That Thing About Being Fat

I have written about this in every of my blogs, and will probably continue writing about it until the day I die from over-eating. But you know, this is an issue that will never stop being talked about and as much as it is partially a kind of therapy for myself to write about it, I believe it’s important to maintain discussion about issues of body image, fatness/thinness/beauty (or perceived concepts of beauty).

This is why this blog is even called Effortless Beauty, because as far back as I can remember, beauty has been a tremendous struggle for me, something I never believed I could be, not even a little bit. The Effortless thing was a bit of a joke in the beginning – two dear friends had asked me what I’d be naming my blog, so I scrunched up my face, fluffed my hair in a ridiculous way, and proclaimed, “THE EFFORTLESS BEAUTY!” The Two Dear Friends fell over laughing until they couldn’t breathe… and the name stuck.

Anyone who knows me will know that I am not an effortless beauty. I’m that awkward girl who doesn’t fit look good in anything at H&M, who feels happiest and at her best slopping around the house in a tank top and dependable Marks&Spencers cotton panties, who will always choose flip-flops over a decent pair of shoes. And that is precisely where the conflict has always been – a battle between wanting to be comfortable and feeling not-pretty because of it.

This blog is an attempt to try to rescue myself out of that terrible self-pity party that I’ve become the guest of honour at. They’ve even put me on the priority VIP list. These issues of beauty, self-image, self-confidence, how we define ourselves (or allow ourselves to be defined by external influences) have always fascinated me. I even wrote my whole masters thesis on this, all glorious 20,000 words of it. It was a brilliant piece of work, which got me a distinction but got me nowhere nearer to feeling better and more confident about myself.

So in part, this blog is about reclaiming confidence – something we all had as kids, no matter how fat, skinny, awkward, dumpy, spotty we were. It was effortless then – what made it so complicated as we grew up? Where is all that beauty now? Is it really that elusive? Or right there beneath our noses, where we’ve least expected it to be?

With this blog, I’d like to look at all the different aspects of beauty – yes, including all the good old cliched Inner Beauty stuff. That includes the good, wholesome solid stuff of health, fitness, appreciating pretty things around us, questioning what we have conventionally thought to be “beautiful” or “ugly”; and also the more frivolous stuff of cute ballet pumps, a fantastic new find at the Shu Uemura counter or the magic stuff of icing.

I will always be a little bit fat, there will always be pores that are slightly too big on my face and my hair will never be as full as I’d like it to be. So what’s new? Add it to the deplorable, infinite list of Things That Women Dislike About Themselves. Hopefully, as we talk about it, learn to laugh at our knobbly noses and wobbly bits, we’ll discover beauty in other forms and other unlikely places.


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