What I saw when I looked in the mirror.
So, positive body image is something I’ve struggled with for years. I don’t know where or when it started but it’s still unfortunately present in my life. My parents and family always told me I was beautiful and instilled a strong sense of self in me, but I still battle with it at times.
It was a few weekends back I was at a friends house and the topic of dating came up. Someone made a joke about something “pretty girls” always do and one of the girls answered “Yes we do” in agreement and we all laughed. Immediately, I felt a sinking feeling. It wasn’t what was said, it was the fact that I didn’t feel I could co-sign on the statement. Why did I feel this way? Well, because I didn’t see myself as one of those pretty girls mentioned in the conversation.
I’ve always thought of myself as cute and at times pretty or even beautiful when I “get it together” (meaning I have my hair done, makeup and a nice outfit on). And even then, depending on the surrounding I still may not completely feel stunning.
As I reflect, a lot of this comes from me comparing myself to others. Whether it’s at the gym or social media, I compare my features to those of other women. As Jonathan McReynolds says, “ Comparison kills ”. And it does. It rips apart your self esteem, and replaces it with envy, jealousy and self doubt; there is nothing positive about any of those.
I will say it’s easy to compare ourselves to others. I see girls with their face beat with tight clothes on or barely any clothes on having boyfriends or husbands with 10,000+ likes and it’s hard to not think that’s what you need to aspire to be. Or, when you’ve been cheated on in the past and the woman was a smaller size than you or had a more attractive feature in your opinion. It’s painful for sure and can damage your own self-image.
So with all the self image reflection what have I gained? Well here’s my list:
1. I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that’s bible [ Psalms 139:14 NKJV] (had to start with that lol)
2. Instead of comparing, compliment
Example…when I see a woman in the gym, instead of saying, “Dang, I wish my butt looked like that” (in my head), I can actually say to her “Love your outfit“ or “ You have great physique, what workouts do you do?” Taking a counter productive thought and making it a positive outcome for the both of us. To be honest, you don’t know what someone is insecure about and a small compliment can go a long way.
3. You are your own beautiful, flaws and all.
No you don’t look like everyone else…..how cool is that? You have your own unique features. Quick example, look at Lizzo or Ashley Graham. Beautiful women who are embraced for many reasons including the fact that they don’t look like everyone else and they are confident in their beauty and bodies.
4. If you don’t like it fix it.
No I don’t promote plastic surgery or anything to alter yourself (if you do hey good for you), but if you don’t like something about yourself, try something new.
Example, I don’t really like my natural hair color so I dyed my hair. I want to have a more toned body so I’m being strategic about my nutrition and workouts. Become the best version of you.
5. You have to learn to love yourself, all of you. The good, the bad, and the ugly at every stage of your life. This is the only body you have, be kind to it. Don’t let how someone sees you effect how you see yourself. Regardless if someone gets 1 million likes or you get 10, it has nothing to do with your self worth.
Like I mentioned before this is something I’m working through. The tips I mentioned are what I’ve been doing myself.
At the end of the day, it’s great to be pretty on the outside but it’s more important that you’re beautiful on
So now when I look in the mirror at my:
….I just smile and keep working on the change I want to see.
Remember, positive body image starts with being kind to yourself.
Love you loves