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Perspectives Project: ELLIE

My names Ellie, Im 25 and Im 7 and a half months pregnant with my first baby right now. Im a lifestyle blogger (with a bit of an emphasis on baby and beauty), but really Im here to share some experiences with you guys about being skinny.
I am tiny, Im 53 and pre-pregnancy a natural size 6-8 weighing 7 stone 5lbs. I used to get excited if something came up so small a size 10 would fit me! I dont diet or watch what I eat particularly I like to eat what I fancy.  Whats so wrong with that? you might ask? I essentially have the body shape featured in glossy mags and that has become the social idea of perfect so it cant be all bad can it?

 Well, it turns out you cant win either way. No woman wins where their weight is concerned. I have dealt with many insults, accusations and general body shaming since my mid-late teens. I have been interrogated by doctors about having an eating disorder, its quite terrifying at 17/18 when a doctor is literally standing over you as you are sitting pointing at your face and almost shouting Do you make yourself sick? Do you take laxatives? Do you starve yourself? Do you control your calories?.  The answer is a resounding no, and thank god my mum was with me at the time to step in and shut down the situation.

I have dealt with comments about my weight my entire life,  comments such as (but not limited to):

You could do with a burger or two
You could do with putting some meat on your bones
Oh, well, what would you know? Its alright for you! Look at you! Skinny as a rake!
Yeah but youve not got much of an arse on you have you?

The fastest way to get my back up and to make me take an instant dislike to a person is for my physical appearance to be the first thing they pick up on. Ive met many people when Ive been out for dinner who have felt the need to comment Cor youre ordering a lot arent you? You wont eat all of that or will manage to keep their mouths shut until the meal has finished and comment with I knew you couldnt eat all of that. Because thats the thing: if you are skinny people will comment.
As if we all needed it, now there are the joys of the internet memes, the no man wants a bag of skin and bones! They want a real woman with curves! memes. Im sorry? Because Im not overly voluptuous Im not a real woman? The last I checked I have breasts, ovaries, a vagina, a uterus - you know, all the same sexual organs as a woman does.

Now Im pregnant I hear a lot of its good to see you gaining weight at last”… At last? Im sorry, I didnt realise I was offending the general populous by simply existing. Why should I be made to feel any less than beautiful? Why does society think they have the right to weigh in and give their two penneth? Not to mention the midwives who bullied me in early pregnancy and tried to make me feel bad for being so tiny when I fell pregnant, tried to make me go to dieticians and admit to having an eating disorder (again).
Im lucky. I grew up with a very strong mother who never let anything bother her, she is who she is, she is the size she is, and she wont change for anyone other than herself. Thanks to her Ive grown up with the attitude of I am who I am and Im happy regardless.  I have a partner who thinks Im gorgeous and thinks Im sexy (even now at 7 and a half months pregnant when I really dont feel it), and Im happy. 

Becoming a Mum really makes you start thinking about things, after all, Im about to raise a child and every decision and opinion and moral I raise them with will influence the person they become. We found out at my 20 week scan that we are having a little girl, I was thrilled and excited to be having a daughter, but the world worries me for her, its my job to make sure she grows up without any of these comments and thoughts affecting her self esteem, to make sure she knows shes beautiful exactly the way she is - no matter what anyone tells her. That she is worthy of feeling gorgeous because she is gorgeous.
Too many young girls are falling through the traps of having little to no self esteem and no confidence. Its time to put a stop to it all.  I worked in beauty retail for two years before I fell pregnant with my little one, and it was the biggest eye opener toward the attitudes of the general public.  I received a comment on my weight at least three times a week at work and I cant help but wonder if plus size ladies endure the same thing, because if you do ladies, its time we all banded together and said Enough is Enough”.

This isnt a post designed to say look how hard Ive got it its a post to say we deal with it too, lets fight it together. Be strong, be brave enough to be yourself unapologetically and love being you! No one wants a world full of cookie cutter shapes. We are all beautiful in our own way, and we should reject anything in our society that aims to put a label or an image of what that beauty should be.

Ellie Harvie-August

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