For those of you don’t know what chafing is:
(with reference to a part of the body) make or become sore by rubbing against something.
I’ve recently discovered that so many people refer to it as chub rub. CHUB RUB?! I mean that’s one way to destroy self-esteem!
Chafing can happen to almost anyone. Let me outline a few:
Period pad chafing – that uncomfortable friction between the pad and the skin around the groin, especially if you’ve been walking/exercising with a pad on.
Anyone blessed with thicker thighs (curvy or muscly) – that rubbing between the legs that literally makes you want to avoid wearing skirts like the plague in summer!
Gym goers & runners – friction caused by the movement during workouts!
I used to be 2.5 stones heavier at university, and I remember walking in the heat, with an uncomfortable rash appearing between my legs. I didn’t want to say anything to my girlfriends as I felt so embarrassed, so I just continued to quietly deal with the discomfort! I resorted to wearing these hideous cycling shorts thinking it would help, but no, they chose to roll upwards, meaning I was back to square one!
A pharmacist recommended KY Jelly. Should’ve seen my face when I applied this, made me feel like I was leaking! No one wants to feel sweaty or wet between their legs. In short, don’t use this! It’s good for other things but not chafing! I then tried Vaseline, but it didn’t feel comfortable on my skin. I’ve even tried talcum powder! Can you imagine the mess it made?! Hopeless, I chose to wear leggings even in a freaking heatwave!
Chafing is something we seem to hide, maybe because it’s associated with being overweight when actually people of any size can experience it. Even men experience it. Why is it such a big deal? If it’s spoken about, then something can be done about it!
Over the years I’ve learned to somewhat accept my body. I do find it easier to openly talk about any struggles I experienced that I may have been embarrassed about in the past. I feel that it’s important to share, so that anyone else who feels they can’t talk about themselves realises it’s actually normal. Even though I’ve lost weight, chafing is still a part of my life. So it was a no brainer for us to develop a chafing cream that actually works. I recently took it on a hen in Greece and I felt carefree in the heat for the first time in years. The cream slides on to the skin, leaving no residue, smells amazing and lasts for at least 6 hours. I didn’t break out in a rash once!!!
Growing up, I’ve always been a happy, bubbly individual.
BODY POSITIVITY AND SELF COMPARISON:
But growing up in an Indian society, where being bigger was usually frowned upon, I was often compared to some of my thinner cousins...
I remember being 8 years old, one of my grandmother’s friends saying, "If she was thinner she’d be so pretty…" SERIOUSLY?!?!?!
I remember standing in front of the mirror sucking my tummy in and shouting to my mum, “I’ve lost weight. That’s not normal for 8!!! In all honesty, I’ve always been the plumpy one. I’ve struggled with my weight for years. Even though I knew I was slightly bigger than average, I actually didn’t even feel bad about it because I’ve always been a super happy individual. In fact, it was OTHERS who made me feel that it was wrong. I don’t even blame them, because it’s what we’ve all been brainwashed into thinking!
When I went to university, unlike other students I managed to pile on more weight. Education on alcohol calories wasn’t such a huge thing then! Anyway by 21 I was 90kg and size 20. I was referred to as the girl with a “pretty face”, and I was happy with this until one of the most mortifying moments of my life.
I was walking down the street with a few of my friends, and there was a drunk group of guys walking opposite. One of the boys burst out laughing, pointed at me and screamed out “FATTY, FATTY” and kept on chanting it whilst laughing like I was the funniest thing he’d ever seen. I wanted the ground to swallow me up and I felt a huge lump in my throat. This was the turning point for me, and I decided to do something about it for my own self-confidence (I can’t believe I just shared that!!).
I think this whole experience led me onto wanting to understand why, we as females, feel so pressured all the time to look and feel a certain way.
That’s when I chose to do my dissertation on how the media influence young females’ perception of body image.
I was reading through this recently and was shocked to see that my findings from ten years ago are still so relevant today. From my research, conducting various focus groups of females of different ages, it was clear that the media has successfully managed to convey a message to young females that thinness means being more popular, sexy and desirable. Fashion magazines back then conditioned us to believe that in order to enjoy fashion we had to be thin. What’s worse was how society perceived females who weren’t typically the “norm”. It’s society that has led us to believe that “fat” as ugly and “thin” and beauty.
As I finished reading, I very quickly realised that things haven’t changed that much at all! Pressure has just moved from magazines to social media! Everyone wants to be an influencer, everyone wants to look a certain way, we have filters to alter our appearance, people yearn for a contoured face, or longer lashes, or thicker hair. People post about their “ideal” lives, with ridiculous amounts of makeup on for just walking down the street! It’s giving the next generation, even more things to feel pressured about!!! No wonder there are more mental health issues now than ever before!
Whilst many brands have started to incorporate all body types (are they just trying to follow the trend Dove started years ago?), it’s hard not to question whether its genuine. Is it because there is growing heat on this topic at the moment? Are they really doing enough?
There are two extremes, it’s either a size 0-4 or size 30. Why showcase female bodies at all?! WE ARE MORE THAN JUST OUR BODIES!
So many questions!
Did anyone see the Cosmopolitan debate between Piers Morgan and the editor? I agree with his argument that showcasing a morbidly obese model (weighing 300lb at 5ft3) can send the wrong message to young girls. At the same time, nobody has ever lashed out at an extremely thin model either. Brands are currently on a dangerous path and need to find balance. They have a responsibility to society to fix the problem they created.
Since BeYou, I’ve noticed there are some brands using social media purely to spread all round positivity on self-worth. It’s so refreshing to see that this platform is being used for real CHANGE. RawBeautyTalks is one of my favourite pages. It gives me hope!
So, I guess body positivity to me, is how YOU feel about yourself.