots in a way that they covered my ankles as well. But they were sneakers (adidas) – flat and casual. Someone gave me dirty looks and whistled and said something about my sexy boots. I remember angrily yelling “these are sneakers!” and thinking to myself: I can’t even wear sneakers and walk home in peace without someone making me feel like I was seeking attention to myself.

It honestly makes me want to cry a little and these examples are not the worst.

Here’s a secret: Dressing up, I think about #metoo

Long story short: Dressing up gives me mixed feelings. I have fears as to how the world is gonna see me in the clothes I choose. I also have fears about the feelings I’m gonna get wearing them.

I prefer a quite conservative style. If I’m wearing a short skirt, I hide my upper body. If I’m wearing a revealing top, I’m balancing it out with baggy pants. I usually don’t show cleavage. I actually don’t usually wear short skirts either – I prefer a knee length.

I’d like to think it’s because I like that style and that feels good to me. But then again, I’m not sure if it’s because of my bad experiences and the body shaming. I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t want to give any ideas – and writing that down is scary, but unfortunately true.

I have had to work a lot on my body confidence and body image. And it’s a work in progress. I have had to slowly learn how to walk head held high and not care what someone is thinking about me. But I do still find myself caring. I don’t take eye contact when I walk in public. I avoid eye contact with most people. I also think I might avoid men a little bit – just as an instinct. I don’t want anyone sitting next to me a little too close (has happened as well).

Photos by Mia / Beauty Highlights

The happy careless feeling

So these photos with tight clothes and a bit of cleavage mean a lot to me. That outfit means a lot to me. The happy careless feeling means the world. Why shouldn’t I sometimes wear tight clothes? Why shouldn’t my cleavage sometimes show a little? After all, my boobs are natural part of me just like my legs and arms. Spoiler alert – I have a body with all the parts that come with it.

I think time, a healthy relationship, therapy and healthy lifestyle are what have helped my body image the most. We always dread aging, but actually growing up has been the best thing for me. I feel like every year I learn more. Every year I get more confidence. And every year I realize more and more, that there is no time to be wasted on insecurities and anything else than that happy careless feeling.

Even though it’s not a long time since my last #metoo moment, I choose not to let it stop me and in the future the joy of dressing up (even to something tight) is something I’m holding onto.

I look forward to the day, where I’m free to be the woman I want to be. Where all the women and men can be whoever they want to be.

Outfit

Red body – Zara (similar here*, here*)
Bag – River island (here*)
Jeans – Cubus
Scrunchie – invisibobble
Boots – Timberland

*adlink

 

 

Go on, exceed yourself

Let’s talk about something uncomfortable and shamefully personal.

And what’s more uncomfortable than the uncomfort zone? (I’m getting uncomfortable just writing about it.) You know, the zone where supposedly the magic happens? The place where you challenge yourself, learn new things, fail miserably, laugh, cry and also – grow.

I think I’m finally ready to step out of my comfort zone. And that might sound like such a small little thing, but it is huge. For me, anyway. And here’s where it gets personal.

Horrible yet necessary – going outside of your comfort zone

You see, I hate the uncomfort zone. I have not spent that much time in there – except for the years of depression and anxiety. That was uncomfortable times thousand. Or a million. And possibly one of the reasons I’ve avoided some things. I don’t know if it makes sense, but being so uncomfortable, sad, miserable, insecure and depressed – you kind of never want to go back. I only want to go forward. Not to talk about the fact that I still sometimes struggle with the feelings of anxiety.

Pinja’s cat managed to showcase the emotions so well I just had to take a photo.

But the uncomfort zone means owning up to those feelings. All of the feelings. You’re bound to feel insecure. You’re bound to feel sad. But you also get the opportunity to feel proud.

For some reason I have had this fear of trying new things and learning new skills. No, that’s not right.
I have the fear of failing and not being good enough.

Which, in paper, sounds so ridiculous it makes me want to jump in to the unknown. And that’s good. Because lately I have done just that. I have tried new things. I have challenged myself.

And as a small surprise for myself: I didn’t break. 

lifestyle wellbeing uncomfort zone

I’ve stepped in the uncomfort zone

You know the movie “Yes Man”? I always thought it was such a clever idea. It’s fascinating what might happen, once you agree and just say yes. It’s more exciting than saying no. It presents an opportunity and opportunities are rarely bad (except when they come in the form of a very unprofessional email).

Lately I’ve been doing new things and putting myself in my personal uncomfort zone. I’ve made a fool of myself in a twerking class (I’m not quite the agile cat I thought I was), I’ve said yes to a new opportunity (even though my anxiety wanted to say no), I’ve went to a yoga class all by myself (I didn’t die) and I even tried boxing.

My hands almost bled in the boxing class, my heart rate got up to 170 bpm at one point, the gloves smelled disgusting, but guess what – I actually had fun. I laughed and succeeded. And want to go again.

I’m already noticing that one part of my brain is encouraging me: go on, try again.

About the twerking class – it’s so so difficult, embarrassing and fun. I honestly wanted to cry at some point, because I was so frustrated. And yet I’m already noticing that one part of my brain is encouraging me: go on, try again. I think I’m getting the whole buzz about the uncomfort zone now. The feeling of winning yourself is, well, super comfortable.

uncomfortzone

When uncomfortable becomes comfortable

I used to hate waking up early and doing a workout first thing in the morning. I have these few particular moves I especially hated, they were so difficult to do and I hated not being able to do something properly.

I used to dread going out running when it was cold, raining or dark.

Used to.

Nowadays, I look forward to working out first thing in the morning. I love challenging myself and doing those moves that seemed so impossible in the beginning. I love going out for a run – no matter the weather. Running in the dark or cold doesn’t bother me like it used to. I have made some uncomfortable things more comfortable.

I know I’m mostly talking about exercising and sports here. Maybe that’s just an easy way to start? It honestly is. Challenging your body physically is easy, because you see the results with your own eyes. Doing something concrete is effective. You get this feeling: if I can do this, I can do anything.

The good feeling that exercising does goes way beyond looking fit and healthy. Being in shape makes me feel good. Exercising is possibly the most important thing when it comes to my mental health.

Go on, exceed yourself

I’m amazed at how the enthusiastic little child, who’s eager to learn new things and not at all afraid of falling down, is waking up in me and almost winning the calculative, shy adult side in me.

I guess I always thought that I would be perfectly fine where I am. That I didn’t need to do the things I was scared of. That I didn’t need to feel insecure or dumb.

But now I’m thinking, that’s where the fun happens.

If not for me, at least for all the other people in my class wondering what on earth is that girl with no sense of rhytm doing in a twerk-dance class.

To put it simply: She’s there to win.

 the uncomfort zone my experience

When was the last time you stepped out of your uncomfort zone?

thanks for photographing me Pinja