3 Tips to Beat the Body-Image Blues
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If there was one thing you could change about yourself, what would it be? For me personally, I’d like bigger boobs. Maybe a few less jiggly parts in between my thighs and a little more definition in my legs. Oh, wait, I was only supposed to pick one thing to change? Impossible. Impossible for me and the majority of people reading these words.
I, like so many other women and men, suffer with some confidence issues when it comes to our appearance. Why? I’m not going to play the blame game, but a big piece of me wants to point my finger at the media and expectations of society today, especially women. Constantly picking and prodding at those parts of ourselves that we don’t necessarily dig is just making the whole situation worse. I don’t understand why some days I feel fat. Because I’m certainly far from it, and the rational part of me knows it damn well. I also don’t know how I can pick on myself for being the potential president of the IBTC (“Itty Bitty Titty Committee,” for those unfamiliar), when there are other women who would kill for smaller breasts and even go through surgery, not out of vanity, but out of concern for their health, mobility and comfort. Same goes with my legs. I think I might be considered an alien if my legs didn’t get jiggy with it when I move.
In the past, I let my confidence and body-image struggles get to me so badly that I ended up making my life miserable and even though it (okay, I) was obnoxious at the time, I learned from it and took away a few details that I’d like to share because let’s get real here, we all have those days.
3 Tips to Improve Your Body Image
1. Be grateful for what you do have. First thing I do now when I find myself picking at a zit or scrutinizing my push-up bra, is stop and think about how blessed I am to have a body that functions properly. I get zits because I’m hormonal. I’m hormonal so that I can have children one day in the future (note the word “future”). My boobs resemble Hershey Kisses because if they were mountainous, I’d probably topple over. Not only do I get a good laugh out of thinking of my boobs as chocolate, I also give myself a swift emotional slap in the face and try to be thankful for what God gave me because I know there are people out there who aren’t so lucky. I have a pair of legs that can get me around the mall like a shopping-spree champ and arms that can lift weights heavier than most women my age.
2. Play dress up. Another thing that really tickles my fancy is finding something to wear that makes me feel good. Sure, you can call me materialistic, but a full face of makeup and a flattering outfit complete with sparkly accessories does wonders for confidence. I’m not saying going to lunch with friends in cheetah-print heels, a skintight dress and hoop earrings that could be used in a circus is appropriate, but I think you catch my drift. Money spent on make-up/hair/clothing/accessory items that make you feel like a queen are worth it because you are a queen!
3. Say something nice about someone else. Maybe it’s just me (doubt it!), but complimenting someone else makes me feel good. Just don’t throw out a line if you don’t mean it though; no one is going to believe you if you give them a half-assed “I like your…guhhhh…uhhhmmm keychain!” But if you like your friends’ earrings, her outfit or maybe just the glow on her face that day, tell her, dammit! Even if she’s not a friend, complete strangers like to hear it, too. (I know I do.) Think about how much your day can brighten up if someone genuinely compliments you. Now do the same for someone else. Oh and one last thing, don’t let age deter you. Turns out the younger generation of girls today struggle with confidence issues more than ever. I could go on and on about how ridiculous it is that girls under 12 years old are “dieting” these days, but I’ll save that for another day.
While there’s no complete cure for the body-image blues, you can do things to make it better instead of wallowing in your sorrows. Do something positive. This is your life, so don’t let Negative Nancy beat the crap out of Positive Polly and ruin your day. That’s one day you can’t have back, so flash your pearly whites in the mirror and pick out a few things that you love about yourself instead of the opposite. Then, go out and do something that makes you happy and confident. For me? Lifting weights, taking a bath, doing artsy-fartsy things and being with my family/friends/loved ones all fall into that category. Plenty of other things do, too. Sometimes all you need is a little distraction if all else fails.
You’re beautiful. Don’t ever forget that. What do you love about yourself? If you had to give a compliment to anyone right now, who would it be and what would you say? —Meg