I think all of us have looked in the mirror at one point in our lives and thought how much happier we’d be if our stomachs were flatter, noses straighter, and if our wrinkles would just disappear. We all have moments when we aren’t satisfied with our external appearance, and all these moments do is put us in a bad mood or make us try to create change in our lives that we don’t really want to stick to.
Some of us will even go to great lengths, spending a lot of money or destroying our health, trying to fit societal expectations. If you want to be accepting of your appearance, you should read the following five sections and engrave them in your mind. They will help you understand how useless the journey to the "perfect body" really is, and will help you begin your journey toward acceptance and self-love.
For years and years, world media has built a glittering ideal of what perfect men and women should look like. This is done through advertising, billboards, and celebrities who set fashion trends, whose sole purpose is to dictate to all of us what is beautiful and what is not, but most of their indicators are inconsistent with sane reality. Why? Because there is no such thing as a "perfect body", and trying to determine one is a very superficial and unattainable idea. Even real-life models don’t look the way they do in pictures, as most ads are heavily Photoshopped.
The pressure to look perfect all the time makes it difficult for many of us and causes us to think that something is wrong with us - that something in us is not pretty enough, is too big, too small or anything else that doesn’t fit the picture plastered on a billboard screaming at us, "You're not good enough." The people in the beauty industry want you to believe that you are not pretty enough, because the more products you buy to help you “be beautiful”, the richer they become. Their goal is to make you feel uncomfortable in your body to increase sales, whether it's weight loss solutions, trendy clothing or makeup.
Instead of focusing on the "beauty" that appears on the billboards in the form of models, focus on the beauty that exists around you in the world. Remember that behind every advertisement there is a person who thought, "How do I get people to buy what I sell?" And that the beauty industry's way to do this is to make us feel that we are not beautiful - don’t give them that power!
For the most part, we deprive ourselves of pleasures because of a feeling of guilt that rises within us, which tells us that we shouldn’t be enjoying these things. Suddenly, certain normal things in life become "rewards" that we need to avoid more than enjoy them. For everyone, these things are different, but a simple example for someone carrying a few extra pounds is not wearing a bathing suit on the beach or not buying new clothes until they've lost a few pounds.
Accepting and internalizing the fact that there are some parts you don’t like about your body is the first step towards a more positive attitude towards your outward appearance. The point is to accept with understanding the sense of dissatisfaction you experience from certain parts of your body, and not to let it prevent you from doing things you want. Some of you are probably thinking to yourself, "It's easy to say, but with a stomach like mine it's hard to do it," but the question is, did you even try?
Just as you accept your friends or partners despite their negative qualities (there is no perfect person), you have to accept yourself with the knowledge that there are some parts of you that you would prefer to change, but you can live with them. Give yourself permission to love your body despite the parts you would like to change, and more importantly - love life more than you don’t love your body. Know that almost every person deals with their external appearance and with things they don’t like, however, we were only given one body to manage through life with and therefore, it shouldn’t affect your level of happiness.
We all have moments of weakness in which we see everything through black lenses, and the voice in our heads becomes more critical and less loving. These are times when we feel ugly and unattractive, and they come over us all. On days when you look in the mirror and see nothing positive in your appearance, you need to remind yourself that you are looking at a person who is loved by parents, a spouse, friends, and children if you have them. In addition, remember that every small wrinkle attests to the wisdom that you’ve gained over the years, and every scar attests to the tremendous power you have.
When you have doubts about your appearance, stop for a moment and ask the following questions: "Does the way I look at myself affect my mood?", "Have I slept enough in the past 24 hours?" And "Have I eaten properly and exercised lately?" These questions are important because they will make you realize that your outward appearance often reflects your energy and health, rather than the fact that you are more or less attractive
When you look at yourself in the mirror, you see only your outward appearance, but there are other things in you that make you who you are. You have thoughts, beliefs, hopes, dreams, and emotions that are much more powerful than your external appearance, even when it comes to how people who do not know you see you. Your appearance may create a very quick first impression, but people will eventually judge you by your character, even after a short 5-minute conversation.
Sometimes we meet people with amazing personalities and our brains see them as beautiful, although their appearance is not perfect at all. In such a situation we are not drawn to external beauty, but to inner beauty, and this is the kind of beauty that can’t be edited with Photoshop or plastic surgery. Think of all the people you know with a positive attitude and infectious joy - if you have such friends you’ll probably find that anyone who meets them falls in love with them right away, regardless of their appearance.
If you feel beautiful you will be beautiful, and this isn’t nonsense at all! Beauty is not only in your appearance but also in the self-confidence you have. People who convey confidence are much more attractive than people who try to hide, and this confidence can only be built through the story that you tell about yourself.
Think of the story you are living now; Did you choose to create it, or was it designed according to the perceptions of your parents and friends or the media? From the moment you were born, you’ve received positive and negative messages from the environment about everything in the world. These messages have over time become your belief system, and you act on it as if it is universally true - the things you believe in become your reality and determine your identity.
Every time you tell a story about yourself, you begin with the word "I", but you need to ask yourself: were you the one who wrote this story? If you are over-critical about yourself and have low self-esteem, it's probably someone else who wrote it and not you. Take control of your life and rewrite your story the way you would like to see it told.
The next time you criticize your appearance in a negative way, stop immediately, take a deep breath and ask yourself to release the thought. You do not have to be positive all the time, but you do need to learn how to accept yourself with good energy. Take pride in your talents, abilities, intelligence, and warm heart, and when the perfectionist in you pops up and says something bad about your appearance, do whatever you can to remind yourself that your external appearance does not reflect who you are. It is a process of creating peace between you and your body, and if you don’t, you’ll be in this constant struggle with yourself.