body talk

green hair, braid, the dainty squid, kaylah doolan

Body image is such a strange, strange thing. In my case, it can also be a very fragile thing. This post could go a thousand different ways but let’s start here…

I’d like to think that I know better than to be jealous of something I see on instagram. I know that most people out there aren’t purposely posting their less than flattering moments, that they’re really only posting when they look or feel good and that’s perfectly fine! It’s not that I want to revel in their ugly photos or anything. For me, it’s just so easy to get discouraged when I see beautiful person after beautiful person after beautiful person. Perfect body after perfect body. I know, and have briefly written about how one person’s beauty doesn’t take away from your own but some times it’s hard not to feel crappy. I’ve been struggling with that a little bit lately.

On top of this, Jeff and I went shopping together a week or two ago which should have been a fun thing but I left feeling a little bit blue.  I’ve found that most stores in the mall don’t really carry clothes that I would or can even wear. My local H&M is consistenly sold out of anything that isn’t a size 2 or 4. I rarely fit in Forever 21’s clothing and their plus size section is too big. It’s like there’s a gap of sizes that got left out. If I do magically fit in their clothing it’s obscenely short. Again, making it unwearable. Then when we went to Victoria Secret, where Jeff was so kindly offering to buy me something, they didn’t have my bra size.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s small fries. I don’t regularly shop at the mall nor did I really need anything but it’s hard to not feel discouraged. I felt like a giant. Like I was “too big” to be a woman. This is a super crappy feeling I deal with quite often. I am not a delicate flower. I have never been. In middle school I was proud to be bigger than all the boys. I was strong, and not to be messed with. Somewhere along the line I became self consious of my size. I wanted to be small, delicate, “feminine”, and perhaps most of all, shorter.

This whole flare up of feelings at the mall happened two or three days before I needed to take some photos for an “in kind” campaign I was doing with Athleta. That just means they sent me some clothing in exchange for photos. I had picked out two things I was super excited to wear – a striped sports bra + a cozy sweater. I picked the two of them together with a specific photo in mind that I would take. My deadline was approaching, and despite any negative feelings I was having toward my body, I had to get at least one photo.

I took a handful, not expecting too much. Wouldn’t you know it I LOVED what I was getting. I ran back in front of my camera, posed some more, and got even more photos I loved. Photos that made me feel good about my body. Photos that showed me my own body in a different light. That helped me remember how incredibe my body is. Maybe its not the thinnest, daintiest, petite thing but it’s a damn work of art. This body is strong. It houses all the good things I have inside me. Most importantly, it’s the only one I have.

So what if it will never grace the cover of a magazine? Ahem, I mean, I did that already. So what if it doesn’t garner attention from every dude on the internet? I don’t want that anyway. So what if I can’t buy cheap-o clothes from the mall? I should make smarter purchases, anyway. It’s like I’m intelligent enough to know that the reasons I want my body to look a certain way are stupid but still can’t help but sometimes feel like my body could be ‘better’.  Fitting into clothes from the mall wouldn’t make me happier. Being pestered by more men who only like the way I look certainly wouldn’t make me happier. So why do I feel this way sometimes? It makes no sense.

I guess I just wanted to write this post to 1) celebrate a time when I felt really happy with my body and 2) share that even the people you might look up to still struggle with the same things. It’s only human.

Quick run down of some important things –

  • The beauty of another does not take away from your own!
  • Everyone EVERYONE struggles with their appearance from time to time – even that human who you think is like the ultimate good lookin’ person! Chances are every once in a while they look in the mirror and think “who is that dingus?”
  • Taking selfies isn’t vain, sometimes it can be a really cathartic experience that will help you see things a little bit differently.
  • STOP COMPARING YOUR BODY TO OTHERS. Everyone is built different.
  • Not being petite doesn’t make you any less womanly or worth any less.
Bra + cardigan c/o Athleta.
Leggings by Girlfriend Collective. They are PURE MAGIC. Literal best leggings I have ever owned. They’re made from recycled water bottles. Plus they earn major points for using models with a variety of different body types.

Author: Kaylah

Just a green haired gal from Cleveland, Ohio.

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  • I relate to this A LOT. I can’t fit into a lot of jeans at this mall because my thighs and butt are too big and my waist is too small. So either I. An get jeans over my knee or they’re falling down. I’m wearing an overall dress today that’s too short to wear without tights and all day I’ve been tugging at it.
    When I was a kid I was taller and just all around bigger. I always wished I could be petite. And it doesn’t help when you have a mom who’s tiny and is a personal trainer. Body image has been in my face since I could remember and not always the positive side. But I think it’s a glorious day when you love the body you’re in and you find something that makes you feel great.
    I love this sports bra by the way. How could you not love a striped sports bra?!

  • Thanks so much for sharing this, Kaylah~~ I’ve been following your blog for years, and your character and honesty always shine through.

    You are definitely right about everyone having body issues from time to time. As a nearly 6-foot lady, I can totally relate to not feeling petite. I also grew really quickly growing up, and I reached my full height by about 10 years of age. Not only did I tower over all the other students, but I was taller than most of the teachers as well. And don’t get me started on clothing! Let’s just say that men’s small and medium are my friend–I’ve manage to figure out a comfortable tomboy look over the years that I can feel like myself in.

    Keep on smilin’, you lovely lady~~

    • ❤️❤️❤️

      Okay, on a kind of different subject, how about the fact that men’s clothes are almost always better quality!?! I always steal my boyfriend’s hoodies and it blows my mind how much cozier it is and how much better it fits even though they’re from the same store and essentially the same thing except his is “mens” and mine is “ladies”

  • You look pretty as always!! I think you’re perfect.
    I’ve always had trouble feeling pretty. I’m very very thin, always have been and unfortunately will always stay that way. When I was 15-16 I really hated it! I looked anorexic. Now that I’m 28 I got used to it. But sometimes I still think ‘what if I would weigh more…’. I will never know, so I’m trying to make the best of it 🙂

  • Love this post. I have recently lost 50# and as I may feel amazing many days, there are days when I see the things I think should be gone or smaller. I feel I should have hit my goal by now but life does happen. What you said about “my body is a work of art” spoke to me. I am a work of art also. And if it’s ok with you, I’d like to use your words to create an image to share on my Facebook page. I’ll share it with you too, of course!

  • most excellent post!!
    i was halfway through and basically thought i was going to leave a reply saying “So what if it doesn’t garner attention from every dude on the internet? I don’t want that anyway. So what if I can’t buy cheap-o clothes from the mall? I should make smarter purchases, anyway. It’s like I’m intelligent enough to know that the reasons I want my body to look a certain way are stupid but still can’t help but sometimes feel like my body could be ‘better’. Fitting into clothes from the mall wouldn’t make me happier. Being pestered by more men who only like the way I look certainly wouldn’t make me happier. ” – BUT I DIDN’T NEED TO! thankful that i didn’t have to because you already know it. you are beautiful and strong and all around fucking great.

  • oh man, I totally hear this… I’ve been my current size (14) since I was 12, I’m 5’10” and curvy. I generally don’t bother with mall stores anymore, but there was definitely a period of my life when I would regularly just feel sooo bad about my body when I could never find things that fit. Learning to sew my own clothes was a hugely empowering thing for me, because I learned my body is just my body! It’s not wrong, or bad, or freakish. And sizes are just numbers.

    Forever 21 is the WORST though, I remember 10 years ago before they launched their larger sizes I emailed them asking if they would be carrying an XL anytime soon (they had XS, S, M, L, which I felt was unfairly skewed to the petite ladies). They responded and said “We have no plans to expand to plus sizes,” which, screw you, Forever 21!