Unfortunately, my camera has mysteriously disappeared so I cannot post any pictures until the little gremlin that stole it decides to return it. So I thought I'd discuss something very important: body image issues. It's something that most of us have to deal with each and every day. I know I've had days where I don't even want to look at myself in the mirror because I hate the reflection that stares back. Regardless of my personal body issues, I think it's very important to help other girls who are also having a hard time loving themselves. Here are some things I do to help myself feel a little better.
1. Don't focus on the negatives. Find at least five things that you like about yourself. Look into a full length mirror and pick out specific things that you find beautiful Tell yourself "I think I look really cute in the summer when my nose is speckled with freckles" or " I love how my brown eyes are so dark and mysterious". Don't be your harshest critic because you really are more beautiful than you give yourself credit for.
2. Your differences are what make you beautiful. You may hate the gap in your tooth, your "big" nose, or the birthmark on your hand; but I guarantee that others probably don't even notice it. Once someone told me that I "needed a nose job". Did it hurt? Yes. Did I care? No. People that can't find the beauty in you are not very beautiful inside and are not worth your time. Learn to accept the things that are different about you because they are what make you unique. Wouldn't it be horrible if we all looked alike?
3. Tell yourself that you're okay. Thanks to Ingrid Michaelson, this has become one of my mantras. Some days it's especially difficult to convince yourself that you are in all actuality a wonderful person. This is when I look directly into my eyes and say "You're okay, Anna. Everything will work out, you will be okay." Say it over and over and you will be able to face the world with a little more confidence.
4. Put some extra effort into your appearance. When I feel my worst I always try to look my best. Pull out that cute sun dress and heels! Give yourself some smoky eyes or pouty lips! You'll get a boost of confidence and maybe some compliments too.
5. Make sure your clothes fit properly. Maybe your "back fat" is really just the result of an ill-fitting bra. Maybe the muffin top is only there because your pants are a couple of sizes too small. I think it's better to look fantastic in a size 12 than to tell your friends that you can squeeze into an 8! Purge your wardrobe and get rid of the things you haven't worn in at least a year. If you don't have the money for a new wardrobe just buy a couple of pieces that look great and mix and match them or even hunt down great deals at your nearest thrift store. Looking fabulous doesn't have to cost a lot and I think the confidence you will get is priceless!
Love of self is not something that we are all born with. It is a life-long struggle. Some days you will feel like the goddess you are, while others you will feel like a harpy. Just remember you are a beautiful woman that deserves to be treated with dignity and respect who is capable of both being loved and loving herself.
You are beautiful the way you are!