Self Image: What the Outdoors Taught Me

I used to hate everything about myself, face, body and personality.

I used to analyse those women I saw on TV and in magazines, wondering why their legs didn’t have cellulite like mine? Or how their faces were so flawless.

Why couldn’t mine be like that?

If someone said I look beautiful, I would say “are you taking the piss” or “you should see me without my face paint [make up] on”.

It got to the point where I wouldn’t go out to socialise without a full face of make up on and my hair done.

Self image

When people gave me positive feedback about my looks or hair, I would be thinking “what happens if those people see me without make up on? OMG!”

This made me put more pressure on myself. It was a vicious circle.

Edinburgh Marathon Running

I was always a runner and climber. This was a place where I raw Sarah came out to play. Zero makeup, no nice clothes or fancy hair do.

Before the days of Instagram and Twitter, I started to venture more into hiking and mountain biking. This was another time where I didn’t wear any make up, fancy clothes or hair.

As time went by, the mountains took up most of my week (apart from my full time job). My evenings and weekends consist of mountain sports. Which means I had more time with the “raw me”.


In Germany, people got to know me as the raw Sarah and they didn’t judge me for it. Gradually I became more comfortable with the raw me than the dolled up me.

Big step: When I joined Twitter and Instagram in 2018, I started to post photos of me without make up, nice clothes or nice hair.

And you know what? People like me for me.

Gradually I have learnt that I will never be like those girls who wear lots of make up in the mountains, nor will I be that girl who posts summit photos wearing nothing but a sports bra and tiny shorts. You know those types, yeah?

I won’t be that woman, but instead, I am finally a woman who is comfortable with her looks and personality. The raw version of herself.

The outdoors taught me to be me. The mountains won’t judge me and the people who I meet there also don’t judge me.

Raw you is beautiful. Be you.

2 thoughts on “Self Image: What the Outdoors Taught Me

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