Seeing Tess Holliday on the cover of Cosmopolitan UK this month was something of a revelation for me. Not just because she has a stunning face and confident look, but also because she was so different from the usual women you see on magazine covers.
The thing is, I’m probably as far from a model as you can get. At a shade (OK a few inches) over five feet tall, I also have short legs coupled with a longer torso and a bigger than average top half. I used to joke that if I wanted to be a model you’d have to stretch me. Same weight (about 9 stone last time I checked) but a LOT taller and thinner.
Jokes aside, self confidence is something that I’ve always struggled with. Being slim doesn’t necessarily equal feeling confident and happy with yourself. I’ve always been among the shortest people in my groups of friends and at school/college. Banter that I’m the height of a 12 year old/can shop in the kids department etc hides the fact that I feel unhappy with something that I can’t do anything about. Bullying at school and college didn’t help and my fragile confidence was slowly eroded away. Trust me, you don’t expect to be 18 and bullied at college over the fact that your hair isn’t poker straight. Dealing with your parents nightmare divorce? Never mind that, sort your hair out!
It took a long time to accept that there are some things that cant be changed. At 30 something that late growth spurt is probably never going to happen. Then again, there’s always heels x Glasses were something I was never bullied over, however. They’re a part of me, owing to the fact I have natural minus 14 eyesight. For those who don’t know, this is about the level where you ask “where’s the chart” on your eye test. There are only two times it seems to be a problem though. 1) when you put them down and forget where and 2) going through the automatic passport control gates at the airport. I once spent 10 minutes waiting in the machine, unable to read the screen, before someone kindly told me that it was saying I could go through. Trust me, I think there are bats out there with better natural vision than me. Then again, maybe that explains a few ex boyfriends….!
The thing is, seeing Tess on that cover reminded me that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. What’s more important is to be happy and confident in yourself. Easy to say, and often hard to do. However if I can look in the mirror and think “You’re ok” that’s a start. To paraphrase Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, I’m one of the real people AND a potential cover model.