Cheresa Dawkins is a vlogger from London who has written a guest blog for the Be Real Campaign this month. Cheresa is a psychology graduate with a passion for social media and body confidence issues. We have been very looking forward to sharing this with you. Please do let us know what you think! #BeReal
Hi I am Cheresa Dawkins and I am a walking contradiction.
1) I love fashion – but rarely leave my house in anything other than leggings and a vest top
2) I love personal grooming – but find my hair and nails always look uncared for
3) I idolise the Kardashian girls – but the only time I can recall looking like Kim was when she was pregnant
Yes, I am a walking contradiction, but that is okay.
I read all the gossip blogs and I am fascinated with the latest styles and fitness tips that come and go from the "glorious world of the celebrity" – but that world is just not me. I can't imagine waking up an hour earlier for a gym 'sesh' or juicing fruit and veg everyday instead of picking up a 50p can of coca cola.
My stomach has not been flat since I was 15 and I am covered in stretch marks! So how am I supposed to idolise Gigi Hadid and Beyoncé, then look at myself in the mirror before work at 6.30am and be happy? I can't, it is unrealistic of me to think that my skin will be as flawless as the girls on magazine covers. It's foolish to hope that my stretch marks can be photoshopped away in reality as theirs are on printed paper. The notion that if I live by a certain diet or lather my skin in avocado and coconut oil that I will wake up in 6 months looking like Naomi Campbell (20 years ago – not now) is absurd.
So what shall I do instead? If my perception of beauty is based on what I read in the media and this is 1000 miles away from what I see in the mirror, am I supposed to reject popular culture to be happy? Perhaps. The BeReal Campaign works to change attitudes to body image and help all of us put health above appearance and be confident in our bodies. But while that work goes on, how am I, in my everyday life supposed to deal with the standard of beauty I see all around me?
The truth is, I am 21, a size 18 and imperfect. But I am faking it till I make it. I pretend to be confident every day. I listen to the compliments I get from loved ones, even when they are hard to believe. I count my blessings and try my hardest to see the beauty in my body. Yes I jiggle, but I am great for cuddles. Yes, I have stretch marks, but it shows my growth. Okay, I have a wide nose, but it means I can smell my mum's dinners just that bit better ;). Every time I do this, it truly starts to sink in and I do believe that I am enough. Perfection is not a destination or a dress size, it's a state of mind and I am working on mine.
Truth be told, there is no point comparing my body to the Kardashian's, it is a waste of valuable smiling time. We all have things we would love to have that someone else has and I promise you that YOU have beautiful features that people wish they had too. So spend some time figuring out what you like about yourself and be proud of it, we were made unique for a reason. We all have purpose (I love that new Justin Bieber song Purpose) and spend some time finding yourself so you don't waste a moment of this short life we have.Don't let your attitude about yourself consume you, find your own happiness and live it – everyday. Kisses, <3 Cheresa
You can watch the vlog that connected Cheresa with the Be Real Campaign here.
If you would like to learn more about the Be Real Campaign and how you can get involved please contact us.