I think its fair to say all women have or do struggle with body confidence. We're surrounded by magazines, the boob-tube, & social media outlets that are constantly flooding our mind with the image of society thinks is beautiful, we end up comparing ourselves to other women EVERY SINGLE DAY. It's hard to feel good about ourselves when we can easily and quickly find a source showing us that we don't fit the ideal mold of what others think is beautiful.
Looking back I can’t really put my finger on a specific day that I started to feel self-conscious about my body, but I can tell you the constant pressure to look a certain way started to feel really strong when I was in high school. However, at that point, I was such an introvert that I knew regardless of what I wore or how I looked I would never fit in with the kids my age, but I also didn’t want to stand out. I didn’t want to make myself a target. I flew under the radar; I was invisible and being invisible in high school can be a blessing and a curse.
How we carry ourselves not only impacts how others see us, but how we see ourselves. I envy the girls that can slink into a two-piece bikini and head to the beach without a care in the world. I cram my mom-bod into a one piece and still feel self-conscious about swimming in my own pool...in my backyard...that's surrounded by trees with little vantage points for neighborhood stalkers to get a peek. I know these views of my body will need to change soon, or at least appear to change because my daughter is going to take note of her mother's insecurities and could turn my issues into her own.
My daughter may only be 20-months-old, but she is a sponge when it comes to speech patterns and body language. She used the word “b*tch” in the right context, twice. No, I have no idea where she learned the word, but I was pretty impressed that she used it properly. I know she is watching me and though I may not be conscious of how my insecurities are presented outwardly, I need to learn and correct those behaviors before my daughter learns to be self-conscious of her body in the same way her mommy is self-conscious of hers.
There was a meme I saw floating around Facebook a few weeks ago, something like “do you ever look back at old photos remembering how you thought you were fat, but really weren’t, and now you actually are fat and wish you were fat like the first time you thought you were?” I laughed when I read it, and I still think it’s pretty funny...and accurate. I think we’re so fixated on the things we dislike about our bodies that we fail to notice the things that are actually pretty awesome about it.
I know this is a subject that’s talked about frequently, and maybe there needs to be less talking and more action. The point is you will never make everyone happy so the only person you should worry about pleasing is yourself. If you want to lose ten pounds to make yourself feel better about your appearance, go for it! If you want to gain 10 pounds so you can stop altering your already size zero pants, power to ya sister! If blue hair and a nose piercing bring you happiness, rock on you beautiful unicorn.
Beauty is subjective, and we are all beautiful in our own ways.