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Body Image

Updated: Oct 25, 2022

Photography: Valpeña, Culiacán, Mex

Learn to love yourself !

“I am obsessed with becoming a woman comfortable in her skin.” –Sandra Cisneros

Read this quote. Now repeat it, and repeat it until it becomes a reality.

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Sure, saying this out loud to yourself is pretty easy, but actually believing it is another story. The topic of self-love and body acceptance is one we are all too familiar with. If you are someone that struggles with loving your body, don’t worry. You are not alone. In fact, most women are not satisfied with their physical appearance. Eighty percent of women in the U.S. are unhappy with their bodies, according to The National Eating Disorder Association. In today’s society, everyone is constantly being bombarded with reminders of what they should look like to fit society’s “beauty norms”, but no one actually teaches you how to feelbeautiful. Here are four tips to help you learn to love the way your body looks.

1. Stop comparing yourself.

All day long we see images of beautiful people on television, in magazines, the Internet, and most frequently on social media. We are all guilty of scrolling through our social media feeds, seeing an image of a beautiful female and automatically comparing ourselves. This is where the problem begins. There is absolutely nothing wrong with admiring another human’s appearance; however, the act of comparing ourselves to another individual is when our self-esteem begins to suffer. It is unrealistic to compare yourself to someone else because you are two completely different people. It’s like comparing two flowers. Neither flower is more beautiful than the other. Insecurities are a natural part of life and will always creep into your mind. However, when you catch yourself feeling this way, I urge you to stop. Take yourself out of this situation, and instead, praise your own beauty. Acknowledge all the unique qualities you have that set you apart from others and send them some love.

2. Be realistic.

The tip above leads me to the next one. No one looks like the models in Vogue, not even the models themselves. The photos you see on Instagram have more than likely been filtered, and probably even photo shopped. It is physically impossible for you to achieve the look you are killing yourself over, because it is not real. Also, you don’t have a team of professional hair and makeup artists, stylists, photographers, and digital editors working with you everyday, unless you happen to be a Kardashian. All jokes aside, when you are looking at an image of an ultra-beautiful and thin model, give yourself a reality check. Let’s look at some statistics. Over the past 20 years, the fashion model size has dropped from size 8 to 0. The average woman today weighs about 140-150 pounds and wears a size 12-14, according to WebMD. Whether you are a size 0 or a size 18, physical beauty begins when you feel good on the inside and reflect that confidence on the outside.

3. Take a different approach.

Often times, when we look in the mirror, we automatically point out all of our flaws. We criticize the size of our nose, the muffin top sticking out of our jeans, or the cellulite on our thighs. We are our own biggest critics. While you are busy bullying your physical appearance, there is probably someone admiring you and the beauty you lack to see. Next time you look in a mirror, I challenge you to change your perspective, and practice some self-love. Really focus on thinking positively, and point out five things you love about yourself. You will begin to notice that your thoughts will become your reality. “Deposit a quarter into a designated container each time you criticize your body, and watch your self-awareness soar and your habits change. When you’ve collected enough money, treat yourself to a gift or donate it. We can all change our language-and our minds,” advices Rosie Molinary, author of Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance.

4. Look good. Feel good.

Loving oneself should have nothing to do with the size of our body. It is truly a state of mind. However, if you are unsatisfied with your physical appearance, change up your routine a little and get active. Never look at exercise as a chore or like something you have to do. Instead, think of it as something you getto do. Staying healthy is part of feeling good about yourself. Try different types of exercises until you feel like you found the ones you enjoy the most. Exercise has even been scientifically proven to make us happier. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter in our brains that is necessary for us to feel happiness, and the best way to release this chemical is by moving our bodies, according to the Huffington Post. One keynote to remember is to focus more on your health and less on your weight. Do not obsess over losing a large amount of weight and push yourself too far. Take one day at a time. Also, don’t forget to thank your body for functioning and allowing you to be a healthier, stronger, and more confident version of who you are!

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