by - 9:15:00 AM

I was inspired to write this post because I have been reading a lot of posts lately on the DOVE real beauty stories. I have to say, some are truly amazing and honest, wow ladies! Very inspiring!  I decided to write my own personal post on real beauty and what it means to me.

I was a dancer for most of my life and was studying full-time dance, drama and musical theatre when a back/spinal injury put a stop to it all. I could not exercise for over a year and felt like it was the WORST thing in the world to happen. Naturally, I picked up weight and become so aware of it and worried. When I started to exercise again things improved and yoga obviously made me realise that your body is an amazing thing, that does so much and can do so much! To be strong and healthy is a major part of my life now.

I am 25 years old and this year, well, the last 6 months have really and truly woken me up. My dad died very suddenly and then I landed up with viral meningitis ( bad skin, breaking hair, chipping nails - you name it. All results of illness and stress this year). Again, no exercise. my first thought was 'Oh no, no summer beach body'. My second was, 'Get was a grip Nat, focus on your health, not your thighs'. Of course I moan with my friends and complain about jeans being too tight or feeling flabby, but I try do it a whole lot less and I am now more aware than ever how your overall health is way more important.

Genetically I will never be stick thin and I really don't intend to try achieve that. (naturally skinny girls are stunning too and I think they get a lot of flack for it.) What I have been through has made me reassess the way that I feel about myself and start realising, no one is perfect and we need to stop trying to achieve that. Yesterday afternoon I went to the beach for the first time in a very long time. I wore a bikini, I saw my marks, lumps and bumps, noticed a bit more flabbiness and and extra bits… ( I did complain to my friend about my wobbly bum briefly)but for some reason, it really didn't matter that much. I was so grateful to be out of the house (I have been housebound for so long) and to finally see nature, the beauty of the beach and feel the fresh air and sun on my skin, that it honestly did not matter. The only thing that really bothers me is the alarming number of young girls on the beach who were trying desperately to hide their bodies or keep at least one layer of clothing on. I know for sure young girls struggle with body changes, but I so desperately wanted to run up to them and say; 'You're are so young! So beautiful and your bodies are wonderful! Don't hide them and don't feel so self conscious. You will look back in 20 years time and wish you lay on the beach in a tiny bikini'.

Life is too short, it really is. It is also so precious. I won't say I have an amazing relationship with my body, but I have tried my best to stop worrying so much about it. I was teased my whole life because my one ear sticks out. School was torture - having to wear my hair up was the bain of my existence. My skin was also really bad and I spent years caking on the base.( I was also the tallest, first to get boobs and spent most of primary school hiding in a jersey my gran knitted - such a waste when I look back). When I met my boyfriend, I was so anxious to tell him about my sticking out ear, like it was some weird deal breaker or something. When I told him and showed him, his reply was ' I love your ear Nat, it's beautiful'. He is the person that when I have no make-up on, have been sitting around in shloomfy clothes studying, or when I was sick with unwashed hair and horrible skin, or when I have been crying and have mascara running down my face - will STILL tell me that I am beautiful. He also doesn't tolerate it when I put myself down, which is good. We need to pick each other up ladies, not encourage bringing each other down.

Another thing, we live in a society where we so often judge other women, I don't deny it for a second. Its something I have made a huge effort to stop doing. People are beautiful because they are imperfect, because they have true kindness, true hearts, smiles that light up and eyes that crinkle. I look at the women in my life and I think, WOW what beauties! I meet people and think, gosh this person is intelligent, funny and radiates such beauty - from within.

Be kind to yourself, sure a good moan with friends is great from time to time, but lets try build each other up, lets say nice things, lets not be so quick to judge a friend for weight gain or weight loss, lets dig deeper, find out what's really going on in peoples lives, how they really are and if they need a friend or support. You never know what is going with people deep down inside. So stop and find out. I believe real beauty is truly something that can shine from the depths of your soul and that is something only you can achieve on your own. I think make-up and other great products are amazing! But don't use these things to hide your beauty, use them to enhance your beauty. I have a long way to go, sure I love that the instagram filter takes away some scars on my face and blurs out some of my pimples :) and I SHOULD stop wearing my hair down and start wearing it up more, show my little ear off,(I still get self-conscious if it is up and people look at it) and yes, I should wear shorts this summer and dresses - not always jeans. I do love certain things about myself to be honest - I have a birth mark/ mole on my chest, it makes me unique. I love that I have big eyes and I love that people say I look like my mom - who is 55 years old and a true beauty :)

Loving/accepting yourself is a process, a hard one, but you have to start somewhere?.

I promise people are not looking at you the same way YOU look at you! I think we all need to find the beauty in ourselves and others. Stand in front of your mirror, take a good, hard long look at yourself. That body is beautiful, it is strong, it has war scars, it will or has produced a baby, it is safe, it is whole, it is what keeps you alive.

Saturday Girl SA

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  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE this post Nat. Something I've been dealing with the last month or so. And I'm not as fortunate as you are to be out of the grip of 'being perfect' - soon though. Much love!

  2. Thanks for the comment babe. Really appreciate the support :)
    I don't think we ever really are able to get away from wanting to be "perfect". I have my days and I don't think for a minute they will come to an end, there are always those little demons lurking in our minds, but we can for sure reduce those thoughts :) Soon sweet girl! Much love xx

  3. Such a stunning post Nat! So inspiring and encouraging. A true beauty inside and out <3