Body Positivity: Loving the skin you’re in and the beautiful person inside

by | Jul 11, 2022 | Self-Esteem | 0 comments

Beauty comes in all sizes and shapes

 Over the many years of practice as a psychologist, I have encountered a myriad of societal issues that really concerns me. But, you know what really grinds my gears? The crazy dialogue that society has introduced around our physique. One that privileges outward appearance over the introspective contentment that celebrates our uniqueness. The unrealistic beauty standards it tries to force on us. Everywhere you look – Instagram, magazines, TV – it’s all people pursuing surgically-enhanced perfection.

Passively subtle messages that say “you’re just not good enough as you are”. Like any of us measure up to that! Amid this unending noise in our modern social setting, you must understand the importance of accepting and appreciating your body exactly as it is—flaws and all. Because the truth is, real confidence comes from how you feel about yourself on the inside. So join me as we unpack how to love the skin you’re in and feel good about the beautiful person inside!

Focus on who you are, not how you look

Change how you view yourself: Reconfiguring how you see yourself is preliminarily the most fundamental step to take towards realizing body positivity. The prominence you give to your appearance over who you are is the genesis of all crises – and while at it, stressing over tiny features of your body that you don’t like makes it even worse. So, just exactly how do you change how you see yourself?

Appreciate the magic your body does: I mean, have you seen the gnarly things our bodies can do? Our eyes see in color, our lungs inhale thousands of breaths a day without even thinking about it. Our hearts beat without rest for our entire lives! How cool is that? Instead of hyper-analyzing cellulite or whatever, make a list of all the truly amazing things your one-of-a-kind body is capable of. Read it when you’re feeling blue about the unnecessary societal standards of “beauty.”

Acknowledge who you are: Our bodies are vessels to carry us through the process of achieving our true purpose in life. As such, you need to refocus your attention towards the kind of person you are. The roles you play as a mother, a husband, and a career person among the many other responsibilities. Shift the lens to appreciating yourself holistically and you’ll wonder why you ever cared what some airbrushed model looks like.

Understand that body changes happen

Accept the impermanence of your physique: It is said that change is the only constant, right? Your body is not an exception. You’ll experience unavoidable changes. As you go through different phases – growing, life changes like pregnancy or weight shifts, even basic stuff like your muscles will look different often. This understanding makes you more prepared of any physical transformations that may come your way.

Rationalize the changes: Even more important is understanding why these changes happen so as to accept them as part of the bigger life’s purpose. For instance, no one looks the same at 30 as they did at 20. Pregnancy will bring with it some weight gain. Yet, these shifts, if not rationalised to understand why they happen, will be deemed undesirable simply because they fall outside the temporary definitions of “Beauty”. This way, you’ll be able to view your transforming forms not through a lens of what we perceive as flaws but as natural symbols of experience, wisdom and survival to liberate yourself from the impossible pursuit of perpetual physical perfection.

Avoid negative comparison

We are individually unique: The social media craze has extensively catalyzed the urge to compare our physique with the carefully chosen best-moment highlights of others. We easily get sucked into the social media funhouse mirror and start over-analyzing it against how we look. Such comparison breeds jealousy which projects general dissatisfaction with our own appearance.

Celebrate the uniqueness of others: Negative thoughts towards others has a ripple effect on your own happiness and contentment with yourself. When surrounded by compliments rather than competition, it’s easier to feel satisfied with who you are rather than longing to be someone else. It promotes a sense of community and shared humanity to better appreciate diversity in looks. This way, by celebrating others, it takes the emphasis off analyzing your own perceived flaws making us more appreciative of our own.

Learn to compliment others genuinelyComplimenting others satisfies a basic human need to connect with others making us feel emotionally fulfilled and kinder to ourselves as well. When we do it thoughtfully, it compels us to look past surface levels and physical attributes, cultivating a mindset of valuing people for who they are beyond appearances. As such, it rubs off positively on how we see ourselves. In cases where others then pay it forward by complimenting us too, it becomes an authentic cycle of boosting each other’s confidence and self-esteem.

Choose the self-care that feels good

Adopt the right state of mind: As I have continuously implied in the forerunning sections, attaining body positivity is much of a psychological battle than it is a physical one. Taking care of yourself is an essential component in the process of making you feel better about your physique. However, if you do it for the wrong reason, it’ll end up being just another source of your discontentment. In my career as a psychologist, I have encountered clients who gave up on their gym routine or nutritional routine. But how do they get there? Taking care of yourself shouldn’t feel like a punishment! Nourishing your bod doesn’t mean restricting “bad” foods or grueling hours at the gym trying to cut weight to look like your friend. Move in a way that brings you joy instead of feeling like a chore.

Make it fun: Find activities you actually look forward to, like dancing in your living room, hiking with friends, lazily doing yoga on your couch – whatever zhuzs your juice! Exercise is so much more sustainable when it’s a fun way to spend time, not a stressful “have to.” Nourish your wellbeing with practices that relax you too, like drawing a bath, trying a new recipe, calling your bestie – the small self-care decisions add up to loving the way you live from the inside out.

It’s a journey – walk with me

It takes time: Loving yourself fully isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes time and patience to shun destructive thoughts and transform into a contented new self that is confident and full of self-love. There are days you won’t feel like hitting the gym, and that’s still fine. Just relax for there is still the next day. That does not mean you don’t need to comply with your schedule. But make it a seamless process that brings joy upon your life, not a punishment to attain a premeditated outlook within a strict deadline.

I am here to help: This journey we share is one of discovering our own splendor from the inside out. I am honored to help guide you until you glowing radiance becomes your unshakeable anchor. You’ve got this – and you’ve got me too. Let’s walk the journey together as keep travelling towards your greatness for it awaits your arrival.