On Underwear Photos and Loving My Body

I’ve taken underwear selfies for tumblr before, but they’ve always been very strategically shot – very little stomach and thighs, and lots of focus on the boobs. This morning I took some that are different – straight on, not stretching to hide the curves my body makes, not hiding my ‘problem areas’, wearing underwear that doesn’t necessarily make my proportions look ‘better’.

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I don’t necessarily recognise the body I see in these photos. Part of me simply doesn’t recognise the person in these photos because I’ve so rarely actually looked at my body in this way. And I think that’s something that a lot of people relate to, particularly those of us who take endless selfies and wear make up on a semi-regular basis. But I wouldn’t necessarily look at my body from this particular angle – I’d see it from above, and from various side or cut-off angles in the mirror looking at what I’m wearing. But never in such an honest or ‘in your face’ way, at least not in a non-self deprecating kind of way.

This morning was probably the first time in a really, really long time that I looked at my body, as it is, and liked it. When i took these photos, I wasn’t poking and prodding myself, lamenting the fact that I wasn’t ‘thin enough’. I was taking these photos thinking ‘I look pretty damn good’. I got to look at my body as it is for the first time in a really long time.

I’ve still got a long way to go. The parts of me that think that I’m not good enough, that parts of me that need to feel some sort of control over life, the parts of me that want so desperately to fit in and to feel like I belong and manifest that in control over food, they’re all still there, just considerably quieter and easier to ignore than in the last 6 or 7 years. I’m dealing with my apparent need for control manifesting itself in different ways. But it’s been nearly 6 months since I started this particular road of recovery and regaining my self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. And it’s probably been the longest and most honest bout of recovery I’ve ever undertaken, and that gives me hope.

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