Yesterday I wrote a post related to an often overlooked aspect of mental health problems but I mentioned that the focus of the month was body image. I got that wrong. It’s only the focus of this week.
I’ve been unhappy in the past with how I’ve looked but it hasn’t ever been a big concern for me; not enough that I feel I have anything meaningful to say on the matter. But it’s an important topic to talk about and a good friend of mine did just that yesterday.
James O’Keeffe may not have a specific platform for which to talk about things but the dude is not just an extremely talented musician and songwriter. He also often has very good things to say on a variety of matters. With his permission the rest of today’s blog post is what he had to say on the topic of body image in relation to mental health.
I’d really like to have more guest writers on here in the future so if you have something to say but just want somewhere to put it feel free to contact me.
(This picture was taken ten years ago... we look so youthful in our early twenties!)
So we are smack bang in the middle of Mental Health Awareness week and I think I’m right in saying that the ‘theme’ this year is around body image. I haven’t really gone on about mental health in a while, I’ve been trying to focus on accepting who I am and being comfortable with what I’m not.
Because I will never be a macho strong-jawed, ripped Levi’d, broody mid-distance staring perfectly-shaved-stubble kinda guy.
I won’t be someone who dominates conversation or who garners the admiration of watchers on to my social interactions.
I’ll never catch the eye of the popular ones, never be cool, never be a trail blazer.
I’ll never be 6 foot, never have any of David Beckham’s hair cuts and never possess bulging pectoralis major muscles that I can flex independent of one another in time to ‘Everybody Dance Now’.
But I will smile, regardless of my crooked teeth. I will always laugh that goofy, loud, overbearing laugh that comes from deep within because it is earnest and truthful and honest to god it makes me feel free.
I don’t give a fuck how my clothes look anymore, I wear what makes me FEEL confident and positive about my body.
I’m never gonna be happy in my own skin but luckily for me, that shit is all exterior - and I’m so fucking past all that now.
I’m just happy that I can openly say nice things to people. I’m happy that I genuinely care about people. I’m happy that I have come from being someone who felt rotten inside to being someone who makes a difference once in a while.
I’m just happy being me and lord knows every single one of us deserves to feel that too.