Mirror, mirror on the wall, who has the perfect body of them all? Why, of course, you do! There has never been anyone quite like you in the history of humans, nor will there ever be. Then why is our society so caught up in body shaming when we each have unique qualities that make us individuals?
Thanks to global media, you are continually being assaulted by images of what they consider the perfect body. Of course, they fail to mention that these models are often malnourished, and the photos are tweaked with light, makeup, camera, and computer tricks. These fake silicone-injected models display expensive goods and services and suggest that they will make you just as beautiful, successful, and wealthy.
These images and advertisements subliminally promote body shaming, and we continue to buy into the sham. Average Americans sink billions of dollars annually into the beauty and diet industry, hoping for miraculous results. It’s a slippery slope that can bankrupt you financially, emotionally, and spiritually.
How can you boost your self-confidence and finally discover self-acceptance? Many Hollywood stars are speaking out against body shaming and are sharing their stories of overcoming poor body images. Although former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was often cruelly criticized for not measuring up to society’s beauty standards, she remarked that nobody could make her feel inferior without her permission.
10 Ways to End Body Shaming and Love the Skin You’re In
It’s time to start accepting and loving yourself just as you are. You don’t need a product or service to make you just as good as anyone else, because you already are. Consider these ten reasons why you will no longer need or tolerate body shaming in your life.
1. You are Unique
Even identical twins have unique fingerprints and genetic makeup. Nature abounds with countless variety and individualism, so why would humans want to be any different? Instead of fighting against having a diverse body, embrace it.
You must revel in the body you have. If someone has a problem with your body, it’s their problem and not yours. You must love yourself to the fullest.
2. You have Redefined Beauty for Yourself
Each era and culture have its definition of beauty, so why can’t you? Not every culture values skinny figures, overly processed hair, or artificially plumped bosoms. You will be hard-pressed to find any of these fake images in an average crowd at the grocery store.
Make it a habit to notice people when you are in a group. Notice how different colors of skin, eyes, hair, and body shapes weave an intricate quilt of beauty. Take a cue from nature and find joy and grace in being different.
3. You’ve Made Friends with Your Body
Body shaming creates a culture of self-loathing with negative consequences. Eating disorders are still a life-threatening epidemic, especially among young women. The hallmark of these often- fatal mental diseases is a distorted body image.
Talk to your professional healthcare provider about the diet and lifestyle that is right for you. Make it a habit of looking in the mirror every day and love yourself. If you need to lose a few pounds, do it out of love and appreciation, not hate.
4. You Show Gratitude Every Day
It’s normal to feel a little blue and down on yourself occasionally. One way to start loving yourself again is to practice gratitude. Since it’s a practice, you must do it regularly to see positive results.
When was the last time you were grateful for your life and who you are? These blessings are more important than any material gain. If you think you’ve nothing to be thankful for, then visit a few hospitals and nursing homes and talk to folks who would give anything to have your health and vitality.
Consider keeping a gratitude journal or writing positive affirmations on sticky notes to place around your house. Whenever you enter your journal or see a happy note stuck to your mirror, you will be reminded of all the beautiful things that make you unique.
5. You’ve Learned to Eliminate the Negative
Body shaming is a devastating force that thrives in a negative environment. Once you have decided to defeat it with self-confidence, you will discover other negative influences that must go. Cultivating a loving and positive atmosphere takes work and determination, but you are up for the challenge.
You work too hard for your money and resources to waste it on things that make you feel bad about yourself. Unsubscribe to any magazine or media outlet that promotes body shaming and a false sense of beauty. While you can’t eliminate negative influences, you can choose what to believe.
How about friends and family in your close circle? Are they positive influences in your life, or do they burden you with criticism? If someone can’t love you for the beautiful soul you are, then don’t waste any more energy to keep them near.
6. You Want to be Healthy instead of Skinny
Since obesity has been an epidemic in America for a while, most of us could lose a pound or two for health’s sake. How many times have you watched the late-night infomercials on tv about popular weight loss programs? Most of these gimmicky programs promise to make you skinny in little time with minimal effort.
After you lost a ton of money and a few pounds, you probably gained the weight back plus some. Body shaming and fad diets go hand in hand, and they’re a lucrative ploy. In those cheesy infomercials, you will probably see skinny actors prancing around who never even had weight issues.
If your healthcare provider has recommended a sensible weight loss and fitness regimen for you, the goal is to be healthy, not necessarily skinny. Did you know that many rail-thin people are often malnourished and have as many health risks as those who are overweight? Your body size will never dictate your beauty or worth as a person.
7. You Accentuate Your Inner Beauty
We all know the saying that beauty is only skin deep, but that saying is only partially true. Humans are hardwired to be attracted by the lust of the eye, so beauty is beauty at first. However, it is originality and a beautiful spirit and attitude that will solidify the attraction.
Did you know that your most beautiful accent piece is your smile? Even if your neck is ornamented with diamonds, your pearly whites will be what stands out the most. How you feel about yourself and the world will be evident in your expressions and how you carry yourself.
8. You Create Your Sense of Style
Back in the day, you often found clothing tags that falsely proclaimed one size fits all. Even when clothing manufacturers revised it to one size fits most, it still isn’t so. No color, style, or shape is flattering to everyone who tries to wear it.
Don’t put a lot of credibility into fashion trends. As you learn to build your wardrobe around your styling sense, trendiness won’t matter as much. Buy classic pieces that will mix and match with other things in your closet. When you buy the best quality you can afford, these pieces will allow you to dress for several seasons.
Refuse to allow current fashion to dictate your wardrobe choices. Wear colors and styles that flatter your figure and make you feel beautiful. Dress age-appropriate and learn how to use accent pieces to your advantage, remembering that understated is often most attractive.
9. You No Longer Need a Mask of Makeup
The same rules apply when you use makeup, which should be used only to accent your natural beauty. When you lean heavy on the cosmetics, you may appear more like a clown than a queen. Don’t hide your lovely radiance behind a mask of makeup.
A genuine smile and an attitude of self-acceptance are worth far more than overloaded lashes or artificially plumped lips. Nobody is happy all the time, so you needn’t glue a smile on your face if you aren’t feeling it. As a beautiful person, you let your soul shine through and are true to your feelings.
10. Be an Advocate for Yourself and Others
An effective way to fight the plague of body shame is to let your voice be heard. Stand up for yourself if someone says something inappropriate or hurtful, even in jest. Let these people know that you won’t tolerate their judgmental attitude.
Your money is a powerful force in the market, so refuse to patronize businesses and companies that promote false body perception and exclude customers who are different. Instead, buy goods and services from those who value individualism, freedom of expression, and multiculturalism.
It’s been said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When you are self-confident, you don’t accept body shaming in any way. You become your definition of beauty in body, mind, and spirit.