“If I’m skinny then I’ll be beautiful” …… BULL SH*** YOU ALREADY ARE.
The “perfect body image”, a toxic trend that is now a societal norm. Females deal with the daily pressure to have the “perfect body”: small, petite, and a size 0. Films playing a role in this toxic trend, showing little girls whether its the popular girl or the princess, she’s played by a skinny girl. Females, grow up with the belief that the way their body looks will determine the amount of affection and love they will receive. I would like to say bull sh**. Society planting the idea that females need this “perfect body” results in a high percentage of females developing disordered eating, body dysmorphia, depression and anxiety. For centuries, women have been placed in a box, told how to dress, how to look, and what body type to have. As a feminist, I say fu** that… love yourself for YOU. All sizes: all human, all beautiful. Fully loving your body can be hard, you might find yourself asking the question, “what are some ways I can show my body the love and appreciation it deserves?”
Here are some ways you can:
This may be triggering for some, with over-exercising in their past. When I suggest exercise, I suggest it for a way that you can move your body to FEEL good not to lose a certain amount of calories. Start slow with the exercise you perform. This can be yoga, walking, or jogging. After every workout, stop focusing on what your body looks like in the mirror. Instead, shift your focus on the appreciation and gratitude you have for your body for being able to perform these movements. No matter the day, leave the gym with respect for your body, not disgust.
Journaling is a great way to decompress and release all the thoughts that have been jumbled up in your head. We all have days where we feel more insecure on how we look, writing it down and releasing these thoughts allows you to let them go. Keep in mind when you’re writing, write the negative thoughts down first and then flip it. Start writing with the idea that when you close the journal you will have a better outlook on what you were once upset about. Release the negative and fill it with a positive.
Taking yourself out on a date sounds scary and intimidating, but self-dates are an excellent way to build your confidence and independence. Just like exercising, start small. Begin with just getting a coffee by yourself and slowly build up. Most importantly, have fun with it! Dress up in a cute outfit or do your hair in a new way. Giving yourself these small challenges of going out of your comfort zone will show you that you can do things that once scared you.
Meditation decreases stress and anxiety and allows you to increase your focus and mental resilience. Through this exercise, you can reevaluate what is truly important in life. During this practice, remind yourself that you are grateful for what your body CAN perform. Have the goal to completely relax and vision your highest self.
These are only a few ways you can start to heal the relationship with your mind and body. Through your growth, remember that societal norms can go fu** itself, because inside and out, you are enough. True self- love is not found in appearance. It is found through gratitude and appreciation for your body and mind, and the activities and abilities you are able to perform on a daily basis. I hope the list above allows you to start or continue your growth. And remember, you are enough.