If we could all just accept ourselves right now, exactly as we are, the entire world would change. In fact, many industries would collapse – especially those that capitalise off of women’s insecurities (the insecurities that those industries and the media gave them in the first place). There’s nothing wrong with having your nails and lashes done if it makes you feel good, alongside any other beauty treatments. However, when you feel that you NEED these treatments, and that you simply can’t function or be seen without them, there we have a problem. There might be some issues with mental wellbeing there. The fact that so many women and young girls feel that they can’t be seen without a scrap of makeup on, or without their hair done, or do without the expensive beauty treatments that they book in religiously is very upsetting.
Self-acceptance means not scrutinising yourself in the morning. It means letting go of perfection. It means letting everybody see you for who you really are, and not feeling guilty – or the need to apologise for it. Yes, there are some occassions where we want to look ‘perfect’ – our wedding day, a special event etc, but it’s just about keeping that idea of what is perfect fluid. Looking really nice is enough. Isn’t it crazy that some women feel like they have to apologise to other people for not being dressed right/having their hair done/wearing no makeup? We should be able to present ourselves however we like, regardless of what others think (or what society wants). Yes, there is a level of respect at play – for example, it would be disrespectful to your smart corporate employer to turn up for workin joggers and greasy hair – but outwith those situations, we should be able to present ourselves to the world as we wish. Let’s take a look at what you should know about the journey to self-acceptance, if you’re ready to finally love yourself no matter what.
Focus On Your Amazing Qualities (not appearance-based qualities!)
Start by focusing on your amazing qualities – those non-aesthetic based qualities that you probably hardly ever focus on because you spend so much time focussing on how you look or worrying about the things you don’t think you’re good at! Your body and your looks are the least interesting things about you to other people, so focus on your intelligence, your humour and other amazing things.
Use Positive Self Talk
Be careful with how how you speak to yourself internally and aim to do so like you would speak to a friend. This can take time to change, as it is often a lifelong habit – but it can make a huge difference to how confident you feel. Becoming a positive person takes time and practice, but you’ll reap the rewards.
Stop Spending Time With Negative/Toxic People
If you spend time with people who make backhanded compliments, comment on your appearance/body, or make you feel bad for whatever reason, stop spending time with them. You get to choose who has access to your energy, and if someone is making you feel bad, let them go. It can be hard but it’s in your own best interests. You can try to explain to them how they make you feel, but if your relationship isn’t worth that tricky conversation, or they just won’t change, get rid.
The alternative is to put up your barriers with certain people. You may not feel like you can cut ties with a family member, but you can tell them to stop commenting on your body and let them know what the new boundaries are for their relationship with you. Setting boundaries is tough, but it’ll work wonders for your life.
Do The Things You Want To Do
If you want to shave your head, do it. Grow out your body hair, do it. Buy an outrageous outfit, do it. Do the things you want to do because YOU want to do them and forget what everybody else thinks. Allowing other people to pressure us into being watered down versions of ourselves does not do us any good at all. Nor does trying to obtain a certain look just because society/the media tells you that is what is considered pretty/attractive/sexy.
You may choose to go down the route of deciding to discover plastic surgery – in which case, do this for yourself, too. Don’t try to conform for anybody. Do it because it will give you joy and improve your life for you. Never feel like to need to go under the knife or get any invasive procedures because you don’t.
You may want to dig deeper into these self image issues. Therapy can sound scary, but it could seriously change your life and how you view yourself. Therapy, counselling and mental illness psychiatrists/psychologists are no longer taboo subjects. If they help you, shout about it from the rooftops!
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