Nadya doing caturanga

Capturing confidence

My hair is oily, skin greasy, face spotty, body bloated, swollen, achy and moods temperamental. I’m sad when I should be happy, uptight when I should be relaxed and everything is annoying me. My body wants to do things to keep me occupied but my mind has other ideas – yeh you got it, I’m still on my period!

I usually find ways to embrace these symptoms but this time I’m letting them take a firm grip but I wish they’d give me a good shake – you can’t blame me though, it’s been an exhausting 3 weeks of it being in full flow (no pun intended).I look in the mirror and I hate my face, my body feels fat and I’m noticing all my imperfections, the mirror is just a magnifying glass right now. And, instead of making positive affirmations and expressing gratitude to myself for the things I used to like about myself, I’m being unkind. I know it’s destructive but it’s a pattern I can’t seem to break.

What happened to the Nadya that returned from Asia?

I’m not going through the wars but it’s been a turbulent couple of months. After returning from a trip of a lifetime I was flying high but have been knocked straight back into some old habits. I learnt to love parts of my body I didn’t before, while I was away, built up so much confidence and I was proud. I’m not sure where that confidence or pride has gone, but I’ve been feeling the complete opposite.

That has meant that, I’m seizing the moments when I’m less destructive to myself, more. When I pass a mirror and find a feel good moment or have painted my face and smile on and that spot that was bothering me is well hidden, then I’ll capture it.

Maybe in a selfie. Maybe a portrait. Heck, maybe even a video. I’m celebrating those rare moments right now, because they’re just that. Rare.

Capturing my smile at bedtime

Capturing a smile

One night ago, I got a message from an old friend I haven’t spoken to properly in nearing 8-10 months asking me if I was ok because some of my most recent posts on social media had been “somewhat out of the norm” for the me she used to know.

To put this into context, what she was referring to were some recent posts which she felt the need to allude to as “body confidence” and nudity shots – and I’ve copied that just as she’d typed it because the fact that she chose to put body confidence in inverted commas and nudity without was obviously a conscious decision.

I confirm now that none of the posts contained explicit nudity of any kind.

Nadya doing caturanga

Doing chaturanga (badly) in my garden

She said she was concerned as it was out of the norm for me and that if this was the “new me” then that was fine but she wanted to ask.

Immediately I reacted badly. But not in the way you might think.

I toyed with the idea of taking the photos down.

I wondered what other people may be thinking.

If I should be ashamed.

I thought bad of myself.

Then I got angry.

Then disappointed.

And finally I remembered why I had posted them.

And I responded telling her politely that she needn’t worry. I didn’t explain further.

What that old friend had done in just shy of 300 characters wasn’t actually air her “concern” (deliberate use of inverted commas there) but air her opinion. I felt belittled and in choosing to place inverted commas around the very thing I was in fact trying to do suggested that I was objectifying my body – which I in no way intended.

In fact, what these posts actually are, are photos of me at moments when I feel my most confident and proud. Moments when I’ve not been sulking or slapped in the face with sadness, a black cloud hanging over my head. But she’d taken those moments from me and broken them down in ignorance.

Nadya in the garden

Sunbathing in the garden

I’d like to think if there was any concern, it would’ve been written very differently.

Objectification doesn’t come into it for me, because news flash, my photos, my selfies, my videos are largely for me. We shouldn’t be so quick to knock others down or judge when they’re proud, confident and causing no harm while doing it – we should be supportive.

In these pictures, I am in a place true to myself, if I was in doubt, at the time of taking them, then perhaps I could be accused of seeking approval, opinion or attention – but I am not.

It makes me realise now, why this friend is actually an old friend, and if indeed they did really know me at all. But maybe I shouldn’t worry myself with that so much.

What I’m getting at I think, is that a selfie or partially clothed photo should not always need to perpetuate objectification when it is taken on that person’s terms. It can be empowering when posted from a place of confidence. I’m hoping I can be kinder to myself in the future when I see these photos – and I’m hoping I can even give some kindness to myself right now.

Too often, females are so quick to tear each other down instead of building one another up. As we strive to become more empowered as a gender, we should embody that in our actions and be supportive of other women too.

Being cheeky

I’ve got a little curvier recently

Now I’ve spent a lot of time questioning why I posted those photos, after receiving that message, I realise more so now, that it is important to speak to your own self worth whenever possible, and how you choose to do that is personal.

However, for now I’m back looking in the mirror, feeling gross waiting to smile at my reflection again.

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