I love flowers. ALL flowers. It amazes me because out of all the different types and colors, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a flower I thought was ugly. They are all beautiful in their own special way. I think this is how we should view ourselves and others. Just like i may think a lily is prettier than a hibiscus, it doesn’t make the hibiscus any less pretty. It is just my OPINION. It is not a fact. Just like if someone thinks someone else is prettier, it is just their opinion. We are all beautiful in our own unique and special ways and we should accept that instead of chasing after other people’s opinions on what beauty is. It is pointless to live our life trying to be something that we aren’t just to align ourselves with some else’s expectations. We all are beautiful and have something to give to this world in our own unique ways. What if all the sunflowers tried to be hydrangolous instead because one person made the comment that they like hydrangolous better than sunflowers… what about all those people who love sunflowers? Just like some people prefer tall and lengthy and others like short and stout, or some people like a skinny physique and others like more curves. We can not make everyone happy, and if you try to meet everyone’s expectations you will spend your life being miserable and UNHAPPY because it is just impossible to do. Instead live your life doing what makes YOU happy and most confident with yourself and your body.
I named this blog Pretty In Me because I wanted to help others recognize their own personal beauty and encourage body acceptance and positivity. Lately, I have been slacking on spreading this message and I haven’t been taking the time to share my own personal beliefs on health and wellness. I want this blog to be a place that reflects my own life and how I choose to live to bring health and wellness to this world, and also a place that helps people find their worth in themselves.
I haven’t written a lot on body acceptance and finding beauty within oneself because I have been battling with this issue myself. I felt like I couldn’t write a piece on something I still struggle with today. But I came to a conclusion that I want this blog to be raw and real and to portray my life as it is. Plus, I don’t think there is anyone who doesn’t struggle with negative thoughts about themselves at least every once in a while. However, I definitely believe there is a difference between a negative mindset about your body and yourself that controls your life and a negative thought here and there that can be easily pushed away by a positive response. I also think that it can be helpful for others if they read that someone else is struggling in the same area that they are, and together we can strive to fight this negative mindset and find beauty within ourselves.
I’m not going to lie, accepting your body for what it looks like can be one of the most challenging experiences of your life. Why? Because we have been brainwashed to think that being thinner means being healthier (which is completely false), that being fat causes all of these diseases (which isn’t always the case), and that in order to be happy, successful, and lovable, we must have the ideal female body.
You all know what I’m talking about when I talk about the “ideal female body,” right? Thin, long blonde hair, with perfect beach ringlets that frame your face, hourglass figure, long legs, big bust *but not too big*, thigh gap, “lean” but not too muscular, beautifully shaped eyes, long and curly eyelashes, rosey cheeks, and a booty that all the other girls/guys drool over. This is what we have been taught is beautiful and achievable. This is what we are all supposed to be aiming for, right? Every single one of us ladies. We are shown ad after ad after TV show after makeup commercial that tells us that in order to be worthy of love, happiness, success, and self-love, we must become this women. BUT, we all know this crap isn’t real.
SO, I ask where did all this come from? Who told you that you needed to become this “ideal women” that does not exist? Why do you keep believing in this unrealistic ideal? Because, if you are honest with yourself, it is not attainable nor does it need to be attempted. Every single women in a magazine is air brushed to look like this ideal female, even the models are airbrushed! Thigh gaps are created, cheek bones enhanced, reshaped eyebrows, reshaped lips, longer necks, and the removal of anything that “doesn’t look perfect.” Whatttttttt
Just as an FYI, eating disorders are SO SO popular these days its not even funny and women trying to become this ideal women can lead to an eating disorder. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, teenagers and women who are absolutely stunning in every way but when they look at themselves they just see imperfections because of how distorted their view on beauty is. It is so sad to me to see these girls as young as ten or twelve be criticizing the way they look and comparing themselves to others and wishing they had a body like Jennifer Anniston or the girl in their class who gets all the boys attention. Its sad because that’s how my eating disorder started. I found something I didn’t like about my self and so I strove to fix it, and after I fixed that I found another flaw and then another flaw until I would look in the mirror and be overwhelmed with how disgusting I felt and eventually I became depressed. I was so thin but I didn’t even see it. My mind was so screwed up from years of negativity and comparisons that I couldn’t even see the REAL me.
What I have finally come to realize though is that you can never live happily if you are always trying to find your happiness through other people. So many of us (and I am surely guilty of this too) try so hard to feel accepted by society that we barely even know who we are anymore. We do things not because they make US happy or feel beautiful but because society says it will make us happy and be beautiful. But nobody knows you better than yourself. If wearing that flowy skirt makes you feel pretty than wear it, don’t worry about what people might think. If that lip color makes you feel sexy than put it on. If that hair color makes you feel unique and awesome then do it! Stop asking for other people’s opinions because frankly what you do does not affect them. If it makes you feel good, young, sexy, beautiful, pretty again then DO IT. And do it with CONFIDENCE.
I have struggled (and still struggle) with this topic of self love and body acceptance for so long. So many time I wouldn’t even want to look in the mirror because I knew I wouldn’t like what I would see. My stomach sticks out too much, my thighs are too big, my chest is too small, my face has pimples, my hair is a wreck… the list could go on and on in my head. Just 5 seconds of looking in the mirror and thinking these negative thoughts in my head would be enough to put my mood down in the dumps for the rest of the day. I would feel insecure, ugly, and self-conscious about myself as I went through my day and I would envy the girls who seemed so confident in their bodies. They were smiling and laughing and enjoying life. They seemed so bright and radiant and it made me so jealous that I wished I could have their life and their body.
But envy, jealousy and comparing myself to others ALL the time (I mean like every time I saw another human, I would beat myself down because I didn’t have her hair, or her eyes, or her long legs) gets exhausting. I was so unhappy with myself and depressed that it even affected the people around me. No one wants to hang out with the girl who is always sulking and doesn’t know how to have un anymore. So, I decided enough was enough. I was going to try and break through this negative mindset I have been living in and start loving myself and the body I was given. I finally thought it was time to start believing the people who gave me compliments or listening to those closest to me who were worried about how skinny I had gotten. I never wanted to admit that I was scared to gain weight because I was scared of how my body would look with the extra pounds, so I would just hide behind every excuse I could. But, I finally came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to live the rest of my life trapped in this life where I’m scared of how I look and how society will view me. No. I want to live my life to the FULLEST and I want to enjoy every bit of life I can with confidence and happiness. I want to focus on my relationships with others instead of on what I am going to eat or when I am going to exercise 24/7.
Life is too short to be constantly worrying and living in fear. Don’t you want to be free from feeling like you have to live up to everyone’s standards? I do. And don’t you think people want to be around someone else who is confident and happy instead of someone who is depressed and can’t enjoy the life they’ve been given? I know I would. And wouldn’t you LOVE a guy who accepts you and your body for the way it is? You should. Stop chasing after a “perfect life” because let me tell you, you are wasting your time. Trust me, I know this from experience because I wasted 5 years of mine.
Some tips I have for your ladies that have helped me:
- Pray. I don’t know if you are religious or not, but praying to God and sharing with him my struggles has helped me. He has helped clear my mind of all the constant thoughts of food and has helped me through my unhappiness.
- Surround yourself with people who love you. Surrounding yourself with others who speak negatively or who aren’t happy can affect your mood and thoughts. But if you surround yourself with people who love you, accept you, and care for you, then you will start to accept yourself.
- Push away the thoughts. Every time you catch yourself looking in the mirror and thinking something you wish you could change about yourself or when you find yourself comparing your body to others, stop and push that thought away with something positive. Say if you thought, “I hate my hips,” instead think, “thank you Lord for my hips for it will help me when I want to become pregnant.”
- Erase the triggers. Many of us have been brainwashed to think these negative thoughts because of the media. How many of you have an Instagram and find yourself comparing your life/body to theirs? I’m sure all of you have before. I found it helpful to unfollow those people so I wouldn’t see them on my feed.
I know this is a tough battle to fight, but just know that almost every other girl is fighting the same battle. So why don’t we stand up against society and against the “ideal female body” and make confidence and a healthy body no matter the size the new pretty.
Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.”
— Philippians 4:6-8