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  • Lauren O'Riordan

YOUR BODY. YOUR RULES.

So, this is something that is hard for me to write about but it's important to be a voice.

I have struggled with body dysmorphia from a young age, this is from a combination of bullying and comments from men during intimacy. Body dysmorphia is something that lots of people struggle with to the point where they feel as though they don't matter.

Recently, there's been a massive shift in my content on Instagram, as I grow into this beautiful feminist. I'm continuing my learning, sharing important posts and engaging more with accounts which support body positivity.

Growing up, I was always the friend and never the one that somebody desired. The voice in my head at 12 years old said, "Why would they, you're fat". Not only was I subject to bullying from people in my school but, I would put myself down every time I looked in the mirror. I would make up stories of holiday romances and tell my friends just to feel wanted. This is a deep-set trauma, I lived with right up to adolescence. Looking back, my friends would laugh, as my silent affections would change with the guy who paid me some attention. The truth of it? I wanted to be loved. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel loved ever. I never can understand why that’s such a bad thing? It's natural to want love and affection and it's also natural to be happy on your own. You do you boo.

Anyway…

Once I hit the grand old age of 17, I found my thoughts turning towards night's out and wanting to fit into clothes like all the popular girls. Again, I thought how will I ever get a boyfriend looking the way I do. I was 17, still never been kissed and longed to have a boyfriend. This was the main motivator for my dramatic weight-loss. I used to be embarrassed, when people asked me how I lost all the weight in such a short space of time. My answer was always so simple; "I watched a programme on diabetes and it scared me". Now, that still is true however the thing that kept me going was to look better and find someone who loves me. My weight-loss journey was celebrated so much by everyone I knew and quickly became my identity. I was always greeted for a whole year with "Lauren, you have lost so much weight! You look amazing". It was hard for me as, although I’m so proud of myself, that goal was completely aesthetic. This explains why I developed bulimia, body dysmorphia and anorexia. I didn't even like myself for most of my teenage life so how was I supposed to learn to love myself in one year?

I couldn't. Obsessive eating, binging and purging, starving and drinking alcohol, started to become the norm for me. I had reached my goal and had started to get so much attention from boys. Why would I stop now? Going out Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, accepting any attention from any boy. I cringe thinking about how I used to let boys treat me, hey a slap on the arse that was fine with me!

It was the actions of one guy, that actually taught me that I was more than just an object. I was a person that was capable of being more than a friend or someone to have sex with. I am forever grateful to him. The way I viewed myself changed in time and I found my voice. Although there are still been times where I feel weak or having such comments about my appearance as "you don't look like a PT" or "You know your body would look amazing without that"(in reference to my excess skin), every time I get stronger and learn to be easier on myself. There are enough people in the world who will try to put YOU down, you shouldn't be another one to add to the bunch. We all need to be kinder towards ourselves and others. The world needs more people who celebrate bodies of all sizes, shapes, colours etc. There are incredible women on social media posting about their journey, their body or experiences. It’s truly inspiring to see these women living their most authentic self!





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