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Accepting Ourselves the Way We Are

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I’ve finished a whole month of detoxing myself and I’m on a bit of a fitness jag. I thought it was as good a time as any to talk about self-image.

It really irritates me that from such a young age women are conditioned to believe that one of the most important things about them is the way they look. These days it’s getting even harder to attain the kind of images we see in the media, what with photoshopping, ridiculously underweight models everywhere, and now we’re faced with competition from women who don’t even exist; women created entirely on a computer. Even Angelina Jolie can’t compete with her own cgi-twin from the movie Beowulf.

I really wish more companies would go the way of Dove with their advertising campaigns. Not only are Dove promoting real women with normal bodies in their advertising, they’re taking the first step in leading other companies to do the same; when you consider the positive world-wide reaction to their campaign, other beauty and fashion related companies would be idiotic not to follow suit.

Promoting natural, achievable beauty is so important, especially for young, impressionable girls. We all owe it to ourselves to accept and love ourselves just as we are. We can do things to feel better about ourselves like exercising, taking care of our skin and hair, dressing in a way that makes us feel good, but we don’t need to be endlessly trying to achieve the impossible and feeling like a failure when we realize we don’t, or can’t, measure up.

If you’ve ever watched a show like How To Look Good Naked, you can see what confidence can do to change the way a person appears to others. These women didn’t need liposuction or facelifts to look great, they needed to see themselves how others see them. Being realistic about your appearance and how it stacks up against other women (even other “real” women) is harder than it sounds, but we owe it to ourselves to try. More often than not we’re walking around being envious of women who, in turn, are envious of us!

Just as I’m feeling envious of one of my close friend’s long, slim torso and complaining that I can’t wear halter tops because of the size of my chest, she’s scowling at me and telling me that she’d kill for a bit more to fill her bra with.

I know I’ll still criticize myself in the mirror now and then, and I know I’ll still feel envious of other women and their assets. But this time I’m going to make a concerted effort to pull myself up when I do it and try to look at the things I am happy with about myself and only try to change the things that are realistic for me to change.


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