Body confidence. Do you have it? In most women and girls, there is a major deficiency of this powerful stuff. Our drawers are filled with bottles and palettes of makeup, our cupboards with hair products, and our heads with the hottest Instagram pictures of celebrities. The world around us tells to be beautiful. But when it comes to our bodies, there is only so much we can change.
Oh, those ‘awful’ love-handles, those ‘hateful’ thighs, and don’t get me started on the cellulite… We pick ourselves apart. We start to tell ourselves ‘if only.’ If only I had her hips. Or if only I had a thigh gap. We have a full list of conditions.
Time to stop this ladies. Time to stop highlighting your flaws and start loving your bodies. Here are some tips on how to quit the criticising and become body confident!
1. Throw away the trashy magazines: I’m not kidding. Women’s magazines are great at entertaining us when getting our hair done or waiting for appointments, but they are really good at bumping up our insecurities.
Of course, not all magazines are guilty of this (just a large percentage of them). The typical magazine for women can stamp out self-confidence with just the front cover. The airbrushing, the photoshop, the idealistic and false representation of women is harmful to our confidence. Magazines don’t just focus on advocating fake beauty, but they disparage what’s real by mocking celebrities in their ‘less-than-perfect’ states. So what if Mila Kunis looks tired? Who cares?
The ‘perfection’ these magazines promote is unachievable. Being real and beautiful isn’t being an indefectible, size 6 barbie. Do yourselves a favour and bin those magazines. You’ll feel better.
2. Help from your friends: We are all pros at criticising ourselves. We recognise our flaws easier than we recognise our best assets. Why not sit with your friends and tell each other what you love about each other. You’ll be surprised- the parts of your body you hate often turn out to be what your friends love! Get a little perspective. You’ll immediately feel better about yourself.
3. Find an alter-ego: There are plenty of women in the world that radiate confidence. And they aren’t all models. Find a confident woman and emulate her. How does she walk? How does she speak? Acting as if you have confidence often breeds confidence. Unleash your fire by learning from the best. Need some inspiration? Think Michelle Obama. She oozes confidence.
4. Redefine beauty: Change your definition of ‘beauty.’ Does beauty in this moment mean an unimpeachable, hour-glass body? So many women don’t have this look, but that doesn’t stop them looking great in their own bodies.
Think about it. How many women actually have this kind of body? Make your body the definition of beauty. Turn to some famous fashion consultants to help you learn to love your shape and accentuate its beauty. Gok Wan acknowledges each body shape and gives fantastic tips on how to dress your shape to look your best. Celebrate yourself!
5. Redirect that thought: ‘I feel fat’. How many times has this thought flashed across your mind? As soon as we say this to ourselves, we activate a rush of negative emotions. The thought produces the emotion, not the other way round. Stop this thought in its tracks and change it to something positive. Ok, so you are a little bloated today, but that’s ok and you’re having a good day regardless. You aren’t going to feel great every day. Accept this as normal and focus on the things that are working for you.