It’s harder than ever to feel good about your body, which is one of the saddest statements we have ever had to write. Nonetheless, it is true. To see how much the “ideal body” has changed in the past hundred years is staggering, mind-blowing and, dare we say, disappointing too. You had the Mae West loo of the thirties, where curves were there to be emphasised; then there were the busty hourglass figures of the fifties, championed by the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Betty Page; and now we have a world dominated by social media where everyone thinks they need to look like a Victoria’s Secret Angel – tall, thin and leggy.
Looking in the mirror should be met with acceptance, contentment and gratitude. But, for too many people, catching a glance of a mirror is now met with shame and disappointment. However, you are not alone in feeling like this. Poor body image is becoming more and more prevalent these days and so it has become an issue that a lot of us have to deal with. Yes, we know it is what’s on the inside that should count, but that doesn’t help. Not all the time. Especially not when we are standing in the changing room of some department store, under the harsh spotlight that seems to illuminate all our flaws, leaving the clothes we had picked up behind as we leave the store wearing nothing new, just that defeated look.
If you can relate to this, then read on because we have pulled together a collage of tips that have helped our readers overcome their body shames and genuinely start appreciating what they were given.
- Delete All Those Apps
What we see on a daily basis has a huge amount of influence over the way we feel about ourselves, which is why you should start to censor what you look at and where you go for your information. Instagram is great, but not if you are following a bunch of Insta-models that were blessed with a high metabolism and the ability to say no to dessert. Stop following these people. It is a toxic mirror. And stop ready all those beauty and gossip magazines that are designed to make you feel bad about yourself. These are all image-focused, and the image they are focused on is wholly unrealistic and edited.
- Focus On More Positive Things
Instead of looking at highly edited pictures of celebrities, what you should do instead is place more value on the things that matter; the things that will positively influence your self-image. We’re talking about travel blogs, wellness websites and magazines that focus on people’s entrepreneurial accomplishments. These are things that will motivate you, inspire you and help you see the truly interesting things in life. Not some fantastically beautiful tell you she only ever eats pizza.
- Every Body Is Different
Your body is totally unique to you. That is what makes it so beautiful. The reason the Mona Lisa is so priceless is that it is the only one in the world, remember that. Your metabolism is different, your shape is unique, everything is yours and yours alone, which is something to be celebrated and understood. What we mean by this is, well, when you workout, workout at a gym that will focus on your fitness journey which, if you want to, you can read more about it here. When you dress yourself, dress to your shape, style and comfort because if you get this right then you’ll wear the only thing that completes an outfit; your smile. You are a one-off, which means there is no point in leading a life where you believe everything is one-size fits all. Instead, tailor your choices to you. That’s all anyone can do.
- Touch Yourself Now And Then
Before you get carried away with the sub-title, think back to the last time you visited the hairdresser you had your hair washed or massaged, or the last time you treated yourself to a little spa session, or the last time you were given an “oh my god, I missed you” hug or even just a little shoulder rub. Each of these things feels amazing and the reason they feel amazing is touch is one of the most powerful – and we mean powerful – ways of feeling great about yourself and your body. Yes, all of these examples are of someone else touching you in a loving-slash-caring fashion, but that doesn’t mean they cannot be emulated. Wash your hair the same way the hairdresser did and massage your face when you moisturise. Both of these will make you feel great about yourself. You will start to love your body again.
- Find Yourself A Passion
The reason we have popped this little nugget of wisdom onto our list is simple: those people that have a passion or a purpose don’t have time to care what society may think of the way they look. They are too busy enjoying themselves and getting things done. It could be that you love making your own clothes, or nipping off to your spare bedroom-cum-painting room, or you just can’t get enough of being a parent, or you’re really into your job, or you just love keeping your garden perfectly manicured with a neat lawn care program. Whatever it is, by having something you can get really-really into, you’ll find you’re much more satisfied with who you are than when you were panicking about what to wear to go grocery shopping.
The thing you need to understand about self-image and the way you view yourself in the mirror is this: it is not an attribute you have to keep hold of. It is more a habit that you have fallen into. You are letting other people – people who have the same body reservations as you – dictate the way you feel. Stop it. You are amazing and, when you go through troughs of not feeling amazing, simple take a deep breath and fake it. That always works.