How your Thinking can Negatively Affect Your Body Image Long Term

You would think my knees and AC-DC would have nothing in common but you would be wrong!

I live on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia where it gets hot – the kind of humid heat where your clothes stick to you, your hair sticks to you, the seats stick to you and the summers seem to get longer every year.  The best way to cope with this is to hang out in air-conditioned places, drink copious amounts of fluids and wear as little as possible.  Couple this with menopausal hot flushes and the feeling can be akin at times to that of self-combustion. 

Therefore you would assume that my summer wardrobe of choice would be shorts and tops – but alas, you would be wrong.  This is all because of what my “brilliant mind” tricked me into believing was true.  Back in my early teens, my “best friend” at the time innocently (although perhaps with a little bit of malice) mentioned that my knees bore a striking resemblance to those of Angus Young, the guitarist from AC-DC.  Whilst being compared to someone famous might be a compliment to some people, to a 12 year old girl who was already self-conscious and shy, having her knees compared to a weird looking fully grown guy wearing a school boy’s uniform was not the highest form of flattery.  Thus began my journey on the path of hating and hiding my knees at all costs, with long skirts or dresses and pants the order of the day, despite the discomfort.

I have been dwelling on this a lot lately and realised that it is time to let this go.  Here I am supporting other women in loving themselves fully, every single part of them.  Not seeing themselves through other eyes but their own.  Not comparing themselves to ridiculous, unattainable images portrayed in social media but fully embracing all the parts of themselves, even the not so perfect ones.  The irony of this finally (hallelujah) struck home – enough already about my knees! How lucky am I to have two legs when others would give anything to have what I have?  Do people really scan through the crowd looking for knees like mine to point and snigger at – no!   How insane of me to even think that my knees were such a big deal to the general population.

Therefore, this summer I am claiming back my freedom.  I am giving that little 12 year old girl the best present I can of self-acceptance, self-love and believing she is good enough, just the way she is.  I have gone and bought my first pair of shorts in many, many years and man, I am going to rock them!  Who is with me?