For the longest time I’ve felt uncomfortable with the image I saw in the mirror, I always believed that the body I was given was slightly more inadequate than everyone else’s. It was always not thin enough, not feminine enough…, not perfect. All this of course is a pile of garbage because my body was literally made for me, there is no other body that I can claim as perfectly suited for me, and the same goes for all of you and your own bodies.
The truth is that my insecurities and body issues stemmed from the fact that I valued other peoples opinions way more than I needed to. Whenever someone had something to say about my physical appearance; hair, skin, weight etc. It stuck in my head even if it wasn’t a positive thing and I would dwell on the fact that people are aware of all of my flaws and loathe my imperfection.
Perfection is overrated, in a world of lip fillers and butt injections there’s never going to be limit on what more you can improve in your physical appearance. But instead of looking at that as a death sentence, take it as an ocean of possibilities. Makeup for example is a chance to create whatever you want out of your face for a day and still be able to return to that beautiful state you call home (bare face).
The thing about body positivity is that for you to even begin to approach it, you need to really understand the relationship that you have with your body and what exactly is the root of the hate towards it. Only then can you really appreciate what you have, nurture it and even be bold enough to expose/flaunt it to the rest of the world. I am no expert in the field but these are a couple of tips that I have to begin this journey into loving your body more:
- Cut out the negative influences and surround yourself with positive affirmations. This works because you wont feel the urge to compare yourself to other people, or feel obligated to meet other peoples standards of a “perfect body”.
- Focus on the features that you do love. Its very easy to dwell on the negative and overlook all of the good things that you do have. Take a moment and write down 5 things that you love about your physical body and find ways to enjoy accentuating those features. In time you’ll find more people complimenting you about those things and barely talking about whatever you’re insecure about. Nurture those things and even you will forget about the others.
- Incorporate small adjustments to what you’re most uncomfortable with. Small steps lead to big changes too. If you are insecure about something that you can control like your weight its a good practice to add small changes instead of big drastic jumps, these appear easier and you’ll find yourself being more consistent with them.
- Practice Gratuity. Being grateful for the things you are blessed with and all of the amazing things your body is able to do everyday is the key to truly appreciating yourself. Every day write down one thing your grateful or amazed that your body does for you, regardless of how strong your insecurities are, doing this frequently will increase your appreciation for this body that you have.
- Fake it till you make it. I didn’t really want to add this because its a bit of a mind game to play with yourself. Sometimes pretending to be confident in public (and in private) can inspire actual body confidence within yourself. So don’t be afraid to be bold with an outfit choice or a makeup look or whatever else it will only do you better in the long run.
These little tips are what I use whenever I feel insecure about my body, to return me to a mental state where I am proud of what I have and less worried about peoples opinions of it.
Again, its not going to be a one day thing, you might have to do this for months or years before you really get over the body shaming but its definitely worth it.
Originally published at www.wamaitha.com