Proud2Bme | On Style Blogging and Body Image

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On Style Blogging and Body Image

By Nicole Seligman--I started my blog writes like a girl in 2011, but began my journey with disordered eating so long ago I can’t really remember anymore.

Blogging is interesting because you can record life events with a date and time, and even photos that you can look back on and know exactly what happened and when. I blog to share my outfits and my thoughts on life as a twenty-something woman, but so much more is documented in the process.

I’ll never forget the first major body-related outfit post meltdown I had. I was sitting on my boyfriend’s bed in his apartment, looking through photos I had snapped earlier in the day of a cute outfit with a pencil skirt. I started sobbing uncontrollably because all I could see were my hips wearing the skirt wrong; wearing it differently than it had looked on the model online. By this point I was years into disordered eating, and my warped perception of my body was an endless obstacle in following my passion of style blogging.

From the very start of my blog, I was open with my readers about my struggles with disordered eating, as well as depression and anxiety. This transparency gave me strength to write and publish some really important posts, but also produced a level of fragility behind the scenes. I would often find myself sweating and crying in my closet in the middle of the night trying to reconcile the fact that I loved my clothes, but could not love them on my body. I would skip meals leading up to taking outfit photos, and then binge after I was wholly disappointed in the results. The practice of blogging is so much more than it seems.

In 2013, I started my first full-time job. This new schedule provided a great deal of stability in my life, which helped with my depression and anxiety tremendously. The schedule also meant that I was in the same place at the same time with the same people every day during at least one meal time, if not two. Not eating breakfast at work is one thing, but it wasn’t long before my co-workers started noticing that I also wasn’t eating lunch, if anything at all. Having this job gave me, at first, a sense of pressure to need to nourish myself in front of my peers to avoid their commentary, but eventually became sense of responsibility to nourish myself because it’s what my body needed.

As I began eating more than one meal a day, my body began to drastically change shape and size. I put on a significant amount of weight in a very short amount of time. All the while, I was still posting outfit photos to my blog. It’s simultaneously terrifying and gratifying to see this change in my physical self all in one place, on my blog, over the course of just a few months. The hips I thought were so obscene years ago had filled out substantially since then. I wanted to cherish this new part of myself. I wanted to embrace the space I now occupied. Still, I was shocked to see how much my body could grow and how unlike my perception of myself it could appear.

During this transition in my body, I also shifted from taking my own outfit photos to having a wonderful photographer and friend take them for me. Seeing myself through her lens helped me feel less critical because the images had already gone through another filter before making their way to me. The addition of a trusted partner in the process made me feel more confident in sharing the photos, my outfits, and myself.

One of the main goals of my blog has been to establish a safe place for my readers. I’ve written about my personal experiences ranging from dressing room woes and discovering that the number on the tag of a pair of jeans is totally subjective to my constantly contradicting feelings about empowerment and disappointment in my body. In order for me to share these intimate stories, I needed to know that my readers were my allies, not my enemies. By creating this space, I crafted a little corner of the Internet for me to be genuine and for my readers to reflect that back to me with their own incredible stories and experiences.

It sounds silly to say that posting photos of yourself online is anything but vain, but for me, style blogging has always been an act of bravery. When I hit publish on a blog post, I’m telling my body and the world that I am okay with myself in my current state, whatever that may be. That acceptance is something I worked hard for, and my blog is a testament to that.

About this blogger: Nicole is a body positive style blogger, podcast co-host, and ISFP. She loves cats, fashion, pop culture, and intersectional feminism. Nicole believes in Sisterhood, good hair days, and the power of the right outfit. Follow her on Twitter @nicolahearts and find more of her work on her blog Writes Like A Girl and on Breakfast for Dinner Podcast.

For more on fashion blogging:

Street Style Blogging: Where Fashion & Feminism Play Nice

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About Us

Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

Proud2Bme was first launched in the Netherlands by Riverduinen, a mental health organization that has licensed the concept to the National Eating Disorders Association. Unless otherwise noted, all original content on this site is copyright The National Eating Disorders Association. The Proud2Bme brand, logos, and trademarks are property of Rivierduinen.