When you look in the mirror, what do you say about your reflection?
“I need to go to the gym.”
“My arms are flabby.”
“I have dark circles under my eyes.”
“My hair is too frizzy, too straight, or too curly.”
“I hate my nose, ears, smile, and eyebrows.”
Most people negatively critique their appearance, which can affect the way people carry themselves throughout the day. These negative impressions not only lead to depression, anxiety, and a lack of self-esteem, but also contribute to an unrealistic standard of beauty.
Some argue that we are so negative about our bodies, beauties, and imperfections because of impractical standards of beauty that are forced upon our society by the media and advertisements.
However, this is far from the truth. The fashion, media, and advertising industries capitalize on our society's insecurities. They take advantage of those insecurities to create a sense of desire and urgency for their products with ideas such as: “If you buy this makeup, you won’t have dark circles under your eyes; If you buy this dress you will appear curvy and not chubby; If you buy this hair product you can have beautiful hair.”
These insecurities that we develop affect more than your overall persona. They can also shape the way friends, employers, and colleagues view you.
For Example, have you ever listened to someone giving a great speech and he or she suddenly stops in the middle of the speech to say, “Sorry, I’m so nervous.” This causes you to focus on the nervousness of the speaker and away from the positive things you noticed about the speaker.
Have you ever had someone refuse a compliment and then provide a counter argument detailing why you shouldn’t compliment that person? Or have you been on the receiving side of a compliment and said, “Thanks, but I really don’t like this skirt. I had nothing else to wear.”
People want to see the best in you and may not notice your flaws until you point them out. Just like the speaker was doing an excellent job in your eyes until their nerves were brought to your attention.
I am guilty of all the above. I catch myself saying, “I need to do some more crunches, and my hair is a mess.” I will focus on those negative accusations I place upon myself all day, which limits my confidence and the ability to be outgoing and do amazing things.
When I focus on the qualities that I love about myself, I notice my confidence skyrocket and my insecurities shrink. The little flaws I did notice disappear as I continue to recognize my true potential and love myself.
If you woke up tomorrow and pointed out the things you love about yourself instead of the negative qualities you think you have, how powerful and confident would you feel throughout the day?
Over time your flaws will become your assets and you’ll realize that the imperfections you see in yourself could be a positive attribution in someone else’s eyes.
As a society we could change the standard of beauty and how it’s portrayed throughout the media, fashion, and advertising industries by appreciating ourselves.
I have a challenge for you:
As you are getting ready for your day, point out three things that you love about yourself. Whether these features are personality or physical qualities, make it a point to look at yourself in a mirror and cherish the beauty that you portray inside and out. After a week of praising yourself, reflect on how you feel in terms of self-esteem, your attitude throughout the week, and some of the things you accomplished. I promise you won’t be disappointed.