Hot topic right?
Well not my bingo wing per se. But bodies, in general.
As impressionable twenty somethings sit down tonight to watch the last instalment of Love (but only if you’re a size 6) Island, and as Scarlett Moffat has to deal with yet another day of utter size related bullshit at the hands of thumb warriors, I can no longer keep shut.
Today, I sit on my commute home next to a girl that’s spent from Blackfriars to Croydon filtering a picture of her own face over and over again. Her obvious bone of contention? It appears to be her lips, she’s spent the entire commute zooming in and out on the them adding application after application to make them not look like the ones that are on her real life face.
Instagram is filled to the brim with toned, tanned bods in bikinis and inter-dispersed with ads for weight loss regimes, booty plans and fillers.
I’m off on holidays in three weeks and have found myself falling down the very dark, Love-Island-Instagram-Why-Is-Everyone-So-Beautiful-And-I-Look-Like-Rab-C-Nesbitt hole that has swamped the country over recent weeks. I began panicking that I wouldn’t look as good as my mates in a bikini, that I’d look like a whale in all the wedding photos and that actually the body that I look after, that I feed well and that I train wouldn’t be ‘good enough’ for Greece.
And then, sitting next to this girl today I thought, fuck it.
All of our bodies. Yours, mines, Scarlett’s are all good enough for Greece.
And do you know why?
Because they’re good enough for us.
I came away from a hen do some weeks back and in a particular anxious moment spent a long while fraternising over my newly appeared bingo wings, the bulge over my bra, the fact that my thighs looked all thick again – parts of me that all appeared suddenly in all of the photos that were taken of me alongside the gaggle of stunning girls I was away with.
Just like my friend on the train today, the further I zoomed the further I slid into the hole.
It takes a while but today it dawned on me, that yes, I do have a bingo wing. But yes, that bingo wing stands for a little something.
See, there was a time I didn’t have bingo wings. A time I was in the gym 4 nights in the week and both days of the weekend. A time when I would take photos of my body every week to compare them to the photos from the week previous to see if this week I had graduated to a ‘body beautiful’. A time when I was actually known to eat chicken breasts at breakfast and a time that I would quite often shit through the eye of a needle from over consumption of protein shakes.
A time that yes, I had a toned upper arm region. A time when I bought a size 10 dress that didn’t split at the seams. A time when I had the beginnings of an ab. But a time when, in honesty, I was pretty miserable.
Miserable because I was obsessed with the size on my label and the number on the scales.
So yes, I do now have a bit of a bingo wing. But it means something.
It stands for someone who still cares about what she eats and when she exercises, but someone that cares about it in moderation. It stands for a really bloody good dinner with my boyfriend where I didn’t fraternise about the calories and had the pudding because we were having a great time and I wanted it. It stands for a quality Friday night I had out with some mates where yeah, I drank a load of red wine, and yeah I drank a load more straight after, but I laughed so hard my bingos jiggled. It stands for knowing what suits your shape and knowing that actually you’d rather eat cereal in the morning like a sane person and just wear a top that was one size bigger.
And today when I look at that wing. Or when you over there in Telford, look at your belly, that’s bigger than you *think * it should be. Or when you over there in Bournemouth, look at your thighs and *wish* they were smaller than they were.
Remember what all those bits stand for. All the stories they tell.
And actually, on that beach in Greece it won’t be your stomach everyone’s looking at but the grin you’ve got on your face when you suddenly realise that there’s more in life than giving a shit about the bits that jiggle.
Have a happy summer in your body. Not the one you think you should have.
And my petition to ban Love Island will follow….