Today’s world can be so harsh and cruel.
We get bombarded by images of what the "ideal" body is supposed to look like. Social media and the internet in general can be a cruel reality to that. However, we must continue to be strong and courageous. Amy Bloom, an American writer and social worker, once said, “You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.” How true this is.
This article has been more difficult than I had originally expected. I’ve been trying to write this for about two to three weeks now. Body image/positivity seems to be a topic that is important and known, yet seems to be underground. It’s not something we talk about every day. Yet, we are constantly faced and continually put down. Do I write it on eating disorders? A wealth of personal stories of my own self-esteem; finally written and published for you all to see? Media influence? Well, I’m thinking into it way too much. This article, much like myself, much like ALL of us is “imperfect, permanently, and inevitably flawed, yet still beautiful.”
So, I grew up with my father for my entire life as my parents split up when I was an infant. Naturally growing up, I kind of took after him. I was what they call, a “tomboy.” I wore the baggy T-shirts, wore baseball caps, and never wore make-up. Most of my friends were guys. I was constantly picked on by others in grade school, so maybe this is a coming of age story?
Now, I don’t always wear make-up and at times I will “dress down” in my sweat pants and T-shirts, and wear my Pens cap. However, I’ve come along way. I remember a couple years ago dating this guy, he said, “Damn, your calves are HUGE.” I looked at him and said, “You do realize I walk everywhere right? Ever hear of something called muscle?” At the time, I did take some slight offense to what he said, but, that was the first time I truly felt one with myself. I didn’t care how I looked around someone that I liked. In that moment, I felt beautiful. I stood up for myself.
Media influences are constantly putting people down for the way we “should look.” It has put a strong hold on women's personal perceptions of what beauty is supposed to be. It causes many women to end up having eating disorders. Of course, other factors can contribute to this but this is what a lot of hype is about, a view of “perfection.” One actress who is rumored to have not given into the stereotypes that Hollywood sets upon actresses and models is Jennifer Lawrence. Hollywood deems her to be “fat.” Of course, most of us know that what they say really doesn’t mean much in our real world, but sometimes the pressure of how media, advertising, and even someone we know can still weigh us down.
Here’s an article about Jennifer Lawrence rising above the influence of that “Hollywood standard:” http://www.ibtimes.com/jennifer-lawrence-considered-fat-actress-hunger-games-star-talks-weight-elle-magazine-865370
It’s normal for anyone not to feel great about how they look all the time but it’s not time to give in and go to any point of dietary extreme. Our bodies are constantly changing, it’s important to develop a positive attitude toward ourselves and our bodies. Some things we can do to improve that self-esteem and accept who we are is by looking in the mirror and saying something positive about yourself, even when you may not feel great in your outward appearance, recognizing also the internal qualities you have that make you wonderful.
Recognizing your body as your own, and if you’re worried about something, making sure to check with a doctor to make sure everything is OK is not a bad idea either. Having fun creating your own style can seriously go a long way as well. Making sure to find clothes that are comfortable and fit your body well can be a great confidence booster. Eating right, staying active, and living a relatively healthy lifestyle is so important in maintaining positivity about all of these issues.
Now, this isn’t for everyone but I read one time that eating and/or sleeping in your birthday suit, so to speak, can even help boost one's confidence in time. Lastly, again not for everyone, but for me personally getting the two tattoos I have gotten this year have helped in the self-image/confidence department. I have a treble clef with the words “Nothing at all is without a tune” on my left shoulder blade and a kanji symbol for “strength” above my right ankle. These are two things I would like to think I adhere to in my life—to have that permanently inked on my body has been very empowering for me.
It’s been said, “There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.” Author and speaker, Steve Maraboli said this and I believe in this whole-heartedly.
To you my brothers and sisters; “You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.”