Have you ever had someone point out something about you that is “wrong”? Something that you had never noticed, or at least not considered a problem.
I went to get a pedicure the other day, in preparation for our cruise, and the cashier asked me if I wanted to get my eyebrows done. I smiled and told her no thank you just the pedicure, she went on to say that I should come back and let them do my eyebrows. I said oh OK, I’ll think about that, and you know what she said…”you need them done.”
Why? Why did I need them done? When I look in the mirror they don’t bother me. In fact I don’t even notice them, at least I hadn’t. But the moment I got in the car I started scrutinizing them. Do I need to thin them out? Fill them in? Neaten them? See that’s the problem, I don’t know what’s wrong with them so how can I fix them? So now on top of feeling inadequate I’m frustrated
The same thing happened in high school. My boyfriend dumped me because he said he realized that I have hair on my face. I told him that he was crazy and that I didn’t have hair on my face, but after a long scrutinizing look in the mirror, I found the exact hair he was talking about and then started questioning why I look the way I look.
But I am realizing now that I don’t want other’s to project their opinions of what is and isn’t beautiful onto me. It’s not fair and it’s not healthy. If I am feeling confident, and Loving myself as I am, who are you to tell me what I need to fix?
As women there is so much pressure to look a certain way. It’s impossible to meet all the demands at once. Unfortunately, I believe these beauty standards will always be a part of our culture, and unless you move somewhere that your look is the ideal beauty standard, then you have to find your own way to combat it.
For me that meant a couple different things. First I started limiting my social media time. I have no problem complimenting other women nor recognizing beauty in others but what I started noticing was that I was beginning to beat myself up for not looking like certain people or not possessing certain features that repeatedly showed up on my feed.
Secondly I made sure to surround myself with others that were confident, uplifting, and practiced positive self-Love. It doesn’t mean they never had down moments but they had overall positive body images regardless of how their body was shaped. They also were comfortable talking about things they wanted to work on for themselves.
Another thing I did was make sure I did things that made me FEEL good. I started keeping fresh flowers in my house, studying topics that interested me, and doing things that I enjoyed. Why? Because it made me feel good. When people ask me why? I simply say because I wanted to.
Of course looking back I can tell you all of the witty and powerful responses I could have given to those individuals who chipped away at my healthy self-image but I’ll just keep you updated with any future incidents.
Your sister in womanhood