In the digital age we hear news about physical alterations every day, and it is to such a degree that it doesn’t come as quite a shock. It’s become seemingly normal. This desire to look and feel beautiful, once you look a certain way. In my lifetime, I can’t imagine wanting to have any surgery on myself for physical means. There are different physical changes people make from big to small. Whether it’s getting eyelash extensions, wearing circle lenses or dying your hair. Makeup is worn for various reasons. For other’s it may be a personal decision, as much as it is for me a personal decision not to change anything bigger or smaller. I like my small chest, fish lips, caterpillar eyebrows and almond eyes thank you very much. The industry is huge in fashion, makeup, fitness and dieting. But how much behind the scenes and how often are parts of these industries making us feel bad about our body image?
I recently came a long a website called BodyThoughts, Founded by photographer Alexa Mazzarello, and former international model, Erica McDonald, BodyThoughts aims to challenge the way people experience the world through their bodies. One of the blog posts A Perspective That Matters – “I Am Going to Miss This Body so Much.” really spoke to me. She talks about how much we go through in life with our bodies. The children we bear, the laughter (and the tears), the things we smell,touch, sound, taste and see.Yet as the post mentioned, 97% of women have negative thoughts about their bodies on a daily basis. When I stand in front of the mirror first thing in the morning, I might look at my legs and feel like they need to lose weight. It’s as if we are placing a magnifying glass on our perceived flaws, instead of our natural beauty.
Try wake up every morning and tell yourself in the mirror, I have beautiful eyes, my hair is long and healthy, I have a lovely smile or just a simple, something great is going to happen today. And really believe it. One thing I try to do everyday is to smile in the mirror, which sounds silly, especially if you get caught! But it can really bring light into your eyes and remind you who you are. The other day I met someone new, and she gave me a hug. The first thing she said when she hugged me was “You’re so skinny! You must need to eat a whole cow in order to look like me!”, and as you can imagine I didn’t know what to say. Believe me, I think I eat healthy and have been petite for as long as I can remember. But I don’t know why it still feels strange when people say the word, skinny, as if it is a compliment.
I have eaten significantly less meat in the past two years. It has nothing to do with body image, but because my body doesn’t digest it well. The struggle is when we tell people things like this (related to our bodies), most people assume it’s for body image. How we eat and exercise should be for our overall well being. We will all age, and I don’t know about you, but I do want to age gracefully. Being young is not everything. But as with childhood, being young doesn’t last forever. Feeling young and beautiful is a different matter. I strongly believe feeling is far more important than the way we look. If you feel healthy, energetic, beautiful and happy – that’s what is important. I want you to remember that being kind to yourself is good for you. It’s food for your mind, body and soul. Your body will thank you for it!