A ‘selfie’ is explained in the dictionary as: noun – informal, a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website. “Occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself every day isn’t necessary”
At the ripe old age of 26, and as a mother of two, I have grown up in a generation where leggings were first worn for all of the wrong reasons, the Spice Girls ruled the music charts and my first mobile phone as a teenager was comparable in size to a bottle of coke with a clunky fixed aerial that pokes you in the head every time you take a call. I was fortunate enough to have matured at a time when hair straighteners didn’t exist, frizzy, bushy hair and eyebrows were deemed completely normal, and the internet ran on dial up and stopped you from using the house phone so my parents limited my ‘surf-time’ with a kitchen egg timer so as not to miss important calls. Fortunately such crimes against beauty and fashion were rarely recorded in pictures and videos to look back on now and cringe.
Fast forward to 2014 and selfies have become the norm. People take pictures of themselves with their phones and share their shots with the entire world on a daily basis. Why? Well, because they can I guess. The Chain Smokers took over the airwaves this Spring with their hit #SELFIE with the music video centred upon two gorgeous girls in a club taking pictures of themselves in the toilet mirror on a night out, and it’s quite a catchy and true to life song. We have all become peacocks, preening, pouting and showcasing our best assets online to display on our social media profiles. Can you imagine how many pensioners there will be in thirty years time cringing over selfies they took in their youth?
As you may, or may not know, I was a glamour and page 3 model at the age of eighteen for the Daily Sport newspaper, and after having my two children I am now having a dabble with some modelling once again. So here are my humble selfie offerings which I posted to my Instagram this week, gaining me over 7,000 new followers in just a few days, I wonder why? Although I am comfortable-ish with showing my body in lingerie and swimwear, it doesn’t mean to say that I am big headed or egotistical about it. And believe it or not, I’m actually rubbish with taking compliments from people as I never know how to respond and just cringe instead. My body is far from perfect, I have had a corrective breast reconstruction following faulty PIP implants which left me in horrendous pain, I have delivered my two children naturally for which I gain 4stones in weight with each pregnancy, and I was bullied throughout my entire childhood for being lanky, goofy and a geek.
I’m not fishing for compliments, I’m not asking for pity, but I have faced my demons, forgiven the hardship and found peace in my own skin. I’ve come to realise that style is not what clothes you wear it’s how you wear them, and beauty is not what you look like, it’s actually what comes from within. I would like to encourage and motivate all women to be comfortable in their own skin, to accept their flaws and hang up their body hangups, because life is too short to try to be somebody other than yourself. There is no need for bitterness or jealousy as we were all born unique and should celebrate our individuality instead of using vanity to morph ourselves into over-processed Barbie dolls. Please excuse my implants, I got them at 18 when my deformed little bee-stings decided not to grow properly.
I receive a ridiculous amount of messages from people all over the world through my various social media profiles and messengers, and my phone pings constantly day and night, 24/7 with pictures of penises, six-packs, lesbians, screen shots of porn, marriage proposals and compliments. It is pretty bizarre but it’s become the norm really and it never fails to amuse me what complete strangers send to people they’ve never met. Can men with boners in a message snare themselves a bride? And are the half naked, pretzel lesbians hoping their ‘money shots’ will sway my sexuality? Who knows!? But I say each to their own and I don’t judge others because are quirks are what make us who we are. I reply back to as many messages as I can, and I skip past those with questionable content. I get many messages along the lines of “Wow, you’re so perfect, but I bet you get told that all the time and I know you’d never be interested in someone like me, I just wanted to tell you how much I love you and would like to meet you if you give me a chance.” Yes I do get told that all the time, although I think it’s more because of my breasts than my geeky good looks because I am far from perfect! Growing up I was a complete reject, bullied daily for the first 18yrs of my life. I was lanky and had huge eyebrows, too much of a tomboy to be accepted by the girls, yet not an actual boy to have been accepted by the boys. I guess you could say I was a bit of a Pinocchio, I wanted to be like the other children, but I just wasn’t, I was a somewhat muddled up mix of the two, incredibly clumsy and shy.
When I became a glamour model it was completely by accident, MTV scouted me whilst I was at work one day and asked me to model and act for a documentary and through morbid curiosity I accepted and my life has changed incredibly since. I had spent every waking day until then being ignored, laughed at, pushed away and bullied, but suddenly with an eyebrow wax, a bit of a tan and lipgloss I was the flavour of the month. It’s only been eight years since I discovered what it’s like to be ‘attractive’ which is a relatively new part of my life really. Therefore when people compliment me I still pinch myself and think “Seriously? Me!? Are you blind!?” It’s like knowing if you step off of the top of a building then gravity will make you fall, but now people are absolutely convinced that you won’t fall because you can fly instead, um… yeh, I don’t think so. So when I get compliments I don’t know where to look or what to say, I just kind of shuffle uncomfortably and try to change the subject without looking too awkward.
I now use my following to motivate and inspire women, and men alike, to realise that beauty comes from within. Looks do not last, our bodies age, our features change and we lose and gain weight across the years, but inside we are still the same person. Our heart, kindness and outlook on life is what carries us. To be kind and thoughtful to others, to show compassion and support, that is what is attractive in a person, not a full head of hair or washboard stomach. I would rather spend my life with somebody with a sense of humour, a sweet nature and the ability to commit to a life-long relationship rather than a jumped up, self-obsessed Ken Doll with no personality and a wandering eye for the ladies. We shouldn’t look to change ourselves in order to fit in and be attractive to others, because we are all beautiful and unique in our own way. It took me eighteen years for people to be nice to me purely based on me growing into my body and nothing to do with my personality or outlook. And if people call me vain and self-obsessed I laugh and am the first person to point out my flaws, my Hungarian heritage means that I have a beak nose, a huge forehead and I’m tall and lanky with huge feet like some kind of wrestler. I have stretch marks, scars, dark circles under my eye and I break out in spots every time I have my period. I realise who and what I am and I have no false pretences about myself, however other people choose to judge and treat me is down to them.
So I guess after this little rant it’s only fair that I should show you what has made me so grounded and humble about my body today, and that’s to show you what I looked like growing up. I would like to dedicate this picture of myself from my early teens to all of the bullies who hurt me so badly, for all of the tears that I cried and the sleepless nights that I spent dreading having to go to school the following day and face the same never ending torture and torment for being “ugly”. People are not ugly, it is their behaviour that is; bullying is what is ugly in this world, and there is never an excuse for it. Nobody should be made to feel bad about their appearance, nobody should be judged over how they dress or the colour of their skin. We are all unique and we all have a soul, this is what makes us beautiful. And if you’re a victim of bullying I would like you to please know that it will get better, you will develop and grow and one day become a stronger person because of it. My heart goes out to those suffering the same path that I did, and I offer my commiseration’s for those who put me down for so long. Live life and love. Jealousy and bullying is ugly; ain’t nobody got time for that!
Please let me know what you think of my selfies. Do you take selfies? If so, what are your best tips and tricks? And what advice would you give to bullies?