Something that I am very passionate about is encouraging self-love, self-confidence, and individuality. What really frustrates me is seeing the constant blog/magazine/website articles and television advertisements that claim to have the answers for every woman for everything, from looking “hot”, to accepting yourself (likely only a page turn, or click away from each other).
Yet, does anyone else find it paradoxical that they say one thing and then another? Does anyone find it ironic that they have to put out new articles or products every month, with new advice for self-love and acceptance or new items to fix what is wrong about you? Does any one else wonder why that is?
The reason why is because they don’t have the answers for you and they don’t actually want to either. After all, how could they make any profit if they actually gave you any true, encouraging advice?
The truth is that they want to distract you from realizing that you are already, as you are, acceptable and worthy of love: self-love and love that comes from others. They want you to continually believe that you are flawed. But the truth is that they don’t actually dictate, define or decide that: you do.
This is not mere crazy theory, but the truth. If you want to continue to feel bad about yourself, keep reading articles or books that claim to want to help and save you, but really just want to rob you of your self-esteem, offer you reasons as to why you are so flawed and then present “solutions” to fix you. It is an endless cycle that will go on until the day that you die, distracting you from doing much greater things with your life and your time. So why feed your brain such garbage?
True self-love and acceptance is not very common nowadays as so many people really only see themselves and their bodies as flawed and not worthy of any love, solely based on the fact that they are not magazine/movie star thin and “beautiful”. Most women do not look like women portrayed in media (mainly because these are not real women), and the few who maybe do and are striving to, probably still hate themselves and are hurting themselves in some way to look that certain way, either with an actual eating disorder, and/or by having a mental illness that keeps them always thinking and obsessing about themselves and their appearance.
It is difficult as a human being to simply accept yourself these days. I am not only going to say, “woman”, because I know that there is pressure on men as well, to be manly men and fit a certain role as a man as well. Loving and accepting yourself truly is a rebellious act. Choosing to believe that you are not flawed for being a real human being, takes a lot of strength and courage.
I, myself have had enough. This year, I grew a great deal more in the loving myself department and became a lot more comfortable in my skin. At the beach this year, I actually wore a bathing suit top and shorts, instead of a t-shirt and shorts like I usually would for all of these years. I am definitely not a bikini person, not because of body image issues, but because I think it is way too inappropriate to show off your body in that way and do not want to set that kind of example for my girls. I am also a tomboy. Even letting a bit more of my body show was a huge step for me.
I am no size zero, or eight. I am a bigger girl, with curves and I have my share of stretch marks (and saggy breasts, to boot), having had and breastfed three kids and my very fair (white) skin, as well as recovering from anorexia and gaining a lot of weight really fast due to re-feeding. Most women are horrified to get stretchmarks on their belly when they are pregnant, but I not only have stretch marks on my belly, but on my hips, thighs, calves, and arms as well. Plus, some of them I got while I was not pregnant. It is uncomfortable for me to be in a room of ladies talking about how fat they are or how sad they are that they have a few stretch marks, when I am literally covered in them.
At least it used to be.
I really decided this year that I am not going to feel down about myself and my body anymore. I am not going to starve my body, deprive myself of enjoyment of food, and restrict my food intake to be thin. I am not going to waste my thoughts and time on myself and my “flaws”. I am not going to give the media the satisfaction of turning me into another sad, soulless woman who hates herself and passes on self-hatred to her children.
I choose to rebel and to love myself. I choose to let the stretch marks on my legs and arms be seen and judged and not try to hide my body. I choose to eat what I want and enjoy baking healthy sweets with my girls and eating them together as a family for dessert. I choose to model healthy eating, self-confidence, and self-love in front of my children.
What about you? Can you see yourself as beautiful even if you aren’t what “beautiful” may be portrayed to be? Can you be comfortable in your body, even if it isn’t “perfect”? Can you love yourself, if not for your own happiness, then for your daughter(s)/children or for our future generation of men and women?
Let’s not let media define what is beautiful (or healthy) and attempt to live up to their unreal standards. Let’s redefine beauty and be our own unique, real, wonderful selves.
Let us practice self-love and self-acceptance until it becomes habit and second-nature and give the younger generation of girls (and guys) something really beautiful to look up to.
Let us not strive so hard only to have a beautiful body, but let us strive to have a healthy body, and a beautiful mind, heart, and soul as well.
Be a rebel. Love yourself! ❤