Fashion illustration Stories

In my skin

January 5, 2017
Al Draws fashion digital illustration in my skin confidence motivation Alessia Landi illustration
I have been on a diet most of my life.
When I was a kid, because I was a bit chubby and my mom was trying to keep me healthy by keeping all sorts of snacks (the more unhealthy the more I loved them. Of course) out of the house to avoid I would reach for the Nutella jar while doing my homeworks.
When I was a teenager, because I was desperately trying to look like all my skinny, pimple-free friends.
When I moved to Belgium from Italy at 25, because being alone for the first time out of Mamma’s home in a completely new environment led me to emotional eating and I gained a whopping 20 kg in just a few months.
If I look at it closely, what I have been doing most of my life wasn’t only dieting: I was hating my body. 
I would never accept my boobs. My friends were jealous because they were as flat as a surfing board and they would kill for my bra size? Al doesn’t care, Al wants to be flat too because that T-shirts looks soooo much better on them…
I couldn’t stand the size of my butt. Did I ever notice that I actually had a very beautiful waist and soft, round hips that I could accentuate with a body-conscious dress? Of course not, Al was wearing sack-of-potato sweaters to hide everything as much as possible.
So that nobody could see. So that I couldn’t see.
I have been “working” so much on hating my body that now I need the help of a psychologist (literally) to help me recover my confidence and the wonder that every woman should feel every single time she looks in the mirror.
I am thinking about this now because I am at the end of two wonderful weeks in Italy and Belgium, spent with family and friends, and I am noticing the price of all the Christmas parties, drinks and aperitivo on my waist.
I should be thinking about all the wonderful memories I collected in these days but no, the only thing I can think about is how many kilos I gained because of too many slices of pandoro and the abnormal (and joyful) amount of Duvel beers.
I looked at the scale with terror last night for a good 10 minutes while getting ready after my shower (nope, didn’t find the courage to actually jump on it. Yet).
I know that when I’m back to Singapore in two days I’ll get back on my 5:2 diet (which totally changed my life, I’ll have to write a post on this one) and my usual eating habits that will make me lose the extra kilo(s) quite quickly.
So why am I so scared? Why I am avoiding the mirror so much ?
(Believe me, getting your make-up ready can be quite a challenge when you don’t want to look at the reflection in front of you).
Because everything is about my weight. Everything is about our weight.
If I lose weight, everyone is telling me “Wow you look great! What have you been eating? You should give me your diet!”.
If I gain weight, there is always an annoying aunt remarking I’m getting “a little chubby”.
Magazines are featuring curvy women because let’s be proud of our bodies.
Feminist websites are telling you every other post to stop dieting because you’re beautiful as you are (and, on a side note, they make me feel freaking guilty because my brain then goes in stupid loops like “wait I’m a feminist. So I shouldn’t care about my weight. But I do care about my weight… So am I not feminist enough??? WHAT AM I”).
Brands tell you that you should indeed lose those extra 5 kg because their sizes are getting smaller and smaller.
And so on and so on… Our days are full of crap that reminds us that our weight and shape is a very important matter. Even if the message aims to be a positive one (“let’s love our bodies the way they are”) in the end, the emphasis on body weight is always the same. And it’s always there to hunt me.
I wish one day I will be able to diet to look good for myself and for my boyfriend and some feminist article I stumbled upon on Facebook won’t make me feel guilty for it.
I wish one day featuring curvy models or superskinny models won’t be a topic of debate anymore (or pride “hey look I’m VOGUE but I’m still publishing an editorial with curvy models now give me an applause”) because nobody would care if they are size 0 or size 14.
I wish nobody is going to point out if I lost weight or if I gained it.
Like, for a change, why not asking me who’s my hairdresser ’cause my haircut looks great?
(that is why I love the Korean lady at my usual food centre in Singapore, she always gives me the cutest remarks on my style. And her kimchi jigae is great BTW).
Just feel good in my skin for once, and looking in the mirror will be the most normal thing in the world.
And do my 5:2 diet because it makes me feel good and not because I want to look like someone else thinks I should look like.
And go on the scale and losing 500 g won’t be a reason for tears of joy.
And gaining a few pounds would be “pffff what the hell, who cares, I had a good party time. I’ll just lose them when I get back to my regular life”.
And browse a fashion magazine and finally focus on the clothes and the photos, not if curvy models are featured or not.
I know this is utopia, but I still hope one day I’ll be the girl who looks in the mirror and won’t think she has to lose a couple of kilos to be perfect. And I wish I won’t be the girl who has to repeat to herself “I am beautiful as I am” to be really convinced she is.
I hope I’ll be the girl who looks in the mirror and just doesn’t care, because in the end it’s not that important.
xxx Al
(By the way, happy New Year 😉 )
(The illustration is my second digital experiment! Tell me tell me, do you like it?)


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