AD – This is a paid advertorial and contains pr samples but all thoughts are my own
I’ve been putting more effort into taking care of myself since the beginning of December. I hired a fitness coach, who helped me establish some healthier habits, create tailored workouts for me and motivate me to try meal prepping and just generally live a more healthier lifestyle. Since then, I’m definitely feeling a lot better about myself.
Which is good because self esteem has always been QUITE the issue for me. Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve struggled with self esteem and body dysmorphia. I’ve had the odd bout of disordered eating as well as going through phases of extreme and unhealthy exercise. It’s been a ride, let me tell you. But I’m certainly not the only woman to experience things like this.
Sadly, our media is hell bent on making women feel sh*t about themselves. Their whole agenda, since the dawn of advertising, is to show you what you *should* look like. And anything outside of that very specific mold needed fixing. It’s sad. I remember in sixth form, we were invited to a University lecture, where we were shown these two campaigns from DOVE:
And they stuck with me so heavily ever since. I would highly recommend giving them a watch when you’ve finished reading this post. So the fact that the blogging and influencer industry is so on board with talking about self love and self care and celebrating bodies in all shapes and sizes is a wonderful contrast to the media agenda we grew up with.
For me, taking the photos needed for this blog post was quite a challenge. I still look at myself and pick out everything I don’t like, think about how I’d “rather” look and compare myself to others. But I think the more we see bodies of all types, the better. I’m on a self love journey and taking these photos for this wonderful brand was a part of that!
Introducing IDentity Lingerie
This post is written in collaboration with IDentity Lingerie, a beautiful, sustainable, family-run business in Lincolnshire in the UK. IDentity Lingerie products are handmade in Europe with high quality fabrics in an environmentally friendly manner, with handmade production allowing each piece to feel like a custom order.
Their on demand production allows us to efficiently manage our stock levels without hurting the environment by unnecessary overproduction and consequent disposal of unsold goods. And due to having a small handmade production, this allows the pieces to be of much higher quality.
I was kindly sent some pieces from IDentity Lingerie but before even receiving them, I was overwhelmed with the beautiful choices available on their website. Their pieces, although perhaps a slightly higher price point than your high street retailer, reflect the quality and the craftsmanship that goes into hand-making each piece.
You’ll be investing in a piece that’s going to serve you year after year, a pair of pyjamas that you’re going to wear again and again without a drop in quality over time. I chose their Japanese Silk Pyjama Set as my first piece – I’ve gone a bit mad for dark green lately so these caught my eye immediately.
They’re so soft and comfortable. Made from 60% Japanese silk, they feel absolutely heavenly on your skin and are an absolute dream to sleep in. No pun intended. This particular style also come in black, burgundy, pink, gold, navy, white, green and purple – so there’s a colour to suit everyone!
The second piece/s I chose was this set – although they are sold separately. The Triangle Longline Lace Bralette Bra and the matching Lace Thong. Now I’m far from adventurous when it comes to underwear. I’m actually more edging on an elderly woman in her 80’s with what I wear, than a almost 30 year old Woman.
I thought this set was a great choice because it’s quite subtle but it’s VERY beautiful. The lace detailing and the pattern is absolutely exquisite and both parts fit like a dream. The bralette is extremely comfortable and I know I’ll be wearing this a LOT, especially in Summer under loose fitting tops.
I am so impressed with IDentity Lingerie, their ethos, their branding, their customer service and of course their products. They are the type of brand that remind me why we should always at least try and buy from smaller businesses when we can because I know a sale for them would be a THOUSAND times more worthwhile than that of a high street retailer.
And not to mention, you’re getting items which are higher quality which you know the whole process from creation, to marketing, to packaging is done with so much love and care. With Valentine’s Day coming up, I can’t think of a better brand to invest from and treat yourself with this year!
IDentity Lingerie also kindly sent me a few of their wonderful silk face mask, which I recently wore on a train journey and I really liked. The silk is a MUCH nicer feeling on your face than cloth face masks, so I’d highly recommend checking those out too!
With that said, if you’re ready to embrace self love and stick two fingers up to the advertising industry out to make you feel bad about yourself, here are 5 things to remember on your self love journey:
You deserve love and respect, even if you don’t love and respect yourself
I absolutely cannot stand this notion that in order for somebody else to love you, you have to love yourself first. It’s horsesh*t. Excuse the language. Because you absolutely deserve love and respect from other people, even if you struggle with self love yourself.
Self love is a life-long journey. There will always be things we want to improve on with ourselves, whether that’s aesthetics like toning up or losing weight (which is absolutely okay to want, as long as you’re doing it for YOU) or whether it’s something more internal.
But regardless of what it is, you don’t have to wait until you fully love yourself to accept love from others into your life. You’re ALLOWED to not love yourself whilst being loved by someone else.
You are not your body, you have a body
I saw this quote the other day and it really stuck with me. At first it kinda freaked me out. The notion that this is just the body you were given at birth to house everything that you are. It’s temporary. It’s just something you’re borrowing for your time on Earth.
And I guess it’s down to your beliefs but I think that’s a really lovely thing to consider. Your body doesn’t define you. But it IS something that you should look after in order to make your Earthly experience better.
Exercise is never and should never be a punishment
Oh boy. This is one that gets under my skin. Any comment around “doing a workout because I had a takeaway last night” really can get in the bin. Exercise should never be a punishment for food and fueling your body.
Of course there are boundaries. But as long as you’re exercising and moving your body in a way that feels good for YOU because you enjoy it and it feels beneficial to do so, then that’s all that matters. Not to burn off that cake you ate with lunch.
Self love and self care is more than just bubble baths and candles
It absolutely can be. Bubble baths and candles are GREAT. I could spend hours in a bubble bath. But that is very surface level self care and self love and if that’s ALL you’re doing, then you might be resisting uncovering what’s really going on under the surface.
Self care can be messy. There can be tears. Screaming. Uncovering unsettling things and limiting beliefs that you didn’t even realise you had. But those are incredibly important steps to take.
You don’t owe anybody an explanation
And finally, you don’t owe ANYONE an explanation for what you’re doing in your own self love journey. Whether that’s losing weight, gaining weight, changing your hair, packing your bags, getting tattoos, moving abroad, starting a new job, picking up a new hobby.
Our self love journeys are so personal. You cannot expect someone else to understand why you’re doing what you’re doing, just like you’re unlikely to understand their reasons too.
I really loved working with IDentity Lingerie on this post. Talking about self love and self care is always my favourite type of content but this brand and their products also allowed me to step wayyyy out of my comfort zone with the images. And you know what? I actually felt super sexy taking these!
Which of these reminders are you taking with you today? Have you tried anything from IDentity Lingerie before?
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