Meet Kirsty Sharp, one of our fabulous cast of models! Kirsty talks about that well known feeling of not being enough, and how to overcome it. This is an amazingly honest piece about her experiences, and those stories that we need to be far more open about with one another. Get excited to see her on the runway again at future events.
I found writing this article extremely difficult, and not because I dislike writing. In fact, I actually aspire to be an artist and a writer ‘when I’m older’. It’s easy to write about something you care for and are passionate about. And it’s not that I don’t care for or am not passionate about myself – I am. I think that to survive and thrive in this world you have to be. And it’s not vain and it’s not egotistical.
You see, I found writing this article so challenging because I didn’t use to care for or be passionate about myself. In fact, I use to hate myself.
And this is not something that I like to boast about. I doubt this is something anyone likes to boast about. Believing for the best part of four years that you are ugly and fat and boring and dull is a skeleton I would rather keep locked in my closet. I cringe at the memory of being in a room full of people, a room full of my closest ‘friends’, yet feeling like I was invisible, a piece of furniture – like I may as well not be there.
If I spoke, I bore the repercussions of thousands of negative thoughts swirling around my brain like leaves on an Autumn afternoon; people’s perceived judgement of what I had said or how I had said it. So I chose to remain silent. Because silence is easier. Because silence is safe.
I didn’t like what was inside of me, but I couldn’t see a way of changing that – personality transplants weren’t a thing when I was fourteen (as far as I’m aware they’re still not a thing). So I decided to change what I could. I decided to control what I could. I decided to make the part of me that I could make likeable, likeable.
I started to restrict my diet, and exercise – compulsively. I say ‘decide’ but really it was more of a coping mechanism, a way to try and gain a false sense of control and stability in a world which is constantly changing and evolving and quite possibly the furthest thing from stability imaginable. Probably the low point of this whole endeavour was when I was on holiday with my parents somewhere in the South of France, and I ate some cheese. And to my sixteen-year-old self this sliver of cheese was about the worst possible thing that could have happened. So, I stole myself away from my family and the table to run to the bathroom to do star jumps… and sob… because doing both burns more calories, you know.
I would like to think that I am different now, that that Kirsty is one unrecognisable to the one sat here writing this article. That that Kirsty is dead. Which is why resurrecting her is so difficult. Because I’m afraid that if people know what I used to be like, they might realise that somewhere deep inside I still am that cripplingly insecure sixteen-year-old girl crying (and doing cheese-induced exercise) in a bathroom in France.
But let’s be real, we have all cried about cheese (or something equally as insignificant, yet tasty) at some point in our lives. There’s a part inside all of us telling us that we are not and never will be good enough, worthy of love and of value in and of ourselves. It’s just about how much you choose to ignore that voice, how much you choose to tune it out and replace it with other, better voices (I don’t actually hear voices just FYI).
And I’d like to say that it was easy. That learning to love yourself, nay that learning to like yourself is a quick and simple process that you can find the three-point plan for on any good lifestyle blog. But it’s not. In fact, it’s pretty f*cking difficult.
It’s an uphill struggle, one which I embark on every day.
When I wake up in the morning I make the choice to believe that I am enough. I make the choice to push myself out of my comfort zone, to push myself out of myself.
For the only way to enough, is believing that you are. And acting like you are, is the first step to believing that you are. Because the more you are, the more you become.