By Lucy Harbron - 17:59

Dress - ASOS
Bag - New Look
Shoes - Primark
Dress - Boohoo
Bag - Charity shop
Shoes - Primark

This past week I was told I have "the perfect hourglass figure" and I didn't know how to feel about it.

It's the end of the year which means exams and revision, yes, but it also means socials and balls. After opting out last year, this year I attended my subject ball, as well as our burlesque glitter ball. Anyone that knows me knows that I love an excuse to dress up. Getting ready for an is always my favourite part; I love the process, I love fully indulging in the fantasy and drama of formal wear (or any kind of wear really), I love allowing myself to take 2 hours if I want, and go all out to make myself feel incredible. And getting ready for these events was no different; I spent weeks finding outfits, dabbled in fake tan for the first time, did face masks, did my nails, and sat there with my ritual of gin and RuPaul's Drag Race. Everything went to plan, but gradually over the past year, the process has felt less and less calming and more confrontational. I was nervous of the photos and seeing myself stood next to others, who I would never judge as harshly as I judged myself. I loved my dresses and I'd been excited to wear them for weeks, but I was scared for the confrontation of seeing my body in them, and the realisation that this is my adult body, this is what I look like.

I've said it to my friends a lot recently, but I wish 'thicc' had been a thing when I was younger. Growing up in the 2000s, the only body shape that was celebrated in pop culture was thin, athletic, slender and straight up and down. Think of women like Paris Hilton, Kate Moss, the Olsen twins, all the young disney stars. All beautiful women, but all the same shape; a shape that was never going to be me. And even in my family, my mum and sister both fit this mould of tall and slender, so when I suddenly got these hips I was confused.

Before the time of the Kardashians and Chrissy Tiegan, there was really just no representation of curves beyond 'plus sized'. So when suddenly my size 10/12 hips didn't match my little size 8 top, the only associations and labels I could attach to my wide hips was fat. I felt I was big and needed to lose weight. And obviously I know now that no matter how much weight I lost, these hips won't go anywhere. But with no role models, little early teens me didn't get that. I then grew into the indie fashion fangirl I am today, loving women like Alexa Chung, Francoise Hardy, Jane Birkin; beautiful women with bodies vastly different to mine. And so I grew up with the niggling, lingering sadness that I will never look like my icons, a thought that translated, somewhere along the line, into I'll never look right or my body will never be skinny or normalised or would never meet the standard. I always wanted to by straight up and down, lanky and twiggy. But instead I'm an hourglass.

I envy the younger generation that are coming of age in this time of wider representation. Although not without their downfalls and issues, I wish I had grown up with the Kardashians, with Ashley Graham, Rihanna, with women like Adele and Lorde and all the women doing amazing things and coming in all kinds of shapes and sizes. I wish I'd always known that is beautiful, and all shapes are amazing and glorious and equal, and shape and size are actually different things.

Because I'm only know figuring that out, and learning to not hear 'hourglass' as a negative or a statement on how my body is different and therefore inferior.  Only now at 20 am I starting to accept that my body was not made straight up and down, and that is beautiful. I'm only just starting to accept that this body is just as good and worthy as any others, and that my hips look amazing in a body con dress and maybe some other things just don't flatter me or do me justice. When my friend called me hourglass I was confronted with the realisation that that's exactly what I am! I'm curvy, with hips and a bum and thighs, all topped off with small boobs. I'm a wobbly line rather than a straight like from hips to waist, but I know deep down I have a lot of love for that, I'm just working on fighting off all the clouds first, all the social pressures and preconceptions and cruel labels I placed on myself.

I looked good. I had an amazing couple of nights dressing up and celebrating with my friends who I love and who love me, who I compliment wholeheartedly and regularly, and who compliment me back. And in the end, I love the photos, and each time I look at them I feel less confronted and more comfortable with the fact that this is my body, my adult body in my twenties. It's not what I wanted at age 13, but it's glorious and I'm learning to love it and accept what it's become.

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  1. This was so refreshing and open, I guess self-acceptance is all a journey and whilst it feels I've still got a long way to go, your post is so affirming that it can happen. I also love the way you write about your body, it feels warm with self-love, just as it should be. Also, your 'getting ready ritual' sounds absolutely dreamy–I usually allow myself a rushed 10 minutes because Ive procrastinated for hours but you've inspired me to allow a little more time for myself. Loved this post gal x

  2. i love love LOVE ur second look! omg the dress n bag are so cute. this is my first time coming across ur blog n it made me so happy to see that ur coming to terms/accepting/embracing ur body for what it is. i used b rly comfortable w my body bc i was always p skinny, but now that im older im getting kinda thick? i guess idk but I've been hard on myself for it. this was inspiring tho bc its tru we all don't have to b stick skinny to b pretty n ur curves r beautiful! keep it up girly <3



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