Today's post is a little different, and I hope it resonates with you. Valentine's Day can bring out all the feelings, including the not so great ones. The truth is that even if you happen to be in a loving relationship, you may struggle with the most challenging love of all, loving YOURSELF.
Every day we are bombarded with what society, Hollywood, social media, magazines tell us is "normal." It is so easy to lose yourself in the what-ifs... what if I were skinnier, curvier, shorter, taller, tan, pretty? The list can go on and on.
How we see ourselves can be so different from how others see us, and sometimes we assume that they are the same. Our "Body image" is often affected by family, friends, social pressure, and the media.
Whether we are aware of it or not, we all struggle with body image issues. According to DoSomething.org, Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape. In a survey, more than 40% of women and about 20% of men agreed they would consider cosmetic surgery in the future. The statistics remain relatively constant across gender, age, marital status, and race. So that is why I want to share some positive ways to encourage the self-love process, starting TODAY!!!!
Let's address the elephant in the room (no pun intended). The fashion industry has played a detrimental role in how most women view their bodies. Even women who don't love fashion have beliefs about the standard of beauty that have been shaped by what my industry has promoted. These beliefs are not healthy, mainly because they aren't always accurate.
One of the main reasons I love what we do here is that we get to fight those stereotypes every day. I often joke that my job is part psychologist. My goal every day is to teach women to stop dressing for the garment they think they should wear and embrace what works for their body!!
Let me say it louder for those in the back. You are beautiful even if you can't see it. I can't tell you the number of confident women whose confidence evaporates when it comes to their clothes and body. It slips into casual conversation or little asides about hips being too large or not having a bust... I've heard it all.
This is why I love creating custom clothing! Sizes don't exist. We can use your insecurities and thoughts of having a problematic figure to dress to create something that makes you feel confident and the most powerful version of yourself. Your differences are what make you beautiful. Picking yourself apart won't help, BUT letting an expert who can see how beautiful you genuinely are can help you dress for your body can.
A garment doesn't' exist so that you can somehow change yourself to fit into it. Invest in something that's made for YOU. Our job is to make you feel your best. There are all sorts of visual tricks that we have up our sleeve (pun intended) that can help you minimize the things that aren't your favorite features (I'm talking to you, stomach and arms) and enhance the beauty in YOU!
FOCUS ON THE GOOD AND ALL ELSE WILL FOLLOW!
I wanted to include some awesome resources as well as a recent podcast from a fellow model and friend!
- You Matter!
- You Are Beautiful!
- You Are So Loved!
Here are some super simple ways to take care of yourself. They may seem obvious or sound like things you've heard a million times, but we all need to be reminded (I'm including myself in this) of how truly remarkable we are. It takes work, and we're not going to feel it every day, and that's why simple lists like this can help. Just think of them as reminders of how beautiful you are and NOT as a to-do list you can't achieve.
12 Ways to Practice Self-Love
- Stop comparing yourself to others.
- Don't worry about others' opinions.
- Allow yourself to make mistakes.
- Remember your value doesn't lie in how your body looks.
- Don't be afraid to let go of toxic people.
- Process your fears.
- Nourish yourself.
- Treat yourself.
- Use positive self talk and words of affirmation.
- Start a gratitude journal.
- Age is just a number and shouldn't be a negative thing, embrace it!
- Shower yourself in feel-good vibes.
8 tips for taking care of your body
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet with lots of vegetables and fruit
- Keep your immunizations up-to-date
- Don’t use tobacco, vape products, alcohol, or drugs
- Exercise as often as you can
- Stay aware of your emotions and moods
- Get enough sleep
- See your health-care provider if you think something may be wrong
If you or someone you know is struggling, the NEDA hotline number is (800)- 931- 2237, or you can text “NEDA” to 741741.
Lastly, some books that you might find helpful.