How do you learn to like your self image after years of disliking or feeling completely indifferent towards it?

Sure, you can hold on to the fact that you’ve got a ‘cracking personality’ but believe me, that doesn’t always cut it. Your esteem is bound to crave more.

Now I’m not just talking about size and shape (although there’s no denying that is a massive factor in the way a lot of people feel about themselves) but your image overall. How the way you look represents you.

Last week someone commented that my tattoos and piercings suit ‘my image’ – I’ve never received a compliment like that before and it really got me thinking. It’s taken years for me to start feeling comfortable with my image and I was half way between paranoia and elation when I heard the comment. I feel like I’m growing into my image but not quite there yet, like the child of a thrifty parent in an oversized school sweatshirt.

That being said I am learning and if I had to offer advice to another spotty kid in a massive jumper, I’d offer them three pieces of advice –

1. If your body poses the biggest issue, walk around naked at every opportunity. Get used to those bumps and lumps and scars because they’re yours. Plus who doesn’t like to feel free and to feel the wind in your hair? (ha, pubes) If you’re feeling confident, feel those lumps and bumps and do a little wiggle. It’s your body, you’re gonna have to get used to it to some extent.

2. Check yourself out in anything shiny. See how you look to the outside world. This is more about celebrating the things you love rather than focusing on what you dislike. I could probably fly away with the flapping of my bingo wings but instead I admire the fantastic transformation of my bottom tyre and how strong my shoulders are looking. I’m also checking out my hair, whether my nose piercing is straight, and ensuring that my t-shirt isn’t tucked into my pants. I’m constantly checking out my tattoos, not because I need fix them but because they make me look/feel badass.

On a related note, I apologise to all business owners around the Gloucester Quays area. My partner broke my full length mirror and well your windows are most reflective.

3. Stop drawing attention to your flaws. Now this is a piece of advice I could really do with taking myself. Apparently I’m still conditioned to reply to compliments by disagreeing or pointing out something that I dislike for a bit of balance.

No one will notice your flaws unless you point them out. If they do notice any so-called flaws then f*ck ’em. You don’t need to interact with someone as shallow as that.

Improve them if you want, but only on your own terms.

Go forth and rock your image. Not because I told you to but because you deserve to.

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