As you may or may not know, I have decided to engage myself in a personal, self-esteem building project. It will be divided in three parts. For the details see: 10 Days to Love: A Challenge – Part 1
So, compiling this second list I decided to give myself a focus. The first list was just a test to see if I could stick to a task, so a lot of the items I listed were disjointed ideas that simply came to me. However, I was looking at an article online about a particular celebrity and her rail thin figure. Many either knocked her for being too skinny, or adored her for being as thin as possible. Not shortly after, I came across an article praising another celebrity for her “thick” in all the right places frame. It is all, honestly, hard to keep up with, but it also got me to thinking.
There are days when I wake up and I look in the mirror and I am thoroughly unsatisfied. We all go through it, right? What’s more, we convince ourselves that if we just looked a little different, then we just know we would be so much happier. If my waist was a little slimmer, my breasts a little bigger, if my eyes were this or that color, and, personally I’m still on the fence about a thigh gap. There are diets of all types that promise fast results with little to no effort on your part. There are fitness fads that cost hundreds of dollars that promise to sculpt and chisel your frame into a living work of art – like a Grecian effigy of perfection in the flesh. Sometimes I feel as though anyone with a great figure, charming personality, and a sales pitch can be a fitness expert/guru. Society is utterly obsessed with obtaining the perfect body.There are people who make a living on fat-shaming celebrities, television shows that bank on documenting the health struggles of extreme obesity, and glorifying those who have achieved the “ideal” figure – what ever that may be at the time.
So, with these concepts in mind, I decided I would attempt to break the programming, again. My focus for my second list was to look at myself and to write down the physical things I love about myself. I stared myself in the mirror, said “hello” and “good morning,” and asked, “Well, what do you love about yourself today?” Now, there are a couple of items on the list that deviated from the focus I gave myself. This was because I was truly inspired by the events of that day, and so it was what I loved. But overall, I did my best to keep up with the theme.
These were the final results:
- The almond shape of my eyes.
- My hip to waist ratio. Its not perfect, but I like the curve of my hips from my waist.
- My back in backless dresses.
- The way I read with enthusiasm when I read to my preschoolers. I like to change my voice depending on the characters speaking.
- That I have a job where “messy day” is a real and legitimate thing!
- My complexion works well with almost any color.
- The way wearing red lipstick makes me feel beautiful and dynamic.
- Adorned or Unadorned… I like me.
- I enjoy the versatility of my hair texture. I can change my look and style dramatically from one day to the next.
- I dress for the woman I know I am and want to be, not for the woman I have to be.
The last item on my list struck me as I walked into work for the day. I am exceedingly conscientious when dressing each day. I consider color, fit, texture, style. I tell the story of how I feel through my clothing. It is a true form of expression. However, often it is pointed out to me that I am “overdressed” for my job: preschool teacher. My counter to that way of thinking is to dress for who I want to be, not for who I have to be. I can say, with some pride, that I sincerely adhere to this motto of life. Not that I dress to the ‘nines’ every day, but that I do take great consideration into my appearance.
Now, as I wrote this, I thought to myself. There will be those who will think that this is superficial. There will be those who will argue that women are more than their appearance, and as a woman I should be aware of this. For the record, I am very much aware. And yet, I can say, with no shame, that I also enjoy being beautiful. Or at least meeting my idea of beauty. And that is where the strength lies. I am meeting my idea of beauty, not the idea society is selling to me. I am looking at myself – inside and out – and it is my desire to fall desperately, endlessly, and madly in love with myself.
A final thought, there truly are no coincidences in life, because while perusing my news feed on Facebook, I came across a video posted by a friend. It was the official video for the Dove: Average vs. Beautiful Campaign. I watched and thought, “how oddly fitting to the theme of my next post.” The video showcased women from different countries. They approach a building that has two entrances: one labeled “beautiful,” the other labeled “average.” Cameras recorded which door these women chose.
If interested watch the video here.
As always… May we all be sweetly inspired.
Featured Image Photo Credit: Harry Bates (1850-1899) – Pandora (1891) – Tate Britain Sep 2010 left by ketrin1407 via Flickr (license)