"Eurgh! You're armpits are so hairy" said the super observant male stranger as I danced with my arms above my head. Yes I had hairy armpits. SO WHAT? His face was one of complete disgust, had he never seen a woman with hairy armpits? Is it so wrong to have hairy armpits? Do I need to shave them all the time? Does having hairy armpits make me ugly? I shave them occasionally, when I want to but not all the time, am I failing as a woman?
No. Of course not. How completely ridiculous that society has conditioned us to believing that women have to be completely hairless and pristinely presented one hundred percentage of the time. Feeling pressured to look or act a certain way is so common and it is really hard to navigate. Everywhere you look in todays' world there are size zero models and airbrushed celebrities slowly brainwashing us into thinking we need to conform to their unnatural way of being.
Why is it that as women we feel pressure to look a certain way for the benefit of others? There has been times in the past where I have literally channeled my inner contortionist in the shower, forcing my body into all sorts of positions to ensure I have removed every last hair on my body before a night out or date. But why? Is it because I personally don’t like the hair being there (if so why not? It is natural) or is it because I am scared of rejection from others. I once wanted to die my hair an candy floss pink but didn’t because a guy I was dating at the time said he wouldn’t like it. If you can not be yourself, what is the point?
It really irritates me that learning to accept our bodies and learning to love the way we look naturally isn't a trend. Let's start encouraging this more, the outcome would be beautiful, you are beautiful. It is ok to not fit in to the stereotype offered to us today, work on learning who you are not who you think you should be. Start trying to accept who you are and not striving to fit it. Insecurities are so god damn hard to work through why are we letting external pressures add to the stress?
External pressures have a huge part to play in the way we act as well, it has taken me years to understand that being my authentic real self is the only way forward, it is the only way to make me happy. For years I spent my time acting in ways that weren't true to myself. I acted in ways that my friends would act, to fit in, so they would think I was just like them, maybe then they would accept me - I would have real friends. This is not the case. Real friends with deep connections come around when you are real, honest with yourself and honest with other people. What is right for one person is not necessarily right for others.
Spending years of my life chasing the approval and validation from others was so draining. Living a life that was centred around other peoples' opinions of me was making me so miserable and I didn’t even realise. Why does it matter what they think of you? Why does it matter how you look on social media? Why do you have to fit in there? When the truth is you are amazing just as you are. You are beautiful inside and out and you should love yourself enough to know that, craving hearing it from other people is a lost cause.
I am not saying that accepting and loving yourself is easy. I am not saying that you will be able to wake up tomorrow morning with no body hang ups, no social insecurities and no worries about the future. What I am saying is that working on loving yourself and looking after yourself, your true self that is - it is really rewarding, it will put you on the path towards true happiness.