How many times have you stood in front of a mirror noticing every small flaw? Or wishing something was different about your face or body? I'm not sure what your answer is, but mine is: Many, many times. Have you ever strolled through social media and saw a *flawless* model and subconsciously, or consciously, began comparing yourself to her/him? Again, I have many times.
How much time have you spent putting yourself down?
Think back, when/what made you start doing this? Was it because of something rude somebody said to you? A few things started my insecurity, such as someone pointing out my pointy chin, my nose that had a bump, etc. It began a downward spiral. My nose was too flat, my chin wasn't defined enough, my eyes were too far apart and not deep enough, my cheeks weren't high enough. I wasn't skinny enough. Nothing was good enough.
So I tried to be enough. I did some unhealthy dieting. I wore makeup 24/7 to be pretty, not because I wanted to wear it. I wore clothes I wasn't comfortable in. I'd sit there with a bunch of DIY creams on my face to get rid of my freckles and any imperfections. I was so busy trying to be good enough and live up to the standards I saw, that I lost myself in a sense.
While I still have my days where I compare myself and while I'm still on the journey of gaining self-confidence, I try to keep this in mind: Who defines what is 'good enough' or not though? The people around you? Celebrities? Social media influencers? Models? Frankly, I don't believe anybody around you gets to decide if you're 'good enough' or not. Only you get to decide that, and YOU are good enough, despite what you might believe.
All of that being said, I want to share some thoughts that I've had recently that might be helpful to those of you who struggle with feeling beautiful.
1: Feeling Beautiful Truly Begins Within...
No matter what you wear, how much makeup you put on, the style and color of your hair, etc... None of that is going to make you genuinely feel good if your thoughts aren't healthy. It's okay to want to wear things that make you feel good, but it's not okay to rely on those things entirely. At the end of the day, it's important to still love yourself without the makeup and outfits and whatnot.
Our thoughts determine how we feel, and if your mind is full of negative self-talk, you'll become stuck in a thinking habit of the following...
"I'm not skinny enough..."
"My nose is too big..."
"I don't have enough curves..."
"My skin looks so bad..."
It's okay if you want to make healthy lifestyle changes in order to be your best self, but it's not okay to constantly put yourself down. You have to gain control over your inner critic. How do to so? Well, the first step to change is awareness. The next time you have one of those pesky, demeaning thoughts, try to consciously stop it in its track. Replace it with something positive, something you like about yourself, no matter what it is or how small it might be. "I like my eyelashes." or "I like how my body is strong enough so I can walk." Think it, believe it, and keep consciously making an effort to stop negative thoughts as they come.
The critic works best when you don't consciously notice it. Once you begin to notice it and actively replace it, I've learned that it won't hold as much power over you.
Create an inner ally to replace the critic. That's why I say notice the good things and say them out loud, to make it clear to yourself and the critic that you do in fact have positive traits and its hurtful words aren't true.
2: Comparing yourself to others...
In both real life and the internet. Maybe you have a beautiful friend/family member who you wished you looked like before, or maybe you stroll through Instagram sometimes and see a flawless girl and begin to compare yourself to her.
You are not her, and she isn't you, and that's okay. The world would be awfully boring if everybody looked a certain way.
I want to add in about the internet too: So much of what you see isn't real. It's edited, morphed to look a certain way. Not to say every single social media influencer is drastically changing their photos online, but many do. That's why it's bad to compare yourself to them because they don't always look like that themselves either!
Beauty standards tend to be unrealistic nowadays. You don't have to live up to them, you don't have to look a particular way. Regarding your pretty friend/family member... It's okay to not look like her. You don't have to be pretty like her, you can be pretty like you.
3: Exercise can have an impact...
Probably an obvious one, but exercising can have a big impact on your mental health. Keeping a regular exercise routine can make you feel more confident, uplifted, energized, and healthy. Achieving fitness goals always give a sense of accomplishment, of confidence. It's no secret that working out is known to boost self-esteem.
4: The people around you influence you...
If you're surrounded by people who don't make you feel good about yourself, that's a problem. Some friend groups 'roast' each other and are okay with that, but if you're not okay with it and have spoken up about it before, yet they continue to pick on things you're insecure about, then those people might not be great to be around. Or if they're constantly criticizing themselves, you might be following after them. After all, those around us have an influence on our thoughts and give us a very distorted image of ourselves.
Don't place value in the words of those who just are trying to belittle you. They're not worth the time or energy. If they're not somebody you'd trust/go to for good advice, why listen to their bad advice and hurtful insults?
So moral of the story: Don't let them feed you negative thoughts, and if need be, distance yourself.
5: We focus too much on the 'bad'...
Following up on #1 again. We, as humans, tend to notice the negatives too often. The positives are brushed aside, and we only focus on what could be better. You, however, have control over your thoughts and can choose which to focus on, and how to perceive certain flaws.
That scar you have on your face from a childhood accident... You can choose to think of it as a 'flaw', or simply as a childhood memory. You can choose to look at your freckles as a *flaw* something you wish you didn't have (Lemme say, I have them and used to hate them so I'm using them as an example) or as a pleasant memory of the time you went swimming with good friends and forgot sunscreen.
Moral of the story: If you want a healthy self-image, think accordingly.
I think that sums up pretty much everything I wanted to say on the topic. If you want to talk about anything further, feel free to comment down below. I hope this was helpful. Thanks for reading, and have a beautiful day/night ❤️