Confidence is everything.
I look up to women who confidently wear crop tops exposing their mid drift. I admire women who wear shorts unafraid to expose their legs. I am envious of women who flaunt their arms in sleeveless shirts.
When a woman accepts and loves her body, suddenly the people around her accept and love her body as well. It’s kind of a mind game. Confidence in your own body doesn’t give the people around you anything to make fun of.
I wish I could have woken up one day and said, “I AM GOING TO LOVE MY BODY” and actually believe that. But body acceptance and self-love take a long time. And, that’s all right. It is an awful feeling to be trapped inside a body that you can’t change. But you can change how you think about that body.
How to love your body.
It’s easier said than done, of course. But I have compiled a few tips to help you see your body for what it is…
1. Buy clothing that makes you feel fantastic.
Fitting rooms can be really, really horrible. You pick out 20 things and you think, hey this will make my butt look great. But then you try on all 20 items and discover that your body makes 19 of those items look like they were made by a 13-year-old who spends their allowance at Fabric Land.
The truth is, most clothing is made for one kind of body. It is NOT your body that makes the clothing look bad. It is the clothing not working for your body. You can get around this by shopping for clothing, bras, underwear, and formal attire at places that specialize in making clothing for your figure. Find companies that work for you and slay all those outfits girls. Rock that crop top because you can. Rock that turtle neck because you can.
2. Remove yourself from negative or toxic body environments.
If you feel like you can’t be yourself or you feel self-conscious about your body in an environment, well, that environment is probably not for you. If you have a group of friends who like to hang out and bash other people’s bodies, I would suggest not going to that hang out.
Negative environments result in negative thoughts about your own body image. Don’t participate in any form of body hate and do not allow a toxic environment to become an environment that you visit regularly. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, if for example your parents are the ones who body hate, but remove yourself as much as you can.
3. Surround yourself with people who love their own bodies.
It is such a wonderful thing to be around people who worship their own bodies. It’s not that people who love their bodies do not see their own flaws, they do. The difference between someone who loves their body and someone who does not is acceptance of flaws as unique and beautiful. Being around people like this, make it easier for you to see your jiggly arms and your cellulite packed thighs and say, I love my body. I love my flaws. I am beautiful.
When I came to theatre school I was suddenly surrounded by beautiful women who were beautiful because they saw their own flaws and loved them. It made me want to embrace my curves. So, find that body-loving niche of gal-pals and stay there.
4. Do not look at images of women with unreal bodies.
Some people use images of fit women as their “body goals”. While it’s important to have goals for health and fitness, it is not necessary to compare your body to other women. We all have different bodies. We all have different metabolisms. I am never going to look like Kate Moss. My body is healthy at its natural size of 12.
Instead of looking at images of women’s bodies you desire, look at images of yourself. What?! Isn’t that kind of narcissistic? No. Take a few mirror selfies in clothing that makes you feel good, or your birthday suit if you feel good in that.
When you find yourself staring at a picture of Megan Fox on the cover of some magazine in line at the grocery store, pull out those mirror selfies and look at yourself. Start looking through your own Instagram or Facebook and tell yourself how freaking cute you are. Because you are.
5. Every time you see a beautiful person, give them a genuine compliment.
If you don’t know the person, you can just give them the compliment in your head to keep things from getting awkward. In addition to giving a compliment to the beautiful person, give yourself one at the same time. Giving a person a compliment whose body you admire is a great way to get positive thinking going.
Instead of seeing that person and wishing you could look like them, you actually turn the negative thoughts into positive, loving, and accepting ones. Then giving yourself a compliment, A REAL GENUINE ONE, establishes a mental habit that you are just as beautiful and valuable as the most beautiful people. Try it.
6. Find what makes you happiest in life and follow it.
Being thin won’t make you as happy as you think it will and having the perfect curves won’t either, so analyze what makes you truly happy in life. When you lose weight, there is no sudden “I LOVE MY BODY” change. Trust me, I’ve lost 70 pounds and not one of those pounds has made me love my body.
Loving your body and yourself is an internal change. It’s really hard to notice weight loss on yourself. And we never think our bodies are perfect no matter how many pounds we lose.
Happiness does not come from having the perfect body. Happiness is deeper than body image. So find what you are passionate about and follow that. You love fashion? Love your body through fashion. You love soccer? Love your body through soccer. Your body is involved in everything you do simply because it’s your body. If you can find a way to love your body (and the incredible things it does for you) through your passions, you will find happiness.
7. Develop a body-love mantra.
If you say something enough times, it eventually becomes true. Every time you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see, every time you find yourself thinking bad body thoughts, STOP YOURSELF. Use a mantra to change your thinking patterns. Turn that negativity into positivity.
My mantra is I accept myself, unconditionally, as I am, right now. Develop a mantra that works for you and encourages your own body love.
It’s okay if you don’t believe yourself when you first start saying it. I didn’t either and sometimes I still don’t. But it is a great, healthy way to remind yourself that you are more than good enough as you are.
Accepting your body is a mental change, not a physical one. You will find more self-love by loving your body as it is right now. Your body is already perfect girl.
Let me know your tips and tricks for loving your body!