Updated: Aug 16, 2021
“I’m done shrinking myself for the comfort of others”. @alexandria_anderton . I saw Alex’s post today and it really hit home with me. This is a message not just about the size of our bodies. Also about the size and shape of our personalities.
I’ve spoken a lot about struggles I had when moving to Lincolnshire 7 years ago. I arrived confident, knowing who I was, having had my quirks, my extra , my ridiculous way of dressing celebrated , smiled at, appreciated. All of that extra didn’t sit quite as easily in the Wolds.
This wasn’t the case with everyone, but I muted myself, how I spoke, who I shared my full personality with more and more so as not to be judged, talked about behind my back, which was the biggest thing I could never get my head around.
People I didn’t know, so uncomfortable with who I was that they would talk shit about me, make wild stories up for gossip. I thought it would go away when people realised I was a cool girl who was just a bit of an extravaganza, but someone kind, who wanted other girls and women to find their confidence too. But it never did. And I hated being half of myself so I retreated to a handful of friends I knew would kick up a fuss if they heard a bad word said about me (when I say a handful I mean 5) and the kids who came into my studio. I force fed them confidence and big sister advice . Helped them reach for the stars, and they just let me be myself and loved me for it.
I had so desperately wanted the huge group of crazy friends I had had in London. The guaranteed support in any situation, that I had shrunk myself, my outfits, my extra, down to something a bit less magical in order. to fit in and it wasn’t authentic.
I felt more comfortable because then whatever people saw and said it wasn’t about me, it was about a girl I created, a girl who was about 15% me .
The only people who got 💯 Sam were those in my little world at my studio (and Jackie). I loved seeing them shine with new found confidence. I loved taking them to shoots in London and even Ibiza, Venice, Nice , I wanted them to know the world was theirs and that they could and should be themselves in it.
The smaller I cut the circle around myself, the more I was me. Last year, in lockdown, I found TikTok. I posted on it, people thought I was funny, a bit ridiculous, they said I gave them confidence. I started to get messages from girls who wanted advice, motivation, I answered every last one (I still do).
Soon I had an army of girls & gays and theys from all over the U.K. and the world.
None cared how I sounded or how I dressed, they saw me for the things I did and the words I used. The saw me for the advice I gave. The more people from entirely different worlds related to me, the more comfortable I was to share my actual life, as it was. Unapologetically.
I feel stupid for changing myself.
I don’t think I noticed to begin with, it was small bit by small bit at a time. We all have a list of die hard friends and a list that you aren’t 100% sure would have your back if someone was slating you. Cut them. Chop them out of your life. If someone is your friend, you know. There’s no question mark. GET RID OF YOUR B LIST.
If you end up with two friends and a bottle of tequila, and those two friends know and love you at full size, full volume ..that’s more than you had before. ❤️