Firstly I would like to apologize for my lack of posts – I’ve had the busiest few weeks. First it was my graduation and then H and I went on holiday – and now I’m bed bound with kidney problems. So I’ve been in and out of hospital in Cyprus and in the UK trying to figure out what’s wrong with me. Obviously health comes first and I want to try and get myself sorted first before I get back into the swing of things. I’m not well yet, but I thought I’d write a post I’ve been thinking quite a lot about!
Insecurities. I’ve been really anxious about writing this post. I want to pride myself on being honest and transparent with everything that I write, but this topic is a sensitive one for me – as I’m sure it is for many. It’s a topic close to my heart, just because I am probably one of the most insecure people you would ever meet. And similarly to my anxiety, this started at a very young age.
I think I was a cute baby, I look at these photos and they do make me smile. It makes me smile when people say that I look exactly the same now as I did then – but the photos of when I reached my ‘ugly’ stage still upset me, and honestly over those years I just seemed to get worse!
I never felt pretty, I was never really told I was pretty. I didn’t get any attention from boys, like the girls at my school did. I wouldn’t say that I felt invisible – I felt inferior, not pretty enough, not funny enough, not outgoing enough – undesirable, not enough. I lived with my mums younger sister throughout my child hood, and I always knew she was prettier than me, she did gymnastics, she was popular in school, and she was always skinnier than me (Still is! – even after having a baby), I felt ugly and fat, but at the time I kind of accepted that she was better than me in every way. Even looking at my parents, who are both very attractive people – I got told on numerous occasions, If your parents are so good looking what happened to you? and I didn’t know the answer.
I was extremely shy. If we were at a family gathering at a pub with a play ground, I’d be the one child sat with the parents. I just felt awkward, like nobody wanted to be my friend or play with me – I was just a shadow of my Auntie whenever I did pluck up the courage to join in. I know I wasn’t the prettiest of children. I had many scares of old photographs coming up on my Facebook and I rushed to get rid of them when they surfaced. And when people did see them (this still happens) they just laugh and say ‘gosh you were so unfortunate’ or ‘ugly duckling syndrome’, but It’s hard for others to see that that little girl is still inside me somewhere, still scared of not being seen as pretty, or being compared to other girls. There was one night I remember, I think I was 9 or 10, and I sat in my bedroom on the floor in front of the mirror and cried. I cried for what seemed like hours, just staring at myself. All I saw was ugliness. So when people comment on how I looked when I was younger, it still hurts a little bit. Just because I remember the heart ache I felt when I sat on that night.
I was insecure about my nose – which isn’t on the small side, and I’ve had that pointed out MANY times – even now, and it’s still my biggest insecurity. I just think it does not suit my face, it’s completely out of proportion and wonky. I’ve always had very bad skin on my back and shoulders, which is only just starting to clear up – I’ve finally found a routine that works!. And I have also been diagnosed with tinea versicolor which alters my skins pigmentation in little patches, making them darker and lighter – which is not very nice to look at.
So, about my nose – it was earlier this year that I received some very horrible and personal messages from a member of H’s ex girlfriends family. She embarrassed me on my social media, and texted H some nasty messages. He hadn’t shown me what she had written, but I had a feeling he wasn’t telling me everything so I asked to see the message and God I wish I hadn’t. The worst thing for me in the message was that she had called me a “big nose lil c**t”… I didn’t give her any reactions, but I stayed in bed for 2 days crying. Imagine someone who had never seen you before, only saw photos, and that was the thing they picked up on – my biggest insecurity. I was devastated. To me, girls should support each other and make each other feel pretty and empowered, so I couldn’t understand how someone could have so much hatred towards me to comment on my face. I would never have done that, no matter what the circumstances are. I still hate my nose, and when I can afford it I will be correcting it. I want to be able to look at photos of me from the side without cringing. I’d like to think on my wedding day I wouldn’t need to be conscious of my nose ruining the photo.
I had my graduation a few weeks ago, and we paid for some professional photos to be taken. Honestly when I saw them on the website the next morning I could have cried. They were so unflattering, he didn’t take my features into account – my nose looks HUGE, and mouth looks awful, my hair looked flat. I was devastated. Everyone else looked to pretty and happy, and I just looked ugly.
My weight has always been a big issue for me. It was a running joke in my family about my huge portions and ability to go back up for thirds and finishing off the left overs. Obviously it was lighthearted, but I realised that it massively affected the way I saw myself. I saw myself as the big one who ate the most, I was called chubby quite a lot. I always had a big bum as well which I hated – I covered it up everyday with a cardigan – even though I lived in the Middle East and it was 30 degrees everyday – I didn’t even swim without a t-shirt and shorts on. It wasn’t until I saw the photo below that I realised I needed to make a change
Yeah most people just say – you look fine, you don’t even look big.. etc.. But that wasn’t the point. The point to me was that I did not see myself as looking like this – it was a scary reality check that I hated the way my body looked and I needed to do something about it. There’s other photos online that even now make me feel a bit sad, sad because I never realised that I probably should’ve been watching what and how much I was eating. From when I saw this photo my life changed, I lost a lot of weight – some would say too much, but I’d NEVER felt better.
I went from about 11.5/12 Stone to 9 stone, which is a lot of weight, but I did it in an extremely healthy way, and I was loving my change in lifestyle. This was put backwards during my time at university, but it was hard to keep up with it as a student!. Luckily now I’m getting back on top of it, but anyway – I sorted my weight and I felt good. At that time, I’d had my braces taken off, the glasses had gone, my skin had cleared up and I’d decided to have a change of hair colour, and dyed it dark brown from my natural dark blonde. I felt really good about myself – I’ve never thought of myself as pretty, but I was happy with my body.
Being secure in the way you look takes a long time, and I’m not there yet. I hated the photos of me from my graduation, and looking at the photos H took of me on holiday, I just think I look awful. Which does make me sad. I look at H and all the photos I took of him (literally hundreds), seeing how gorgeous he looks and I can’t help thinking that people must look at us and not understand why he’d be with me.
Growing up has a lot to do accepting yourself, I’m only 21 and still have a long way to go. Like I said before, if I could change one thing I would change my nose, it’s not for everyone – everyone I know will tell me not to do it. But they don’t understand how it does affect the way I see myself – especially after receiving those horrible messages. I’ve dreaded these photos ever coming up on my timeline, and it’s about time I just let it go. Yeah I wasn’t the prettiest girl, I didn’t have nice teeth or nice skin, my glasses didn’t suit me and neither did my hair, my fashion sense didn’t do me any favours, but do you know what – I have always had a good heart. So people can make fun of me as much as they want, I won’t pretend it doesn’t hurt me, but that’s what I used to look like, to me it’s still what I look like now! but no one can make fun of my character. I think that that is much more important.
Almost 10 years on, I look more like this:
Still the same girl, just 10 years on!
Commenting on the way someone looks is one of the worst forms of bullying. It happens way too often, by too many spiteful people. I can’t give any advice on what to do if this happens to you, but I’m 21 years old and I still cried in bed just like I did when I was a child when I was called ugly – but what I can say is I understand. I understand how it feels to not feel pretty, and not feel good enough for anybody. I understand what it’s like to not understand your body shape if it isn’t the same as your friends – it makes you feel like it’s a bad thing. I understand what it feels like to always be the ugly friend that gets no attention from boys. But in time you will find someone who thinks you’re pretty and sexy, and loves every inch of you and your imperfections. H has helped me a lot, I wouldn’t say he’s magically turned me into a secure person, but it makes me feel good when he compliments me.
This post seems a bit here there and everywhere to me, maybe I’ll go over more things in detail later on but I wanted to at least post something this week as I’ve been so rubbish recently.
Thank you for reading,
love Caitlan xx