I'm too curvy! My butt is too small! My hair is too thin! I have stretch marks on my stomach. I’m too short! My skin is always breaking out!
This is just an example of the negative thoughts that can go through our minds on a regular basis. Many of us feel like we have to meet certain standards when it comes to our beauty. The perfect hair, makeup, skin, body. . . Just thinking about it is stressful and depressing. We’re bombarded on a daily basis with photo shopped bodies, giving us a false personification of perfection. As if we didn’t have enough to worry about!
Imagine if we started to embrace our imperfections? What if we started to see the freckles on our face as unique instead of covering them up? What if instead of thinking our hair is too thin, we embrace it's beauty? What if we started to love ourselves for who we are?
“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; in her perfect imperfections. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.”
— Steve Maraboli
A mother sacrifices her body to bring a beautiful soul into the world. When all's said and done - the baby is happy and healthy, but the mother is left with a worn out body and stretch marks. Her mind starts to get overwhelmed with “I need to get back to my pre baby body!” She struggles for 6 months to a year kicking butt in the gym losing her baby weight - yet the stretch marks remain. Instead of seeing this as an imperfection, see it as being perfectly you. As the saying goes; “you are a tiger that earned her stripes.” You’re a warrior.
I'm a mother of two beautiful boys and I know these feelings all too well. The negative self talk. Feeling as if perfect was impossible. Trying to live up to the standards of society. . . In our minds we want to look like the girl on the magazine cover, but she isn’t real and gives us a false perception of what’s perfect. Over the years I have learned to love myself for exactly who I am, no matter what. My beautiful thin hair, my tiger stripes, and my psoriasis. No matter how hard I workout or how good my diet is - these are the things I can’t control. That’s okay because they are perfectly me.
“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.”
— Amy Bloom
In order to change the way society perceives beauty, we need to look within. Like the late, great Michael Jackson once said; “I’m starting with the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways.” We can’t count on media outlets like magazines and TV to suddenly change. We need to start with ourselves, rewire our thoughts and embrace our unique beauty.
Here’s 3 key points to help rewire your way of thinking and train yourself to truly love you!
- Acknowledge and embrace just how special you really are
- Bombard yourself with positive and self loving affirmations
- Never compare yourself to others
You are a unique, special being, and there will never be another you in this world. Your natural beauty is timeless and strong. Each freckle, scar, wrinkle, and stretch mark represents you in a way nothing else can. Covering up parts of yourself that you view as imperfections is the same as putting on a mask everyday. Truly loving yourself is the key - it’s a prerequisite for true, unadulterated happiness.
Positive self talk is very important because what you say and think becomes your reality! We are all different, so figure out what affirmations you need to hear the most, and repeat them to yourself all day long. Write them down on a piece of paper over and over again. Put them on post it notes and stick them all over your house and car. Have them on your bathroom mirror for when you get out of the shower. . . Literally bombard yourself in positive self love. Here’s a few reminders I like to give myself throughout the day.
“I am safe, I am sound. Good things come to me, they bring me peace.”
“I am brilliant, bright, and beautiful.”
“I love the beautiful skin I am in.”
Comparing yourself to others is harmful because we are far too different and unique! Author Jen Sincero said it best: “Can you imagine what our world would be like if our hero’s succumbed to the perils of comparison? If Marilyn Monroe compared herself to Kate Moss and decided she needed to lose her curves?”
Oh man - think about that for a second! Marilyn brought something special to the world just by being exactly who she was.
We can change the world by being our unique, beautiful selves! We just need to love and embrace the perfect imperfections that we see in the mirror.