Lies I Tell Myself & Body Positivity

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Every week I fluctuate between being happy with how I look and absolutely hating it.

When I first started thinking I was fat, I was 21. Looking back at photos of myself at that age – it’s painfully obvious how wrong I was. But at the time, I was completely distraught over how I could no longer fit into my favourite size zero dress or how I didn’t resemble a literal pencil anymore. Then I moved to Spain. As a vegetarian, not only did my social life rely heavily on carbs and cheese – but my mental health did too. My depression in Madrid was at an all time low and sometimes the only thing that fixed that was a baguette smothered in alioli.

And so the obvious happened, I gained weight.

Now I’m approaching 25 and long gone are the years I could eat anything and not worry about it. This is where the Internet cries “body positivity! You’re beautiful! Love yourself!” (not my Internet, I still get the occasional hate comment calling me fat despite not being relevant online since 2012). And I get it, because I do it too. I hear people complaining about their weight and I’m all up in their face telling them how wrong they are – and I’m being honest! But it’s hard to apply those ideologies to yourself.

Logistically speaking, I know I’m not the monster I make myself out to be. I buy size 8s and 10s depending on the day and know deep down that I’m not in any danger of ill health. But when I think of myself, I picture how I was at 18 or even 21. So sometimes when I see myself, it catches me off guard. I find it hard to accept that this is what I look like now.

Somedays I look in the mirror and think I might even look good and that I don’t need to go back to how I was before. I’ll buy a size 8 shirt that properly buttons over my boobs and think I’ve cracked it. But then I’ll take a bad picture or look frumpy in my favourite shirt and the cycle starts all over again. Like last week, when I downloaded a calorie counter app.

I know I’ll never be as tiny as I was at 18 and sometimes I feel okay with this. Other times I feel that life won’t be complete until I have a flat stomach again.

But I don’t want to feel this way. I want to be healthy and look my best, sure – but not at the extent of my happiness. I’ve spent way too many lunch hours forcing kale into my mouth for one lifetime. So here’s what I need to remember:

  1. Stop paying attention to labels because they clearly make no sense anyway
  2. There are ways to fix a bad day other than a giant cheesy pizza
  3. Not everyone I meet is silently judging me on my weight

And so, in an attempt to truly get rid of these toxic beauty standards I hold myself too – here’s some super flattering upward angle photos. Behold, my many chins in all their glory.

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Maybe one day I can stop letting this consume my life.

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4 Reasons Changing Your Hair Can Totally Change Your Life

I’ve been going through a lot of major life changes recently. Moving countries, moving cities within that country, and changing careers. But the biggest change of all has been my hair.

Hear me out, because it’s totally not as weird as it sounds.

Whenever I am in a slump, I start to hate everything about myself. And the easiest place to start in a severe bout of self loathing, is my physical appearance. So it needs to change. From getting a pixie cut on the last day of high school, to dying my hair pink after a breakup, to going back to brown for my move to Madrid – changing my hair is always my first course of action when I feel trapped. And you know what? It works. Changing my hair gives me a fresh outlook on life. Because no longer am I that person I hated just last week. My hair is bouncy and full of life and so am I.

Soon I’ll be starting my new job, which just so happens to be my dream job, and I wanted to go into that stage of my life feeling like a totally new and improved Rosy. So after stalking possibly every hairdresser in Brighton on Instagram, I decided to take the plunge. It took four hours and was the most money I’ve ever spent on my hair, but I have no regrets. It’s short. It’s blonde. I don’t resemble the cousin of Cousin It. I am me again.

Here is why I think changing your hair also changes your life!

1) Briefly, You Are A New Person
For a short period of time after a major haircut, whenever you catch your reflection, you get confused. “Why, who is that dashing young person staring at me?” you say. Well, it’s you! Look at you go! For the first few hours after my haircut, whilst I was painstakingly choosing which selfie would debut my hair on Instagram, I got to thinking (dangerous, I know); is this the same Rosy Parrish as yesterday? This one seemed cooler and more confident somehow. And when I was walking down the street I had to wonder, where the passersby marvelling at how cool that short blonde girl looked? Obviously not. But a girl can dream. So for those brief few hours, I was convinced I was a whole new person. That confidence follows you though, and even now, days later – I still secretly think I’m slightly cooler. Fake it ’til you make it, y’know.

2) Symbolism and Shit
Imagine it. You’re sitting in that chair. The hairdresser is behind you, holding a pair of scissors. Closer and closer they go, until… SNIP. Your hair is gone. Bye bye, hair! Bye bye, problems! When I’m running my fingers through the super short bit on the top of my neck, I like to imagine that along with all the tangles and knots and badly dyed locks, went my worries and problems and a few insecurities too. Swept away by the trainee’s broom. And it feels goooood. I mean, a lot of my problems actually disappeared upon the news of my employment, but that would never happen in a transformation movie montage. It was totally the hair.

3) Feed Your Ego
Unless you’ve accidentally dyed your hair green and come out with an allergic reaction too, your friends are probably gonna gush over your hair a little. Even if you think it’s narcissistic and frivolous, you can’t deny that a quick compliment from someone whose opinion you value will make you smile. I’m not saying cut your hair just for the compliments or the Facebook likes. Cut it for you, duh. But like… it’s an added bonus.

4) It Shows You What’s Really Important
Ignoring everything I’ve said above, it really is just hair. And if your haircut hasn’t come out like you imagined, and you’re screaming “dammit Rosy Parrish, you lied to me” at your screen, take a deep breath and remember you’ll always have number four on this list. Although I am loving my haircut this time round, this is a rarity for me, because most of my trips to the hairdresser end in disaster. Whether it’s a lopsided bob or a really bad dye job, the change is not forever. Your hair can grow, or you can cut it. You can dye it. You can straighten it. You can do that super cool topknot thing that I never truly mastered. Although at its best, our hair can make us feel really great, it also doesn’t define us. It’s all what you make of it. It’s just hair.

And with this wisdom, I bid you adieu. If you’re going through a hard time or just need a change, just start with the hair and the rest will follow. I think this is slightly more manageable advice than my usual spiel of ‘moving abroad cures anxiety’. But hey, they both worked for me

FASHION | April Wish List (Shoes, skirts, and Sandor Clegane)

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This whole unemployment thing is terrible in many ways, but one of the worst parts of it is seeing pretty things and not being able to buy them. It’s not as bad as the whole ‘I am a useless human being’ mindset that it gives me, but I can’t even buy frivolous presents for myself in an attempt to lift my spirits. This is where the whole wish list idea comes in. If I had a job, or was still living in the perfect little bubble that is student life, these would be on my body right now. Except for maybe The Hound. Maybe. Cough, cough.

These red shoes from Office are like my dream shoes, unfortunately they appear to be made of leather. This means that even if I did have money, I wouldn’t be buying them anyway. Hashtag vegetarian problems. But I’m using them to set the bar for future shoes. They will be red, they will have a chunky heel, and they will have a buckle. Keeping with the shoe theme are these amazing leopard print Vans. I spent my teenage years alternating between Vans and Converse, with the odd pair of Doc Martens thrown in. My first pair of Vans were the flying pig ones and I absolutely adored them. But I am an adult now, dammit. I’m too old for flying pigs! Now I’m a ferocious leopard, grrrr.

This girl shirt from Topshop isn’t my usual style. I’m not really a tshirt person, I much prefer button up shirts and jumpers. But I really like the lace detailing, it definitely livens things up a little. Also, I’m -proud- of being a girl. We are awesome. It only makes sense to celebrate it on a tshirt. Also from Topshop is this cute skirt, which I am totally into. It’s from the petite range, which definitely helps as I am the size of a small child and most of my skirts go way too long on me. I had a major clear out of my closet recently, and I discovered that I have a distinct lack of floral skirts. Dresses I have in abundance, even the odd shirt or two. But there is a floral skirt shaped hole in my life, and I think this would fill it. Topshop has come to the rescue yet again for me, as for the past few months I have been on a quest for the perfect pair of ugly trousers. So far the ones I’ve bought have been too normal or too ugly, but I think these ones are just right. I just want to look like a Moroccan carpet, okay? Admittedly, these are a little more Aztec, but I still love them. They’re also from the petite range, so they will actually fit me for a change. Everything’s coming up Millhouse!

I recently broke my favourite ever pair of sunglasses, and now my only remaining pair are ones that make me look like a bug and fall off my head when I look down. These ones definitely bring out my inner cat. Meow. It will also make a nice change for me to have tortoiseshell glasses, since usually I represent the darkness of my soul through my eyewear. Not that it looks like I’ll ever get the weather to actually wear sunglasses, it’s just rain and wind and fog nowadays. Great for Brontë era Yorkshire, but not for the Parrish era. And, uh, I really can’t explain the last item. I just really love The Hound. Out of all the many attractive characters on GoT, I have a crush on Sandor Clegane. I”LL BE YOUR LITTLE BIRD, SANDOR. Love meeeeee.

So these are the things that I like. Although I should probably be saving my money right now, I really want those trousers. I’m already mentally planning outfits with them, so there will probably be a cheeky Topshop trip in the near future. The search for the red shoes is still on, but I know I’ll find the perfect pair eventually. And as for The Hound… I’m totally gonna buy him and no one can stop me. Hi, I’m an adult.

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