I’ve had a hard week.
Work has been crazy, and because we had a big event there were lots of photos taken and shared around – and rightly so! It was a week I’ll never forget.
But sometimes the self-hatred shouts louder than my resolve to ignore it – and it’s bloody hard.
Take this photograph here. I’m the one with the dark hair and fringe half crouched.
You’re probably looking at this thinking, what a happy bunch. Even Emma has held it together on this picture without running away (she hates having her photo taken – which is obv. mad cos she is awesome). But all I can look at is my arm.
Inside, I’m saying to myself, why does it look so flabby? Why did I crouch down like that? I look like a sack of potatoes. Did everyone think I looked super fat all night? Cos in my mind everyone looked so damn glamorous and like absolute QUEENS, and looking at this, I looked like a beach whale in shoes that pinched my feet all night and made it impossible to walk after a few wines.
I shouldn’t think like this, of course. What really happened this week was that I met lots of people from all around the world from Malaysia to Pakistan to China and more. I had a beautiful dinner in one of the university colleges and arrived during the most stunning sunset I have ever seen. I got to go on Concorde at Duxford airfield goddammit, navigating it by a torchlight on my phone like I was in the middle of discovering an abandoned aircraft. I’ve never experienced anything like it before – and never really thought I’d ever get the chance to. In fact, I honestly never believed I’d be welcomed into such a brilliant community like the one I’ve found in Cambridge.
But I was so focused in on myself that I never even fully enjoyed it – and now I can’t get that time back.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, it’s not OK that I live in a society where we are conditioned to feel like this.
It’s not OK that I have to feel guilty about how I look now because I refuse to go hungry or make myself sick.
It’s not OK that we sit and judge other people for how they look (myself included).
It’s not OK that we’ve been brought up to think that we’re not good enough.
It’s not OK that businesses profit off of our insecurities.
None of it is o-fucking-k.
So although it’s been a hard week, it’s also been a reminder to keep fighting the good fight.
The next time you catch yourself judging someone for the way they look – too thin, too fat – or worse, judging yourself – remember that you don’t have to think like that.
You can be better than that. We all can.
It’s not OK, not by a long, long shot.
But maybe if we work together and keep fighting, one day it will be.