It’s hard to love yourself when you’re constantly bombarded with messages from society telling you there are multiple things wrong with your body. We’ve all felt these pressures, but now it’s time to start loving your body. This is how you tell society to ‘stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.’
To start off, you’re going to have to do something uncomfortable: you’re going to need to identify a ‘flaw’ you believe you have. Choose only one thing, go through the steps and then pick another ‘flaw’ and rinse and repeat.
For me, it was shaving my legs. The reason I don’t shave my legs is because I don’t believe in altering my body from its natural form. I am beautiful without any modification.
Recognize societal messages.
Now you have to keep your eyes open and notice what message society has put out regarding your ‘flaw’; they usually come in the form of ads. So for me, it was all the ads about waxing and shaving—the deeper message being that unshaved legs are unattractive and unhygienic.
Are these messages valid?
So, is what these ads are saying true? No. Never believe anything in a beauty ad. Don’t believe me? That’s fine, but here’s some food for thought: a recent scientific study found that 80% of claims by the cosmetic industry are all lies. Here’s the thing: these companies only want your money. The beauty industry is a multibillion-dollar industry, so these companies will make you feel bad about yourself if it means they get a payday. Don’t buy into their lies.
So, let’s look at the claim that unshaved legs aren’t hygienic. If that were true then why is that men don’t shave? In fact, they should experience a greater pressure to shave since men are naturally hairier. So, I’m going to disagree on the unhygienic front. What about attractiveness? Here’s the thing: confidence is what’s really attractive. If you believe you’re attractive, other people will see you that way.
Flaunt said ‘flaws’.
This comes back to confidence. So, now that you know these companies are lying to you and you want to start loving your body, how do you start? Exposure. You need to expose your ‘flaw’ to the world and accept yourself.
If you don’t like your weight, wear a bikini. If you don’t like your curly hair, wear it out. For me, it meant I would go out with my hairy legs in full view. This is all very hard to start off with so you will need some baby steps first.
I started by wearing 3/4 length pants that showed of little bit of leg hair. That way I slowly encouraged myself to bare my full legs.
Realise where you and society differ.
There will be an overlap between what you and society find beautiful. For instance, you may find that you prefer unshaved legs and that’s fine. But, sometimes, and by sometimes I mean often, we internalize what society tells us.
So, how do you know that you genuinely like unshaved legs and that society hasn’t wormed its way into your head? You have to do the complete opposite. Bare those legs and only when you fully accept them in their hairy glory can you then make a genuine decision as to whether or not you still prefer unshaved legs.
Tell yourself that you’re beautiful.
It all comes back to how you view yourself. Don’t let other people define beauty for you. You are beautiful even if someone tells you that you’re not. You are your own definition of beauty.
Don’t worry about anyone else.
As I was saying above, if you believe that you’re beautiful and attractive then you are beautiful and attractive. If people tell you otherwise then my question is: why are they still in your life?
Don’t surround yourself with poison. I’ve surrounded myself with good, genuine and non-judgmental people. You don’t need a lot of people in your life as long as you’re surrounded by good people.
Also, don’t worry about dating. When you start only allowing genuine people into your life, your partner ends up being one of these non-judgmental people. For instance, my boyfriend doesn’t mind my legs in the slightest, and why should he?
Spread the message.
I don’t mean go out on a street corner and preach your newfound beliefs. Just mention it in passing. If someone asks me why I haven’t shaved, I tell them I love myself too much to let society dictate to me how I should view my body.
Not everyone will understand that view, but eventually what you say will impact someone else and set them free.
The way I see it, the only life I want to live is one that is genuine and not influenced by multibillion dollar corporations that seek to destroy my self-esteem just to make a quick buck. Leave a comment below if you feel the same way.