I'm fat. I'm too skinny. I'd be happy if I were taller, shorter, had curly hair, straight hair, a smaller nose, flatter abs, longer legs.
Do any of these statements sound familiar? Are you used to putting yourself down? Let's face it, with so much in our society focused on what it means to be beautiful and the perception of what the "ideal" beauty is from the media - you know the six foot tall, 100 pound model/actress - it is no wonder why women struggle with their self esteem.
My entire life I have been in this chair. For three of my teen years I wore a back brace under my clothes to help slow down the curvature in my spine before surgery would be inevitable, which caused me to look heavier than I was. I knew I looked different. I couldn't wear the latest fashions that all my peers were wearing. It drove me crazy, but I still looked in the mirror each day and told myself, I look good today!
I grew up with a very healthy self-image, but even a mostly positive view of ourselves, while preferable to a negative slant, isn’t enough. We deserve better. And here’s a tip: If you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see, you’re looking in the wrong mirror.
I realize that for many women, we put a lot of our self image on whether or not we are deemed beautiful by men we are attracted to. If they compliment us, if they give us the attention we so desire, then we are satisfied into believing that yes, we are beautiful. Again I won't lie and tell you that my own self image isn't boosted by a man's attention, but my point is that this should not be the sole reason that I (or we as women) should feel good about ourselves.
Not long ago I introduced you to a dear friend of mine, Steven Gantt (If you missed that post you can read it here). Steven is one of the most sincere, genuine and uplifting people I have ever met. When I was writing this post I asked him what his thoughts were on what makes a woman beautiful to him.
"Jamie the key to truly "looking good" is to start from the inside. Yes I know it is easier said than done, and even IF you can do it, it is still not the solution one may seek. I know, I know - just listen... Once you realize, truly REALIZE that YOU (Yes you, the one reading this.) are an AMAZING person, you are a miracle, heck you are a whole bushel of miracles. Your mind understands and calculates an infinitely innumerable amount of things - daily. Who knows you better than yourself? No one - you know what a bright light you are. Now what you do is realize this and the best way to convey this - all of this wonder and hope and love (For yourself and others with the SAME light and love and wonderment) - is to SMILE.
Fashion is fashion, believe me I love it, however we each have and develop our own style (Albeit some more quirkier than others.). The key here my friends is that no matter what you wear, you have to smile and people will notice, HE will notice (Raises eyebrow to see if you're understanding.).
Whether you are short, tall, average - white, yellow, black, brown - have curly hair, straight hair, NO hair - thin, fit, curvy or voluptuous - there is someone for everyone and the key is so simple: (Waaaait for it) SMILE - it's the second best thing you can do with your mouth (Dear Lord I hope you're laughing.).
Colors are colors and aren't hard to figure out how to coordinate - shoes are fun and help you look great. Yet the one thing you can do so they can see you coming from a mile away is let them see your light and show them your smile (Just had an epiphany to write children's books)."
Some people think they need to change how they look or act to feel good about themselves. But actually all you need to do is change the way you see yourself and think about yourself.
The first thing to do is recognize that your body is your own, no matter what shape, size, or color it comes in. If you're worried about your weight or size, check with your doctor to verify that things are OK. But it's no one's business but your own what your body is like — ultimately, you have to be happy with yourself.
When you hear negative comments coming from within yourself, tell yourself to stop. Try building your self-esteem by giving yourself three compliments every day. While you're at it, every evening list three things in your day that really gave you pleasure. It can be anything from the way the sun felt on your face, the sound of your favorite band, or the way someone laughed at your jokes. By focusing on the good things you do and the positive aspects of your life, you can change how you feel about yourself.
Remember, the flaws we see in ourselves do not define us. We are all unique and that's what makes us beautiful.
P.S. I strongly encourage you to connect with Steven at the links below. You will be glad that you did!!!