When you look at the mirror, what do you see?
“Once I lose 10 pounds, everything will be better.”
“If I were smaller, more people would like me.”
“I’m ugly, fat and worthless.”
Have you ever had these thoughts before?
Body image — the way one perceives their body and believes that others perceive them — is extremely powerful because it impacts overall self-esteem. One of the worst feelings ever is when you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see. And unfortunately, nearly 91% of women say they are unhappy with their bodies. NINETY-ONE PERCENT!
The media’s unrealistic body ideals and expectations are constantly being hammered into our minds, leading many of us to feel inadequate and inferior. Society is a constant influence that tries to box us in and define us. Women are programmed to believe that to be the “perfect woman” they must be ultra-thin, free of any cellulite, stretch marks or wrinkles, as well as trimmed, toned and gorgeously tanned.
But my dear friend, perfection simply does not exist. It’s an unobtainable goal.
I don’t know about you, but I have yet to encounter anyone who meets every criteria mentioned above. What I have encountered is an endless number of women battling their bodies in an attempt to achieve the unachievable. Our bodies have become a target for hateful words, disappointing remarks and lack of self-worth. And I’m not just talking about children and teens, but adults as well because being an adult doesn’t mean your desire to fit in suddenly decreases.
We’ve all been socialized from a very young age to believe that if we just had the perfect body then all of life’s struggles would suddenly cease to exist and everything would fall into perfect harmony. We may think that if we change or control our bodies, we can change our worth or value. But that’s not how it works. Changing your body will not change your life. Your body is just one small detail in life, but your weight and body shape doesn’t define you as a person. Your self-worth is not based on what you look like, what you have or haven’t accomplished, how much you weigh, what size dress you wear, how many likes and followers you have or some other insignificant thing you’ve cultivated in your mind.
You are worth so much more than those voices telling you to strive for perfection. Your worth is represented by the people you love and those who love you in return. Your worth is represented by your actions, decisions, values, hopes, aspirations, dreams and beliefs. Your worthiness is a call to honor your whole self and not focus on the disempowering aspects. It entails embracing your true self whose essence is pure love.
So put away the media messages, and turn off the TV. Next time you look in the mirror at your perfectly imperfect self, let go of the hurtful words; the tugging; the squishing; the constant desire to change. Let go of the comparisons; the self judgment; the hatred; the wishes to be different. Let go of the disregard; the auctioning off; the objectifying; the disrespect for yourself.
See yourself as God sees you. He made no mistakes in making you, and every detail was hand crafted by Him to complete your uniqueness. You are created to be exactly who you are, so love yourself enough to know you’re worth more than feeling inadequate. This is a time to be proud of yourself, not to feel inferior to others.
As I encourage you to embrace the beautiful body you’ve been blessed with, just remember that body positivity isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes time and practice, combined with the shifting of your views. However, I promise it does happen, and it’s so worth it, just like you.What do you see when you look in the mirror?
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