"Each individual woman's body demands to be accepted on its
- Gloria Steinem
Love your body? Can you imagine waking up in the morning and not obsessing over your body when you look in the mirror?
It's a challenge. As women we find it hard to accept what we see in the mirror. How many times do we check ourselves and nit-pick at every little flaw.
We all have this mental picture in our heads of how we think our body should look. That mental image is put there by our culture, which places a high value on how women should be thin and have the perfect shape.
This can negatively affect how we see ourselves.
You may live under the influence of society that judges and discriminates on looks. But, the good news is: you don't have to be influenced by it. In order for you to be accepted you must first, accept yourself. That means - loving your body just the way it is.
The media continues to bombard us with images that conveys subtle (sometimes not so subtle) messages that shape our reality. We are told how we should feel about everything - our bodies, beauty, worth, and potential.
You see it everyday in TV commercials, magazines, and TV shows. Most of the time they try to convince us that we should be valued for how we look and to spend our lives striving for this idea of the perfect body, which is impossible.
Many women find themselves running away from their true images to achieve an artificial image by getting beast implants, face lifts, etc. This is how cosmetic companies make money. They know how to play on our insecurities for profit.
It's no wonder that in 2007, there were about 11.7 million cosmetic procedures performed in the U.S. Ninety one percent of these were performed on women.
Many of the ads you see are designed to be unattainable so you can keep spending your hard earned money on items like: anti-aging creams, weight-loss and hair care products. Companies do this by linking self-esteem to their products.
So if you don't use these products to reach these unattainable goals society want accept you and you want be loved or desired. What a bunch of crock!!
What we need to understand is we are more than just our bodies. Don't get me wrong, your body is important. And, you should focus on taking care of your body to stay healthy.
But if you spend most of your time obsessing over every flaw. And trying to perfect it in order to fit a certain beauty ideal, you will end up missing out on everything life has for you. Think about it. You are more than your body. You are more than an object to be looked at.
I know some women struggle with self-esteem that's why they spend time perfecting their appearance to look good for other people. It's sad, because they put so much of their worth entirely on their bodies - instead of placing their worth on their God given gifts, abilities, and passions.
If you have self-esteem issues, don't feel bad. You are definitely not alone. Millions of females living in this world are taught to place their worth solely on beauty.
We all have gifts, talents, and passions just waiting for us to discover but when you get so caught up in your looks you lose site of those things. When I first started this website, I did it to share what I love to do and that's staying fit by incorporating hooping into my exercise regimen. And I have fun doing it.
In doing so, I discovered something else. Writing. I never thought that writing would be something I would enjoy, but I really do. Especially, if I'm writing about something I know and love. I, also, love to read, cook, solve computer problems, and shop til I drop.
Okay, that last one was a joke :-).
But, the point I'm trying to make is this: if I spent more time trying to perfect my body to fit some social norm, I don't think I would have time to discover my God given talents and gifts. Things I enjoy doing. I would rather spend my time learning about starting a new business and perfecting my abilities so that I have something to give back.
Usually, when we think of beauty, we think of someone with a perfect figure: Thin, tall stature, firm bodies, straight long hair, blonde and blue eyes. Truth is - this is only one side of beauty that society seems to focus on.
If you are waiting for society to change so you can feel beautiful or better about yourself, then you will be highly disappointed. Society will only change depending on what's in or popular at the moment.
That's why it's so important to start with yourself. Why? Because you can help change society. Change how you see yourself because after all, people follow by example. Right? You can be that example for other people.
It's time to start defining your own beauty. It's not just your outer appearance that makes you beautiful, but your inner beauty.
Beauty is empowerment. It is the art of defining yourself rather than you being defined by a number on a scale or pants size. Focus on your strengths: Are you confident? Are you an excellent cook? A fabulous dancer?
Focus on your uniqueness and what sets you apart from everyone else. The world needs to see all of you, not just a vision of you.
When you embrace what sets you apart it makes you magnetic. People will love to be around you because you feel good about yourself. You will project yourself differently. When you love and accept your body just the way it is your energy flow changes. Naturally, you will attract positive people into your life who will love and support you.
Ladies, sometimes we can be our worse enemies. I mean really. Not only do we bash ourselves but we are big at bashing each other.
I remember back in 2007 when Tyra Banks received a lot of flack and ugly comments about her body after a photo of her in a swimsuit at the beach surfaced in a magazine.
Even though Tyra's feelings were hurt, she didn't let it get her down. Instead, she was able to start a campaign called "So What" to help challenge how we as women see our bodies and promote a positive body image.
I was so glad when Tyra stepped up to the plate and hit a home run by: 1) Shutting her critics up by telling them to "kiss her fit, fat ass" and 2) exposing the fact that she (and every other model out there) do not have a perfect body.
Like Tyra, we should challenge society's rule on body image. Instead of critiquing each other we should be more critical about the media and the messages it sends to young women.
The next time you pick up a magazine ask yourself some important questions.
1. Are they promoting real health or impossible ideals to make money?
2. Are the women presented in a way that value their talents and personality?
3. Do the women look like women in your life?
I found this wonderful blog called "Beauty Redefined." It's an organization started by two sisters to help young girls and women foster a healthier body image by rejecting harmful messages they see in the media. One of the articles on their site "There is More to Be than Eye Candy" is an excellent read. Check it out!