We are our own worst critic. At least, I know I can be at the best of times, especially when it comes to certain areas inside and out. Talking about body image feels very personal to me, but in saying so, I feel that many people may feel the same. We all have something we are conscious of regardless of what other people may say. The reason practicing self love is so important, is because it allows us to accept ourselves wholly. Throughout the years, I have told my body certain things that are not true. It encouraged negative feelings towards my body, which can be so terribly damaging. Your body is keeping you alive. It is what works hard to keep you healthy and it wants you to enjoy life as much as possible. Speaking words of kindness and feeling comfortable in your body, will affect many aspects of your life.
In a visual society, we can be extremely observant of ourselves and the people around us. It’s in those moments, we need to take a step back and realise that it doesn’t matter what the heck other people think. There may always be someone who will judge one on the colour of their skin, the shape of their eyes, their physique or the texture of their hair. What ever it may be, you are the only person who can embrace and accept yourself as much as possible, without letting any words that may come in your mind or through your ears affect your perception of your true self.
Things I have said to my body that aren’t true:
1) You need to have a larger chest to be more feminine. When I was in my early teenage years, I always had an A cup which is one of the most petite sizes you can have. I was always the teenager who wore sports bras and camisoles. Today, I don’t wear bras unless I am exercising or wearing something a bit more lower cut. I embrace my body, because I wouldn’t want to alter it in anyway. Just know that whatever size you are, you are beautiful. A larger chest is thought of as feminine because it gives you more of a figure. I have previously written about the perks of having small breasts here and here.
2) If you lose more weight in your legs, you will feel happier. Being Skinny won’t make you happy. Happiness is a feeling. We sometimes materialise happiness. I don’t think true happiness can come from image or objects, but it is ultimately something that we experience and something we choose. Happiness is a choice. The idea that having thin legs would make one feel happy, really comes down to when I read various fashion magazines in my teen years. I thought to myself that having thinner legs were attractive. These days, I am happy to be healthy and have legs that are able to walk where ever I need to go. I am grateful for them being my main source of travel.
3) The more weight you lose, the better you’ll feel. This touches on the previous point on losing weight. In the media, there is a huge connection in losing weight and being happier. That is also similar with the connection that the more money you have, the happier you will be. Both are not necessarily true, because (as mentioned) happiness is a choice, regardless of the current situation. I used to think that looking as thin as I could be would make me feel beautiful, pretty and attractive. It’s not about losing weight, it’s really about living in a body that you feel most healthy and confident in.
4) I need a perfectly flat stomach to be attractive. I used to really believe this when I was 15. I ate very poorly after leaving home for the first year. At the uni hall I lived at they provided every meal, but I often skipped meals and bought boxes of cereals. I would end up having cereal for lunch and dinner several times a week, which is incredibly unhealthy and is also very unkind towards your body. Your metabolism actually slows down when you eat less and less. Eating a healthy and well balanced diet while exercising and drinking enough water, will maintain your metabolism. Every body shape is attractive, so long as you feel attractive in it. No one can tell you any different.
5) If my lashes were longer, I’d feel more beautiful. I feel like this one could be dedicated to a whole post itself. Mascara was the very first makeup that I started wearing as a teenager. It made me feel more uplifted when I was having a day where I just wanted to feel more awake. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I don’t like the idea of wearing fake lashes, because I have previously worn it once, and it tore my natural lashes. I wear a lot less makeup now, compared to my teenage years. My beauty routine is much more focused on skincare. We make up these definitions of what is beautiful, but really, your natural self is the most beautiful self you can be. I know that it is said often (and often not truly grasped), but it’s so incredibly true. No makeup can make up for your natural beauty.