Embracing Christmas Jiggle

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

In New Zealand, Summer coincides with Christmas. This seems bizarre to a lot of the travellers and nomads who wind up here, who more often than not are used to a "white christmas" with mulled wine and Christmas jumpers. One of my English work friends was telling me just the other day how crazy it seemed to her, that Christmas was little over a week away yet Summer had already arrived.

And it really has. All over the country our Santas roast and sweat in hot, poorly air-conditioned shopping malls. The days are becoming longer and warmer and the air smells sweet. Night falls and instead returning to our homes, us kiwis venture out and flock to the beach, and under the clear night sky, drink cold beer and cider around illegal campfires. In just two days, children all over the country will be waking up late to the sweet smells of a barbecued breakfast. They'll be opening presents under the pōhutukawas that line our beaches, and gorging themselves on delicious home-cooked food.

It's a good life, but there is one little problem. As with every other country, Christmas is a time of extreme eating, heavy drinking and a lot of lying around doing nothing. However, unlike many others who are sitting by the fire right now wrapped up in layers of blankets with a cup of hot cocoa, Christmas, that one holiday a year where everyone eats literally anything they want anytime they want because it's Christmas for fucks sake, coincides with bikini season.

Bikini season. Oh how I used to dread the phrase.
For a long time, bikini season used to make me tremble with fear. My family love to eat. Every Christmas it's fruit and mince tarts and chocolate and pavlova and full fat cream. Then, bloated and unable to walk, I am expected to don my bikini and run around at the beach with grace and confidence. Like seriously, are you fucking kidding me?

In modern society, women are expected to be skinny with perfect skin and big tits with an equally sizeable toned arse, a thigh gap, and long clean wind-blown hair. We're bombarded with a ubiquitous stream of images telling how what to look like, how to act, who to be... this is of course, not old news. It's no wonder eating disorders, depression and anxiety are becoming more and more prolific. I'm not blaming my past body confidence issues entirely on the media, but seeing skinny, toned and tan models constantly growing up definitely didn't do anything for how I perceived myself. Sometimes I'd force myself to go for a run, one time I even ate a salad. Most of the time I decided to commit carbo-cide via copious amounts of pull-a-part bread and hummus, then proceed to sink into myself and watch the clouds fly by.

You may have noticed that I often write of my body confidence in this blog, because it's so important these days to love yourself. It's also important to add that these issues don't only affect us girls, men too come under pressures to be dominant over women, tall and handsome with rippling guns. This is actually how the beauty, fashion and lifestyle industries work. They pose unrealistic standards in the media so we'll buy their products in an attempt to live up to "societal expectations". When we try and fail, our self-esteem is further hurt and in response we buy more products to make ourselves feel better. See my point? It's a vicious cycle, that makes the rich richer and poor poorer. And I'm not just talking about money.

So today when I arrived in Auckland, for the first time in four months, and my Mum said "when do you want to tog shopping?" the old anxiety came rushing back. I had forgot that, a week earlier, I had mentioned to her that my old togs were busted and I probably needed a new pair. Shit. Fuck. Argh. Bikini season. Christmas. Why? Why oh why haven't I been watching my figure?

That's when I made a split decision, and to be honest I should have come to this conclusion months ago. I write on this blog all the time that we should all be happy in our own skin yet I don't always practice what I preach. Which is why I've decided to love my body unconditionally, starting with my annual shop for a bikini. It's going to be a long time before I can fully commit myself to embracing all that womanly jiggle, but until then I'm gonna sit at the beach wearing my bikini while eating my fruit mince tarts with the the hot sun on my face and try to kiss goodbye to any shame I've ever felt. To be happy should be our ultimate goal; whether you're a size 6 or a size 16, love yourself.

Merry Christmas babes, until next time xx

Isn't it cute?!

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