Lifestyle

The Power You Hold

When I was 12 and in the midst of blossoming into puberty, I went ice skating with my best friend one weekend. I wore a pale blue zip up tracksuit sweater with matching pants and don’t remember being too self conscious of my body at this age but it was certainly starting to brew.

When we arrived at the ice rink , there were a group of girls from my year in school – the ‘popular’ ones.  I was super intimidated by them but still had a great time with my bestie and thought nothing of it.

That Monday, I arrived to hear that they had told everyone anyone that would listen that I was wearing a G-string. I. Was. Mortified.

I hadn’t been wearing one but the thought of my panty lines being on display to them and the rest of the ice rink filled me with so much shame.

I remember crying in the toilets. I remember crying to my mum that night and begged her not to make me go to school the next day. As always, she was amazing and supported me with love and called my teacher to discuss the situation.

I’m lucky. That was one of the only bad cases of bullying I had in school. Of course there were snide remarks, bitching and gossip in the years to come but I can’t imagine how that small case could have escalated if it was now, with camera phones and the world web.

15 years on, I’m writing about this because some grown women who I called friends, decided that their lives needed a place to bitch about the likes of me and my girlfriends. So they created a Facebook group, and we found it. I’m not going to go into any details but I will say, it was malicious, mean and downright disgusting what they said.

At first I was hurt that they’d day those things while still being nice to my face. Then I was sad for them that their self worth was so low that they needed to tear others down to validate themselves. Then I was angry. And now I’m just… Indifferent.

They are gone from my life, I don’t have to have anything to do with them anymore.

But, it got me thinking about how much toxic words can eat away at you. What I learnt along my self-love journey was that in order to love and accept yourself, you have to curb those judgy and bitchy thoughts because sniggering that some girl has wobbly thighs just to make you feel better about yours is no way to live.

You know what made me come to this realization? The trashy, gossip mags. We had them in the salon I used to work at and I began to hate them. I’d have someone sitting in my chair, and my job was to make them feel good about themselves. And yes, part of that is the physical but it’s all the time-out, the treat of getting your hair done, the excitement of reinventing your look and then they’d be reading these magazine whose fundamental theme is to pit women against each other, set unrealistic body standards or encourage body wars.

So, one Saturday night when we were all having some drinks after work, I told my boss how I felt and that I didn’t think we should have them in the salon anymore. And with that, we went and dramatically ripped them to shreds.

It was glorious.

When someone asks me what little things can help with your journey towards self love and body confidence, one tip I tell them is to ensure that the people they follow on social media etc are all positive and have the same goal as you. There’s no point following a account that promotes the flat tummy tea if you are trying to learn to love and accept your less-than-flat tummy.

Similarly, check the language you use internally.  Do you automatically think judgmental thoughts? Catch yourself and stop it! Look at that person you just felt so much negativity towards and compliment them – either internally or even better, to their face! Toxic negativity brewing inside of you is a terrible thing. And ask yourself why this negativity towards others makes you feel better?

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a moan every now and then! God knows I do! When someone leaves me a ridiculous or mean comment on Instagram, I’ll message one of my friends to complain and have a laugh.

But if you are compelled to be so nasty to others in a bid to make yourself feel better, then I encourage you to reflect on why that is, seek help if needed or talk to a friend.  Attempt to end the cycle and have courage and be kind.

I’m going to finish with one of my favourite quotes from the Queen, Dita Von Teese. I’ve said this to myself multiples times in the last few days since it’s so relevant to me right now.

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there is still going to be someone who hates peaches”

And remember, your words have power so use them for good.

 

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Categories: Lifestyle

31 replies »

  1. You, nor I or any women need people like that in their lives. Negativity will eat them up and make them bitter and twisted in the end. This is not something I would have ever said or commented on but I am done with being a dumpy invisible woman, time to like/love whatever we are and stop wasting time hating ourselves and care no a jot what these people think all the love Jo xxxx

    • Thank you Jo, you are so right. But I’m sure you are far from dumpy and invisible! Thank you for your comment x

  2. Very well put. You’re an inspiration to so many of us – I wouldn’t have had the confidence to dress like my true self without role models like you. Now I love who I am and I wouldn’t change for anyone 🙂 xx

  3. That reminded me of something that happened years ago… But internet was involved, unfortunately haha. There was this “ask fm” thing, where you would receive questions, anonymously or not, and you could answer to them. Some mean people created an account to gossip about people on town and I discovered my name was there. And what I read echoed in my head for years… I know people aren’t always the kindest, I’m not that naive but, back then when I saw that, I was devasted. Small town, you know? And I can’t help but think that who wrote that, was someone really close to me and that was the worst. I’m still trying to learn to love myself, I am older now and a total different person but, what you wrote really encouraged me! I really wanted to thank you for inspiring me… I’m a big fan and I LOVE your style! Thank you!

  4. In my own personal experiences the “bullies” came from home and not school. The comments and experiences I had through the years followed me around like a shadow. This year I turned 27, I’m happily married and live away from my family. Their comments still come to the surface but with the love I have from my husband, a few close friends, and from myself…those comments and opinions are sooooo unimportant to me and I force them off my radar. The world is big and life is short, I told myself not to let those nasty little flies get in the way of the beauty I can see in myself. And like you, I now feel sorry for people who resort to that kind of cruelty twords others. I hope one day they can see the wrong they do and find a way out of it.
    -JB

  5. Children can be cruel, but you can excuse them to some degree because maybe they just don’t know or understand the ramifications of their actions and words, but adults – especially women – cutting down other women – I don’t get it. I say good for you, releasing such negativity from your life!! and I say ‘how sad for you’ to those ladies …how sad that you feel so dis-empowered that you cannot build up and create, but instead take the much much easier road which is to “try” to break down and destroy (‘try’, because they did not succeed here! 🙂 Creation and passivity are not always easy, but are often a conscious choice that requires effort … keep it up Miss VV!

  6. Words are horrible. They can live with you for so long. Negative ones can so easily be believed and retained over the positive ones you hear. And this is true of others saying them to someone, as well as someone saying them to themselves. We need to make sure we aren’t being a bully to ourselves either. The mirror and the scale don’t determine self worth or beauty. Beauty comes from SO many other things. I love Audrey Hepburn…and she had great things to say about the beauty of a woman:

    “The beauty in a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart; the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the caring and that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows and the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.”

    “There are more important things than outward appearance. No amount of makeup can cover an ugly personality.”

    “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone”

  7. It’s crazy to think that you would treated in this way. It’s very sad that women do this. Many of the beautiful pinup women I follow, have encountered this issue, even in the pinup community. Thank you for bringing this to light and speaking so candidly and honestly.

    You are an amazing life force and you have so much beauty and grace, in the way you relate to others. I love all of your blog posts, but this type, I really enjoy because your followers get to see the journey that led you to be Miss Victory Violet. Thank you for sharing your life with us!

    You are amazing and truly beautiful!

  8. I love this article; well written and something I identify with. I started a journey a number of years ago and that journey was to feel beautiful; because, well, I didn’t know what that felt like – I had lost myself. During this journey of self discovery I had major set back from people I thought were my friends in the form of bullying. Why did they do this? I don’t know. But I do know this; it depressed me. I allowed it to depress me. It almost. Brought me to my knees. What came out of it? I am stronger now, I moved away from them emotionally and stood my ground in the end. To quote an old cliche I figured “everyone is beautiful in their own way” and that we should be building each other up – not tearing people down.

  9. First of all, please excuse my English, it may not be perfect, because it’s not my mother tongue.
    Nevertheless I wanted to thank you for that great post! I really admire the courage you show everyday. The courage to dress like you prefer, the courage to share it on the internet, the courage to be confident. Does this sound strange? There are so many things I want to say, but I can’t express myself the way I’d prefer. But one word, describes it really good: Thanks! Danke! You are a real role model!

    PS: I really love your style! I wish I had an wardrobe like you. But I’m working on it 😉

  10. I recently found your. Blog and am thrilled with what I see and read. I am an older woman who endured years of being told I was “too” whatever by my family. You have changed my life and inspire me to want to dress nicer and wear makeup. Both things being discouraged for years. You are a beautiful woman and the world is a nicer place because you are here. Thank you for sharing.

  11. You stated on your blog sometime back that you got tired of fitting in and that was why you had the courage to dress the way that made you feel good. That opened a door for me back then, living in a small Oklahoma town and dressing this way really made me stick out. But I felt my best in a dress and petticoat, with my hair done. I still do.
    These days, if anyone says anything snide about my appearance I ask them when we are going shopping, because until they are buying my clothes themselves they have no right to comment on my appearance.
    You are strong, and beautiful and encouraging. Never stop being who you are or sharing that with the world. For those few who want to be ugly there are millions of us that love and support you.
    They will always be out numbered. I am proud of your attitude toward them. Indifferent is all they deserve.

  12. I really appreciate this post! I came for the style but will stay because I love your encouraging and kind attitude. Thank you and Merry Christmas

  13. It’s always a shock to run into ‘school bully’ behaviour from adults – why would anyone want to be like that? I hate the way women’s magazines talk to their readers, like a toxic friend, so I love the image of you tearing them to shreds! The Roald Dahl and Dita Von Teese quotes are pretty unbeatable.

  14. That’s a beautiful post! thank you for your encouraging words! Today I tried to speak my mind and got gas-lighted, sigh, that’s one less person to read about on facebook now! Seems to be a real wave of awful behaviour and some people do not want to be held accountable for their language and actions. Keep on being your sunny positive self, we need more positive people!

  15. I love this post Ella! And I admire you for always trying to be positive and do good and empower other women. Your body positivism is something we really need in this world where all we see are photoshopped images that most of us can never live up to and really shouldn’t. We need to love ourselves with all our imperfections and definitely need to teach our kids that there are more important things than outside beauty. <3

  16. Amen sister! I don’t believe I know the facebook group of which you speak, I did notice discussions about certain bullying behavior happening. It honestly fills me with so much joy to be able to assist woman in making themselves feel beautiful. Never underestimate the power of a heart felt compliment

  17. Speaking from personal experience, I know what it feels like to be bullied, day in and day out. It was literally from the time I started school as a small child, all the way through high school. It took me a very long time to love myself. I don’t know why people have to be so mean! There is no need for it! I see no point in taking time out of my life to talk crap about anyone! My time is precious to me.

  18. Beautifully said, you never know what someone is going through so a kind word or even a smile can make all the difference ❤ xxx

  19. You are right. I thank you for sharing and I have been on the same boat. I am on the journey to self love, self appreciate, have self worth, self confidence, and self esteem. Reading your post is very inspirational. I do admire you and your work especially since I still haven’t found someone with my body type/structure.

  20. YES!! Those women were clearly not worth your time or energy – sometimes jealousy eats away at us and we can become so bitter. To think someone would put so much effort into such a nasty thing as to make a group! What! Awful! You don’t need them in your life. I try to live the way you do – spread the kindness. We can never have too much of that in our life. We need to outweigh the bad!

  21. I’ve been following your blog for a short time and must admit that I found you a little intimidating (my problem not yours) because you looked so perfect to me…..and then I read your post about doing the underwear pinup shoot. You pointed out areas that you felt insecurities about and you became not only beautiful but human as well, you have know idea how much that post helped me! How sad it is that people need to belittle others to make themselves bigger, I’m finding more and more that every time you build someone else up it pulls you up with them – win, win really!

    Keep up the great work that you do! Adding beauty and happiness, one picture and blog at a time. 😀

  22. This is amazing! I have been having my own issues as of late in my own school because I dont follow the latest trends or wear brands or have the same (childish in my opinion) humour than most girls in my school. I have been trying to love myself for who I am but having people like that in life makes it hard so I am so glad I read this. Its a huge pick me up.

  23. A great alternative: Vintage Life Magazine!

    Sorry to hear this happened. I definitely got bullied (or just plain old ignored) my share in school. I don’t know if there’s anyone out there who didn’t at this point…

    But you’re beautiful and inspiring and obviously they couldn’t take it.

  24. Nicely said. I first started following you because I liked your style from an aesthetics point view. Now I like your style (full stop)

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