Many of us remember the first time we looked in a mirror and disliked the reflection that was staring back at us. It was either our thighs were too thick, our hips were too big, or for me, it was the huge gap in my front teeth, that made me want to break the mirror. Even though, I had many people around me telling me that I was pretty, it was so hard for me to believe. I just did not look like the beautiful girls I admired on TV.
Fast forward several years and here we are as wives, mothers, and successful career women, still hating on the image in the mirror. The funny thing is, that it is still some of the same flaws, and a few new ones. My thighs are too thick, my hips are huge, my face has wrinkles and, now for me, it is the tummy pooch from 3 C-sections, that I can not get rid of. We look in the mirror and think, “I just do not look like the beautiful women in the media.”. We decide that we are not beautiful, because we do not resemble the movie stars, supermodels, or women on the front of magazines at the grocery store. So, we decide we have to make our self beautiful, no matter the cost.
A Dove survey found that only 4% of women worldwide consider themselves beautiful. This is heartbreaking to me. Society is obsessed with physical beauty and unfortunately we are caught in the trap. The media creates an ideal of beauty which is unattainable for most women, yet still we chase after it. Would you believe, that 8 out of 10 women are dissatisfied with what they see. Some actually see a distorted image in the mirror. 80 percent of women over-estimate their size. They look in the mirror and see ugliness and fat. Sadly, we see this in social media, when a young girl posts a selfie and asks, “Am I pretty?” It is these types of behaviors and mindsets that send many women to the world of plastic surgery. Ironically, we cut our face or body, to get what we think is the ideal face or body. However, plastic surgery is not a permanent fix, so what happens? They go under the knife again and again. How much pain do we have to endure, to find ourselves beautiful?
If you are like me and other women, body image has been an issue for many years. Poor body image begins at a very early age. Even normal weight and under weight girls want to lose weight. They are going on diets because they think they are fat and unattractive. From the beginning of time, women have tried to force their bodies to be something they were not. It started with bone corsets and has evolved into extreme dieting and exercise. Now don’t get me wrong. I am passionate and a true believer that proper diet and exercise are very important to our health. However, like anything else, it can become an obsession and even an addiction. All women should desire to be healthy. When a woman is healthy she has an attractive glow about her. She has wonderful color in her face and skin. Being healthy gives us more energy and puts a little pep in our step. When a woman is doing what she can to be healthy, she looks and feels more beautiful. Proper diet and exercise should be used to get healthy, not look like what society says we need to be or fit into a certain size clothing.
Why is it that society says that we are supposed to be pencil-thin to be beautiful? I don’t know about you, but I have never been called a stick and I don’t think I ever will be. Guess what though, I am OK with that. Sister, do not fall for the belief that your body is not good enough or beautiful. Remember Marilyn Monroe? Society would say today, that her size 12 curvy body was not beautiful. Would you agree or disagree? After all, she was on the cover of every
magazine and the desire of all men. How could we not find her beautiful? We need to start embracing our bodies, curves and all, instead of trying to cover it. As women we can and should have confidence in our physical beauty!
Would you believe, that you, are the only person that can make you feel that you are not beautiful? It is true. You are the one that convinces yourself. We have to stop looking to other people on how to be beautiful, and accept that we are beautiful, just the way we are. We, women, have to redefine beauty for ourselves. We have to retrain our brains on what true beauty is. Believe it or not, every woman defines her own standard of beauty. When we reject the rigid beauty standards set by society, we are more likely to have a positive body image and become happier with how we look. Beauty builds confidence and confidence amplifies beauty!
We need to look in the mirror everyday and say, “This is who I am, and I am beautiful.” God designed you. He created us beautifully with soft skin and hair and bodies that have curves. “He is the creator of all things beautiful and delights in this beauty.” We must embrace this truth and admire what we see in the mirror. What a woman does with what God gave her, is what makes her attractive. So, be proud of what the Good Lord gave you!