What society has done to the female psyche is unforgivable. Women are brainwashed into believing that if they do not have the perfect form, features, measurements, bone structure, lips, eyes, skin, hair and fit into clothing made for mannequins, you are a sub-standard example of a woman. Millions of dollars are spent on artificial body transformation techniques like liposuction, breast augmentation or reduction, botox, tummy tucks, tush tucks, plastic surgery, and the list goes on. All for the ‘brass ring’ of perfection. So, my answer to the opening question: HELL NO!
We have been engaging in extensive research over the past few years, with some of our readers to learn about the importance of women and self-esteem. Realizing that when most women think about self-esteem, they think about their bodies and how it affects their appearance. Most people know that women are very self-critical when it comes to their bodies and all wish for a quick fix body transformation in one way or another. This explains why so many of them have problems with their ‘psychological’ or ‘mental’ body image.
For instance, just try to give any random woman a genuine compliment. Instead of accepting it, she’ll probably dismiss it and respond with a contradictory remark that is both self-depreciating and doubtful. Or she’ll reply with negative body language such as rolling of the eyes or grunting in response. Women are very hard on themselves for various reasons. The media isn’t any help at all. There’s always some sort of weight loss ad or body transformation commercials that promote the idea that weight loss can happen quickly and result in you having a body that is ideal for society. This makes women think that they aren’t worthy unless they’re skinny. According to studies, this thinking starts as early as age three and some girls even start dieting by the age of six.
Change Your Perception
I want you to challenge these ideas and learn to accept yourself for who you are. In order to do that, I challenge you to try and shift your self-talk and the way that you perceive yourself and your body. It’s very easy to get into the habit of talking down about yourself and other things. However, making the effort to have a more peaceful and positive mindset will change your life in many ways. You ARE a beautiful human being!
It doesn’t matter what number you see when you step on the scale. It doesn’t matter if the dress or shirt you wanted for that special event doesn’t fit, or how close or how far you are away from reaching your health goals.
I want you to start trying to love yourself and break away from the vicious cycle of self-loathing. I want you to move towards self-love instead. Treating yourself with respect and compassion will make you feel better about life in general. Your mindset will be more optimistic, and your environment will change for the better. You are also more likely to treat yourself with care when you feel good about yourself.
From the pages of Science Daily: Negative Body Image Related To Depression, Anxiety And Suicidality
A helpful article by NCBI: Body Weight and Body Image
Here are some tips on how to become more accepting, compassionate, and grateful and bring those into your thoughts about your body every day.
• As soon as you wake up, be grateful for the fact that you are alive and well. Your body is functioning well, and you are able to move yourself to get out of bed to start your day.
• Be grateful for your mobility. This is a gift. Try and take advantage of this gift even if it is in a small way like taking the stairs when you want to take the elevator, or participating in a physically engaging activity with someone you know.
• Find gratitude and empowerment in the fact that you have the ability and the option to decide on what you want to consume and put inside of your body. Be grateful that you even have access to this food, along with a plethora of healthy and fresh foods to nourish your body.
• When you look in the mirror, look at your reflection with love and acceptance. Converse with yourself about the conditions of your body the same way you would with someone you trust and confide in. Make sure that you are acknowledging the positive and not being overly judgemental. Give yourself a compliment and be grateful for the features you have. For example, do you like the color of your eyes? Are you grateful that you have healthy, full, lengthy eyelashes?
• Be completely compassionate with yourself and your body. Remember that you need to treat your body with love, respect, honor, and care. Just as you would with your whole self.
With that being said, dedicate yourself to loving your body and embracing it. Do away with your body transformation ideas of perfection and love the one you have been given. Let go of self-loathing and self-criticism. You will start to feel much lighter and optimistic once you do. And when someone compliments you, accept it wholeheartedly. Don’t let the negativity even enter your thoughts.
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