Would it surprise you to learn that in the U.S., a whopping 80% of women are dissatisfied with their appearance?
It doesn’t surprise me one bit. Indeed, I think the fact that so many people – especially women – are at war with their reflections makes complete and total sense.
Why? Part of the reason is that when we attempt to make peace with ourselves and our looks, there are a lot of forces working against us. Confidence isn’t exactly encouraged in our society.
Think about it. The big corporations make money off of our self-consciousness. Covergirl brings in the big bucks when we think our eyelashes aren’t full enough without their specially-formulated plumping mascara. Jenny Craig’s profits soar when we constantly believe we need to lose ten pounds.
Those companies don’t want us to have body confidence because then we’ll think twice about handing over the contents of our wallets.
Sadly, our own friends and family might be on the same side as those corporations. While it’d be wonderful if everyone always wanted the best for us, the truth is that when someone is struggling with her own self-esteem, it’s hard for her to be truly happy for the confident people in her midst.
Misery loves company, and confident people can seem downright threatening. No wonder we have such a body image issue on our hands.
Wish you felt more comfortable in your skin? Remember this: Being confident requires courage. Believing you’re beautiful is an act of bravery.
I might even go as far as to say that true body confidence is radical. It goes completely against the status quo; as you step outside the box of “I’m not good enough” there are loads of people who want to push you back inside it.
There’s something incredibly powerful about having that “aha” moment where you realize that your struggles with body image aren’t necessarily coming from you, at least not entirely. There’s a whole world of people out there – including some very powerful advertising executives – who are trying to make you feel bad about yourself.
The good news is that you can choose to ignore them.
You can choose to have the courage to feel confident. You can choose to be brave in your acceptance of yourself, just the way you are.
No matter which advertisement tells you you’re not good enough in the hopes of convincing you to buy a product. No matter which friend or family member wants you to feel bad about yourself just because she does.
Body confidence takes courage, but today’s a great day to be brave.
Do you think self-acceptance is a courageous act? What are the forces in your life that try to hinder you on your path toward a better body image?
13 responses to “Want Body Confidence? Remember This Simple Fact”
Self acceptance is a matter of honesty and love to me. It’s a matter of choice. Does one want to accept oneself or not? Why? Answering those questions takes a depth of honesty. Perhaps it takes courage to answer them, too.
Personally, I have an amazing man whose family views beauty and body as two innate parts of life. They’ve taught me so much and don’t accept the societal norms of much. For them, I’m incredibly grateful.
They sound like incredible people! Your comment really has me thinking. I never connected self-acceptance and honesty before, but now I see an important link there. Thanks for giving me great food for thought!
This is a wonderful post and you make a lot of really great points. I’ve always struggled with body image, always. And I know that when I’m on my death bed I’m not going to look back wishing I had been a size four. I think you are right that confidence takes courage, and this post is inspiring me to be brave!
We are on the same page, for sure. I’ve often said that our jeans size won’t be etched into our tombstones!
So then why continue the mentality? (Serious question, not rhetorical)
My husband always asks me, “what’s the worst that can happen?” given any situation.
With that in mind, what’s the worst that could happen if one believes in one’s body? What’s the worst that could happen if one embraces one’s beauty? What’s the worst that could happen if one made a small change (any change) to how one perceives oneself?
From my experience, it’s not always easy. From my experience, it’s best for me to surround myself with those who get it, who are the change that I’m seeking.
Just some thoughts…
That’s actually something I wrote about in my last e-book in regards to coping with fear. I too use the technique of asking myself what’s the worst possible scenario. When you realize that no matter what happens, you can deal with it, it gives you courage to face whatever is in front of you. And I completely agree that having the right company is crucial; accepting yourself is ten times harder if the people around you are tearing you down instead of building you up.
“I might even go as far as to say that true body confidence is radical. It goes completely against the status quo; as you step outside the box of “I’m not good enough” there are loads of people who want to push you back inside it.”
So true! They can’t market to us when we’re confident…so they promote the self-deprecation.
Wow, totally needed to hear this today. It’s true, we all need to be braver.
It’s not only a mindset, it’s a commitment to yourself. It’s a daily mantra. It’s a challenge that never goes away. Do it! You’ll never regret it. It’ll change your whole outlook.
Yes, yes, yes! Self-acceptance is a process more so than a final destination. Wish I had included that in the post. Maybe a topic for another day!
Here’s an important post that bears repeating for every woman, every day, in nearly every culture.
I’d even add the feminist perspective that all that self hate is based on how our bodies appeal to men. We aren’t wearing wedgy-giving thongs or breast-confining push-up bras for the sake of other women. We’ve been taught since infancy that our beauty is that which makes us appealing – not that which makes us feel wonderful.
I’m so glad you brought this up because it is extremely important. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but why can’t WE be our own beholders? Like you say, we’re taught to judge ourselves by what makes us appealing to others (men in particular). The funny part is, men usually couldn’t care less about the fancy bras and underwear!
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. Don’t give them the consent! Everyone is beautiful in their own way!