Society has a resounding message for you: you aren’t pretty enough. You’re too fat, too thin, too tall, too short, too dark, too pale.
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When even superstars get airbrushed and Photoshopped in magazines, we know that our society has utterly unrealistic standards for how we should look; yet it’s easy to know that logically yet much harder to internalize it.
Although it can be hard, here are five reasons that you should put aside the voices screaming that you don’t look good enough and love your perfect body – just the way it is.
1. You’re The Only One Who Lives With Your Body
Your body is your own. And because of that, your opinion on it is the most important. If other people say that your nose is too big – so what? They’re not the ones who see that nose when they look in the mirror every morning. If you like your nose in the mirror, don’t worry about what other people have to say. The same goes for your round or flat butt, or your bust that other people say is too big or too small, or your hair that your peers call too curly or too straight. If you like your body, your opinion is the only one that matters.
The one exception to this rule is if your doctor or a friend you trust warns you that your body is getting into unhealthy territory. If you’re two hundred pounds above a healthy weight or so thin that your body is having trouble supporting itself, it’s gone beyond an issue of body image and into one of health. However, if you’re just a bit heftier than you’d like, don’t worry about it; you’re the only one who has to live with your body, and if you like it, that’s what matters.
2. You’re The Only One Who Knows Your Body
You just lost twenty pounds, only to hear someone make a snide comment about how fat you are. That person doesn’t know how far you’ve come by losing those pounds. That person doesn’t know how much better you feel, how much more energy you have, how much more confident you feel about yourself and your appearance, or how much you’ve managed to work healthy food into your diet.
That person, in other words, is acting immaturely and making judgments without having all the information they need. You don’t want to let that kind of person affect the way you look at your body. Instead, listen to the person who knows everything about your body and how far you’ve come to get that body – yourself.
3. Someone Is Jealous Of How You Look…
Do you hate your big butt? Someone, right now, is Googling “how to lose weight without losing your booty” because she wants her rear end to look round and beautiful like yours. Someone is wishing her hair had the color or texture of yours. Someone is sadly looking at a dress in a cut and color that wouldn’t complement her shape or complexion but would look spectacular on you. You may not realize that you’re beautiful, but you are. Start looking for the ways that you’re gorgeous instead of focusing on the things that make you feel insecure.
No matter how beautiful you are, you’ll always be able to point to someone whom you think is more beautiful. This model is thinner. This actress has a bigger bust. Your neighbor has prettier eyes. Don’t compare yourself to others; instead, focus on the things that you do best. Making fun of your body is a way to stop people from looking at their own flaws. Don’t listen to them; instead, listen to that voice inside you telling you that you’re beautiful just the way you are.
4. Your Body Changes With Time
Even if you get your perfect body, it won’t stay that way forever. A pregnancy, a period of illness, a stressful time when you overeat or under-eat because you have more important things to worry about than your body image . . . all of those things will change the way you look. (And that’s not even getting into the changes that come with menopause or the end of puberty!) If you drive yourself crazy trying to get your body exactly the way you want it, you may find that body slipping away from you just a few months later because of circumstances outside your control. It isn’t worth the stress.
5. Today’s Standard Of Beauty Is Unrealistic And Unhealthy
Jennifer Lawrence has been called fat as well as Tyra Banks. When those svelte and beautiful women are fat-shamed, it’s clear that society is the problem, not women’s bodies. If Jennifer Lawrence and Tyra Banks are too fat, there’s no hope for any of us, and if Lily James is going to get just as much flak for being skinny, it’s even more ridiculous to shoot for that perfect thin-but-not-too-thin window. Don’t bother trying. Instead, embrace your beautiful body just the way it is.