Did you know that women have around 13 negative thoughts about their body every single day? Unfortunately, shaming our body is a common practice, and it has consequences. This negative perception affects all aspects of life. We can start from despising our hips, and slowly transition into hating everything we do—the way we see our body is a powerful factor that influences how we deal with life on a daily basis.
We grow up thinking that attractive people are better and deserve to be loved. Even when we are in school, as women, we have to deal with mean comments about our appearance. I remember the dreaded chart of the prettiest girls in the classroom. Are you familiar? I hated it because I felt that if you weren’t pretty, you weren’t considered.
Growing up, media bombards us with images of models—therefore, we associate success with physical appearance. The idea of not feeling enough starts with the mirror. We all have one in our house, probably more. The mirror is always there to remind us of our insecurities from the age of two when we start to recognize ourselves in it. And think about the Disney princesses and barbies! I was obsessed with their beauty.
When we are old enough to choose our clothes, we are aware of our insecurities and look for garments based on the perception we have of our body. What we wear plays a HUGE role in our self-confidence—we live in constant fear of judgment, our own, and the one coming from family, friends, and co-workers.
Purva Gupta, the co-founder & CEO of Lily, spent more than 10,000 hours asking women how they feel when they are buying clothes and why they buy the clothes they buy. Purva discovered that 95% of the women interviewed were looking for clothes that would accentuate certain parts of their body and hide other parts. I had the pleasure to interview Purva for a documentary about immigrant women I’m working on, with filmmaker Enrica Cavalli. Purva’s story of resilience and passion is remarkable on many levels. She wanted to create an innovative way to help women feel confident and comfortable in their skin—that’s how Lily was born.
“It doesn’t matter how you actually look because it’s all about how you THINK you look! Your perception becomes your reality because your mind has been cultivating and reinforcing these negative self-images since a very young age. I wanted to create a shopping experience that makes women think and feel their best.”
This is how Purva explained her mission during our interview.
A first-of-its-kind perception engine, Lily is a completely personalized, free and instant stylist that familiarizes itself with users’ psyche via interaction. Once she has a firm grasp on a user’s emotions, preferences and body perceptions, Lily recommends styles from their favorite stores that will make them look—and feel their best. Using the power of technology, Purva was able to create a much-needed virtual friend for women.
Ultimately, what matters is YOUR perception of your body. Once you are able to find clothes that highlight the parts of your body that you like, your confidence will get a boost, and you will also find the courage to look for better opportunities in every sector of life.