Self-acceptance – an individual’s satisfaction or happiness with oneself, and is thought to be good for mental health. I feel like self-acceptance is a common battle most women face. We have a hard time loving ourselves and accepting who we are and how we look.Unfortunately, our world and the media have a very narrow definition of what beauty. It’s become the norm for pictures to be photoshopped and heavily produced. We’re tricked into believing that these women on the cover of magazines or on billboards actually look that perfect. That beauty means being a certain size and being flawless.
But the problem here is beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. We can’t all be a size 0, have blemish free skin and a bronzed skin tone. It’s unrealistic. It’s even unrealistic for those models/celebrities who are picked apart in these photos, being “perfected” by someone sitting behind a computer. (Take a look at these celebrity women who spoke out about certain images that they were photoshopped in.) It’s a bit ridiculous isn’t it? These women, who are supposed to be the “ideal” image of beauty, aren’t even enough. The media is distorting our image of reality every single day. This is why people are suffering from body image issues due to the fact that we have this warped image of what the norm is for beauty.
And, because we all have this distorted image of beauty engrained in our heads, we start making unrealistic goals to try and look like these women. When we can’t reach these unrealistic goals, we get upset, and often try to make drastic changes to get that “perfect body”. This is where fad dieting becomes an issue, starting a nasty cycle leading to people eventually putting on more weight or getting seriously sick.
We need to stop comparing ourselves to this idealized image and start embracing ourselves for who we are. Start embracing what makes you unique! We all have things we don’t like about our physical features whether it be the size of your legs, the mark on your face, or the color of your hair.
For me, I used to be embarrassed about the scars on my arm. Anytime anyone would look at them I would get upset and I avoided wearing short sleeved shirts as often as possible. I started to embrace my scars when I was living in Ireland a few years ago. People would look at my scars, but immediately knew how to make me feel comfortable. They would ask about them and how I got them. It made me feel like it was ok to have scars. The Irish culture is different; their definition of beauty is more realistic. Models are more realistic in size, and advertisements don’t feel so produced. It feels more authentic. Since living in Ireland I’ve loved everything about my scars. They make me unique and they tell a story of something I went through. I’ve even had people offer to help tattoo my scars to make them disappear, but, I kindly declined because they are apart of me; this is me.
You too are perfect just the way you are. Be grateful for who you are and start to show yourself some love. The relationship we have with ourselves is vital because we will always have ourselves. So try to be nicer to yourself starting today. You deserve it.
Some good self love content:
Just a girl writing down her thoughts on life post-trauma, body acceptance and wellness.