If you didn’t have a mirror and no way to actually see yourself physically, then how would you imagine yourself? What do you think you look like?
Body image is, to many people, the picture they have of themselves. It’s usually fabricated and often has no actual relation to how others see you. However, it’s still an important factor in our self-esteem and loving yourself often involves creating a positive body image that you are happy with. It’s something that can affect our mood, influence our behaviour and even twist the way we see the world.
Body image is certainly a psychological thing, but what’s it like in reality? What’s your idea of the perfect body image, and is it something that you strive to achieve?
Celebrate Your Imperfections
Unfortunately, one of the most common (and frustrating) ways to “use” our body image is to point out and highlight imperfections. But as much as you might think your eyebrows are indeed not 'on fleek,' think your butt looks big (booty is always in babe!), or see yourself as 'too' tall/shirt/thick or thin, someone is scrolling your Instagram right now wishing they had what you had. Isn't it ironic?!
Just as Gaga embraces her uniqueness, Beyonce her curves, and Chantelle Winnie her skin, look beyond the current body trends and ideals and find what is absolutely, beautifully you - and celebrate that. Take a cue from the late great mother of healing herself, Louise Hay, and do some mirror work, talking to yourself like God or a besotted lover would on a daily basis until you too see what beauty other truly do see.
“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.”
Focus on Healthy & Happy - Inside & Out
It’s great to set goals and fun to make cosmetic improvements (especially where makeup and fashion are concerned), but it's so important to know where to draw the line for you. Of course, being overweight does come with health risks, but far too many people believe they’re overweight without actually measuring their BMI or realizing what it means to be overweight. Get the facts about your own personal health (including an analysis of your own and your families history) from a health professional, and tailor any eating, exercise, or procedure plans to your unique physical makeup, lifestyle and goals, and not what someone else's ideals are for you.
Plus remember that achieving your ideal body goals can sometimes be time-consuming, stressful and costly so it's wise to be real with yourself about what you can achieve in your current circumstances. Can you build those six pack abs and build your dream house or business at the same time? Maybe you can. Maybe you could make smaller changes now and give one project your full attention and focus. (You can see here for more information on cosmetic enhancement procedures if that's something you are considering. Do you boo. Educated you 😉 )
Go in search of healthy role models for your mind, body and soul and talk to them about what they did and didn't do to achieve and maintain the beauty, physical fitness, confidence and strong centered spirit they love and you aspire to. And avoid guilt, shame or radical decisions based on the advice from books or blogs from self-confessed experts, because we are only often the experts of and for ourselves.
So, beauty, here's one thing I know for sure....
“The human body is the best work of art.”
Jess C. Scott