Josie Bicknelle - May 24 2023

Summertime self-hatred

As the sunshine slowly creeps its way back into our lives again, I wanted to discuss my thoughts and feelings on body image around the summertime. I’m in no way claiming that I have the ability to write from every person’s experience - this is just mine.

If you are sensitive to topics around body image, please know I will be discussing it openly in this blog post and you may not want to read further if that is going to be a triggering subject for you.

Regardless of gender or age, I think the summertime can be a really challenging time for a lot of people. If you’re like me, you enjoy the comfort of hiding away under oversized jumpers and baggy trousers during the wintertime.

As a tall girl, who can’t necessarily be described as stick thin - like most of the models and influencers we are constantly being bombarded with online these days - wrapping myself up in the safety of a knitted cardigan in the colder months makes me feel smaller; it becomes less easy to detect what my body type actually is.

I also completely contradict myself during these months - I enjoy the comfort of hiding my body, while simultaneously being excited by the prospect of donning a floral dress and sandals in the months to come.

Inevitably, of course, the first days of spring roll around, and I scold myself for ever willing the cold to go away.

As I’m writing this, we’re currently in the last weeks of May, and I’m wearing a floral silk slip dress with a blue cardigan and sandals. Getting dressed this morning, I stared at myself in the mirror for a good 15 minutes before resigning and asking Rob if I looked silly. He told me I was being stupid; that it was all in my head and I look beautiful.

It’s a perfectly lovely and suitable outfit I’m wearing, considering the 18 degree summer heat, but for whatever reason my brain is telling me that it’s the opposite; it’s not even properly summer yet, my stomach is sticking out in a way that makes me look 4 months pregnant, and my skin is too pale to be showing so much of it off. Plus, the second I take my cardigan off the world is going to know that my arms have a tiny bit of fat on them.

Ridiculously, I’m in complete solitude today, too, sitting at my mum’s dining room table typing this out. No one is going to see me today, and yet I’m still checking my reflection in the mirror every chance I get, making sure I don’t look ‘weird’.

The thing is though, I know that if some of you out there were to see me out and about today, you might actually be jealous of me.

I’m not trying to seem conceited, but I know for a fact that just as I envy other women’s bodies that are slimmer than mine, that there are some women out there who would envy my body in the exact same way.

The point that I’m trying to make is that no matter how alone you feel in being self conscious and comparative about your body during summer, you are definitely not alone. The women you’re comparing yourselves to on Instagram, or Tiktok, or in person, are also getting dressed in the morning and feeling silly about themselves.

I know that it’s not just women who feel this way, too. Rob has a perfectly healthy 24-year-old body, and yet he’s admitted he still feels self conscious taking his shirt off in public, or walking around in a tshirt that makes his arms ‘look small’ - (they don’t).

Summertime can be a difficult and conflicting time for absolutely everybody, and that’s why I wanted to make our ‘Hot Girl Summer’ collection.

We have a unique opportunity with our hidden message candles to spread love and positivity, and that was the aim with this collection. I wanted people to be able to buy one of these candles either for themselves or for a friend, and to be able to see the message reveal itself and feel a little bit more confident within themselves.

The messages I chose were: ‘You’re So Fucking Hot’, ‘Bad Bitch Energy’, and my personal fave, ‘Main Character Energy’.

I like the idea that you could burn one of these candles on your vanity whilst getting ready to go out, and just as you're about to leave, go to blow the candle out and get a little reminder that you deserve to leave the house with confidence.

They also smell fucking delicious, too - like the ripest, juiciest peaches you’ve ever tasted.

If you take anything away from this blog post, I hope it’s reassurance that you might not be as alone in your feelings as you think you are. There are many others out there, like me, who know exactly how you feel when you get dressed in the morning for sunny weather.

Let’s make sure that this summer we remind ourselves that we, too, are allowed to feel just as confident and beautiful as the girls that we compare ourselves to. It’s hot girl summer after all!

Some more blog posts you might like...

It's time for a change

Jun 06, 2023 Josie Bicknelle

Summertime self-hatred

May 24, 2023 Josie Bicknelle

We're going to Japan!

May 12, 2023 Josie Bicknelle


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