I've been reading some really great stuff lately, stuff about body image and being okay with weight gain and about feeling good about yourself through the holidays and in general. Whenever I come across this type of story, I read it immediately. I can't help myself. This piece does a wonderful job of talking about the fear of being photographed, letting go of your ideas of what other people are thinking about your weight gain, and accepting yourself. This piece talks smartly about health vs. size, thinking about your health rather than your weight, loving yourself at your current size, and not waiting for the day you think you're thin enough to do x, y, or z.
Videos like this one and many more have been unveiling just how much of an impact programs like photoshop have on the images we see in the media, and how unrealistic it is to try to measure up to images of models and celebrities when they don't even look like that themselves without being retouched.
We've also seen some celebrities speaking out about beauty and saying some really great, positive things.
I love all of these quotes, and I think they all contribute to a larger conversation about what beauty is and how significant it should be in your life. Jennifer Lawrence particularly has been quoted saying lots of good things about women and body image (love her) this year, but lots of other female celebrities have spoken up about this issue this year and in previous years. There have started being moves to start having a better range of models across size, ethnicity, and age (see here), as well as moves toward more realistic looking mannequins (here).
All of this is to say that there have been some positive strides, and if you aren't as keyed in to the news as I am, especially on this issue, know that mixed in with all of the fake, airbrushed, discouraging images that make you feel so much less than perfect, there are also some inspiring, uplifting, hopeful things as well.
I've talked about some of my ideas about and views on weight loss here, so I won't repeat everything I said there, but I feel like you need to love yourself holistically, especially in this season of merriment and depression and lots of family packed into one space and break up season and so much food everywhere season. When I look at my body with a critical eye, there are lots of things I would like to change. I could rattle off a list of something I would change about just about every part of my body. And yet, if I had the ability to switch bodies with someone else, just to step into their skin and keep my mind without repercussions, I don't think I could choose someone, because there are so many different people that I think are absolutely gorgeous and they all look different from one another and if I stepped into one of their bodies I would still be jealous of those other women I think are beautiful, and when it comes down to it, I wouldn't feel like me without my body.
So what can I do other than accept myself for who I am and love myself unconditionally? I can make goals for myself, I can seek to improve myself, but I can and must also love myself no matter what. If I can't do it, how can I expect anyone else to?
Saddle up, ladies (and gents, if you're reading)! Challenge yourself not to shy away from the camera this year. Check out some flattering poses and don't let another year go by unrecorded. Don't wait for a New Year's resolution, don't wait for a certain size or measurement or number on the scale, don't wait for a guy to notice you to feel good about yourself, don't wait don't wait don't wait, and most of all, don't rely on anyone else to tell you you're worth something or you're beautiful or that you matter. You have tell it to yourself every day, and you have to believe it, even if it takes more work some days than others. It's totally okay to feel insecure sometimes (everyone has their moments), and I would definitely never tell you otherwise. Confidence is something to aspire to, but it's not something all of us come by naturally. Still, if you love yourself and know that you're beautiful, you will naturally be less worried about other people thinking differently.
I would love to hear your thoughts on body image and self love, and what techniques you use to feel good about yourself!
Yours Truly, Jen