Yesterday I was getting ready to take Kahlua to her training class when I looked in the mirror. I thought to myself, “Oh my, it is not a no makeup kind of day.” I reached for my makeup bag but stopped myself. Why did I feel the need to “make myself prettier” just for an hour long training class full of women who probably couldn’t care less about the way I look?
Even as someone who can be quite self confident (all of my closest friends are probably laughing at that statement) there are instances every day where I want to change something about my appearance, from simply putting on makeup or thinking I’m too big to wear some of my favorite clothes. We all, men and women, are constantly judging ourselves and others when really we should be looking for the beauty and good in people. We all have at least one person who is close to us who struggles with body image. From skipping meals to obsessively working out to being on a never-ending diet. Some of the most beautiful girls I know are always watching what they eat and if they have a day where they spoil themselves it’s torture at the gym or no eating anything but lettuce for the next day. For what? Why do we all feel the need to do this?
I get it, we all want to look like Sarah Jessica Parker in a bathing suit, but of course there’s probably something you would change about her too.
How boring would life be if we were all exactly the same? We all strive to be independent, but in the end all work toward being exactly the same. Instead of wearing clothes that fit our body types we are changing our body types to fit our clothes. I know a girl who is beautiful, not a size zero, but definitely in the top five for most beautiful girls I know. I would kill for her body and curves. The worst part is, she is constantly being critiqued and told she needs to lose weight. It’s bullshit. So you’re not a size zero? Don’t buy a size zero. You don’t look like a girl on the cover of Vogue? Yeah, she doesn’t look like that either.
I know another girl, for obvious reasons I’m not using people’s names, who struggles more than anyone I’ve personally known with body image. She looks like a runway model but still has days where she diets because she looks “bloated” or has some “cellulite” on her legs. Both of these things are invisible to everyone else around. No matter how many people tell her how perfect and gorgeous she is, it doesn’t work. The battle is constant and even though she knows she shouldn’t hate what she sees when she looks in the mirror, she does. Everyday she is struggling to tell herself she is beautiful.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t work out or watch what we eat, but we should do it because working out and a healthy diet make us FEEL better. If you lay on the couch all day eating McDonald’s chances are you’re going to feel like crap because you’re putting crap into your body. We’ve all done it. But if you get up, maybe just even go on a walk outside and eat something delicious but maybe a little healthier than McDonald’s you feel like a million bucks. We are all made perfectly, but not all the same.
Next time you take to beating yourself up, think of five positive things you like about your body. It can be your long eyelashes, your lips, your skin, dat ass ;), anything you love. And if that doesn’t work, remember no one else’s opinion matters. Those people who make you feel terrible about yourself, their words shouldn’t penetrate your thoughts. They definitely shouldn’t be part of your life. And next time you go to say something negative about someone else, trust me I’m more guilty of this than most, think about how your words may influence their thoughts. We should all work to build others up, not tear one another down. As women especially, and a lot of men as well, we are hard enough on ourselves, let’s try to be that positive light in the live’s of others.
Not everyone has the same religious beliefs as me, and that’s okay. But for those of you who do, how can you truly believe in God but constantly criticize the one thing he made in his image, you. He doesn’t mess up. The creator of the universe took time to create you, just the way you are. To not love yourself is to not truly love the Lord, because he lives within us. We are his children, part of his kingdom. Think about that the next time you look in the mirror and are disgusted at what you see.