Summer is right around the corner and we are more than ready to shed the layers of winter. But what if you don’t like what you see underneath? The flood of altered media photos as well as the constant barrage of unrealistic body images on Social Media Feeds collectively has a negative impact on our self image. Common feelings include a sense of inadequacy, self loathing and insecurity. Eating disorders are on the rise. Women are undergoing invasive and unnecessary procedures at a younger age, while aspiring to society’s unhealthy image of perfection. Only to find the closer one gets to the distorted beauty myth, the harsher and louder the inner critic becomes.
Negative Self Image is best healed through the mind, not the mirror. The way we talk to ourselves has a profound effect on our sense of well being. When negative chatter is at its highest is when we need the most self love. Your body is home to your soul and your mind, both of which tend to expand as we age and have children. Perhaps we need a bigger body to contain all the love and wisdom we collect in our lifetime. Go easy as learning to love oneself is a lifelong journey. One way to silence the inner critic is to keep a photo of yourself as a child close by. When you see that picture, remember yourself as a child that needs acceptance and unconditional love.
Our children look to us as role models and we have the opportunity to heal the next generation. Naomi Wolf stated “A Mother who radiates self love and self acceptance actually vaccinates her daughter against low self esteem.” Young boys need positive female role models so they grow up loving the women in their lives for who they are, not how they look. Give your children a head start defining their worth by nurturing what makes them unique with no pressure to conform to external forces.
Create healthy habits for the sake of your well being. Feed your cells with nutrient dense food and exercise to release the feel good endorphins. Think of the amazing feats your body is able to accomplish in the course of a lifetime. We have a tendency to take this for granted until we stop to take a breath and remember we are a truly amazing piece of machinery. Be the best that you can be. We are taught to constantly compare ourselves to those around us. Embrace who you are in the body you are in and all the wonderful things it can do, like creating and sustaining life. Remember the people who adore you just as you are, your dearest friends and family, loving partner and the children you have created.
What we perceive as faults can actually enhance the appearance if you are able to accept yourself as is and love your imperfections. People remember how you make them feel more than how you look. We have all had the experience of being around someone so engaged with life and those around her she radiates that love to the world. We tend to want to stay close to these souls as the feeling is contagious.
Try sending forgiveness to the parts of yourself you don’t like, and gratitude for how hard your body works for you each day. Strive to feel elegant, proud, graceful and strong. Compliment others when you notice a special trait or spark that makes them unique. This will start a new paradigm for beauty in our society that embraces the Flawesome in everyone.