Today’s world is obsessed with the perfect body image. Wherever we go, at every corner, we are attacked with pictures of girls showing sometimes more than we are willing to see.
Huge billboards on shops exhibit what modern society wants us to see: the Photoshop-perfect body of an inhumanly thin young girl, with breasts too large to be true, a non-existent waist and unblemished alabaster-white skin.
We know on some level that what we are forcibly exposed to is not how most women look. However, the effect it has on human thinking is so powerful and pervasive that people start comparing the myth to what they actually look like.
The result is wanting what we cannot have, and the destruction of both our own self-esteem and the picture other people see when they look at us.
What is left is only depression, self-pity and a completely wrong opinion.
What society forgets about is that everybody is different.
Some are thinner, some are thicker… some are short, and others are a bit taller… I am pale and your skin is darker. And that’s completely okay because we were born this way, and thinking that we can change the way we were born is complete nonsense.
Instead, what we should focus on is coming to terms with what we have and feeling good in our own skin.
As a girl with curves, I also had to learn how to accept what I have – and let me tell you, it was a struggle. As a teenager, seeing all those pictures of fake perfection, I was convinced that this is what I needed to be in order to be accepted and loved.
I was trying to achieve the impossible.
And so I stopped eating, started exercising excessively, lost weight, then gained it back again; a never-ending rollercoaster of trying to be “perfect”.
Growing up, I slowly realized that there are more important things and that no one can dictate to me how I should look.
Ultimately, I have to live in my skin for the rest of my life, so I’d better take good care of it.
Mirror, mirror on the wall.
So you think that the best way to not feel bad about yourself is avoiding your reflection in the mirror? Let me break it to you real slow: You are wrong. The mental effects of seeing yourself in the mirror can actually change your perception of your body.
Just standing there and slowly accepting what you see can be helpful.
This is what I look like, maybe my stomach is a bit wobbly… or my waist is wider than my sister’s… I am taller, but that’s okay because only I can reach the cookie jar from the highest shelf in the kitchen. You see? It has its perks.
Pep talk does not make you look mental.
We all talk to ourselves, accept it or not, it doesn’t make you a crazy person. Instead of secretly whining that the dinner at 10 p.m. wasn’t necessary, try to focus on what you like about yourself and how proud you are to be you.
Maybe you are a new mom, so instead of hating your post-baby body, be proud that you could carry a new human being for such a long time.
Do your thighs touch? So what? So do mine, and I am proud that I am one step closer to becoming a mermaid. How cool is that!?
Look good, feel good.
For most us, making the effort to look good (whatever that means to us), makes us feel good inside. It is an instant confidence-booster. Some feel good rocking the au naturel look on a daily basis, others like “going to town” with painted nails, a fully made-up face and perfectly styled hair.
Well, do it if it makes you feel good, because feeling good will radiate from you and other people will notice that, saying: “Damn, look at her/him, looking good!”
So, don’t obsess over something that is totally unattainable for you. Instead, embrace yourself and what you have, and remember that everybody is different. If we all were the same, can you imagine how boring it would be? Difference makes us beautiful, so I don’t know about you, but I would much rather be a unicorn.