Fashion Beauty Friend Friday: Body Image

The Friend Friday group by Modly Chic is a way for fashion bloggers to share more about themselves and join a friendly community of bloggers.  Join the fun by checking out the  Fashion Beauty Friend Friday Google Group. And definitely read Modly Chic - it's such a great blog!

This week's FBFF questions really resonated with me. I wasn't intending to get so personal on my blog just quite yet, but thought this would be a good opportunity for you to understand me a bit better beyond what I wear everyday.

1. Since you started blogging has your image of yourself changed?

It's surprising how much my image of myself has changed since I began blogging. Starting my blog was a giant step forward for me personally. I have not shared this before, but I struggled with anorexia and bulimia for over twenty years. My life was largely defined by relapses, hospitalizations, and crippling negative body image. I despised who I was and truly hated how I looked, and tortured myself as a result. The eating disorder completely dominated my life. I can't begin to describe the friends I lost, the pain I felt, and the opportunities I missed out on because I was sick.

My last impatient stay was October 2009, and I have been in solid recovery for approximately a year, the longest I have been healthy since I was a young teenager. Starting my blog was a way for me to truly embrace who I am and prove to myself just how much  strength I have. Just the fact that I can put a pic of myself out into the world is a huge deal, and I'm incredibly proud that I continue to post every day, no matter how crummy I might feel. It's a way for me to reclaim my life.

2. Are you self-conscious about any aspect of yourself? If so, do you
go out of your way to avoid it or do you post it/talk about it anyway?

Honestly, I'm self-conscious about all of me. But I'm working on it. I'm secretly terrified about the coming of spring and summer, because I won't be able to hide under sweaters and jeans and boots. I'm telling myself that I'll take inspiration from other bloggers, keep posting, and get through it. I've never discussed my struggle with anorexia and negative body image, but the cat's out of the bag now. Maybe that's a good thing.


3. Based on how you are feeling now, what do you think the future holds in the evolution of your body image? 

I am confident that my body images issues will continue to improve the longer I keep posting. I never thought I'd have 59 followers, and their comments and support mean so, so much. Most days now I can look at my pics and be happy with what I see. That feels really great.

4. Do you photograph yourself for your blog? If so, how do you feel about the experience when you're having your picture taken? If you choose not to post pictures of yourself, what prompted that decision? 

My husband takes my photos everyday. I have a personal style blog, and there's no point in posting if I don't include photos. I've gotten much more comfortable with posing - the more pics he takes, the easier it gets. I'm learning to focus on the positives and shut out all those little negative thoughts that run through my head when seeing myself in pics. There is no perfect blogger out there. I'm a real woman, with flaws and curves and the occasional zit. It happens, and that's okay. I don't edit my pics either, so what you see is what you get. It's all authentic Elissa.

5. What would you want every person who struggles with body image to take to heart?

I want to remind everyone that we are all imperfect creatures. In treatment, my very wise therapist told me that when we compare, we inevitably despair. Instead of concentrating on what others look like, and how your body compares to theirs, focus on what makes you unique, talented, and special. This goes so far beyond your appearance. Do what makes you happy, and don't be afraid to speak your true voice. It is our individuality that makes us interesting.


12 comments:

  1. Wow, how brave of you to share your story! I've struggled with my body image as well and one thing I've found about the fashion blogging community (despite the few bad apples!) is how incredibly supportive it is! When you do something that you love, it will show both to others and yourself!


    MJ
    www.fiercebeautyandfashion.wordpress.com

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  2. Wow, that was really brave of you to share. I also struggle with posting pictures of myself but I'm sure your struggle is even harder. Good for you and keep at it!

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  3. I love your blog and all your thoughtful posts. You're absolutely right in that we're all imperfect creatures and there's no point in comparing. I've always been on the thinner side, but have struggled with really bad skin. Post-college, I remember talking with a good friend who has impeccable skin. I told her that I envied her for her perfect skin. To my surprise, she told me that she envied me because she struggled with weight. I think we all have imperfections that make us self conscious and instead of comparing yourself to others, it's better to focus on yourself. Great post.

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  4. thank you for sharing! i enjoyed reading it!!

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  5. Congratulations on your recovery. I wish you the best of luck. Your honesty is beautiful and I hope you are able to gain true confidence in yourself. I love the name of your blog, stay true to it!

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  6. Just wanted to thank everyone for your support. This was a hard post for me to write, but I'm so glad I did. I really appreciate your comments.

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  7. elissa,
    thanks for sharing your story! i almost teared up when reading. you're a strong, smart, and fabulous woman, and i hope your blog can be a continued motivation for recovery!

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  8. Thank you for answering these questions so openly and honestly! This is an awesome, awesome post. I don't know you and yet I'm proud of you for being an overcomer and for being so open about it.

    I am positive that through blogging, you are going to become even stronger and will learn to fall in love with yourself, like so many of us love you already!

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  9. thanks for sharing. i find that i am finally at a point in my life where what i am eating and what i look like isn't my predominate thought in life. keep on keepin' on.

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  10. Still catching up as time allows on one of my new favorite blogs! :-) I think you are incredibley brave to share your struggles with eating disorders. I am 40...I have had self esteem issues my whole life...I could never be pretty enough or thin enough or anything enough, even though I've always been considered both slim and glamorous...two things I've always aspired to and desperately cultivated in myself. I've been through the darkness of eating disorders too, and its scary amd all consuming, as you said. Thank you for sharing such a personal part of what has shaped your life. I think you are stunningly beautiful, and I'm so glad that you are overcoming these demons, and that you blog. :-) Belinda

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