Insecurities have always been a part of my life. For as long as I can remember, I have been counting calories and cutting carbohydrates, fats, and sugars out of my diet. There is something about society that tells you you have to be insecure to be normal. Every time that I complain about a part of my body, I always hear my friends and family comment on how misconstrued my perception is, and just how skewed it really is. I hear the words "you're blind" more times in a day than I can count. And quite honestly? I'm sick of it. I'm sick of looking in the mirror and feeling like I have something to be ashamed of, and I'm sick of comparing myself to everyone else. With the realization that this is no longer how I want to feel, nor how I deserve to feel, I came up with an activity to address my perceived flaws.
Because that's just what they are... Perceived.
This activity goes as follows: You write down all of the flaws you perceive about yourself, and you tell your friends and family each of those "flaws". They then go on to try to help to give you a positive perspective on that "flaw".
1. My "discolored" teeth
"The teeth are one of the most important parts of a person because they communicate one's happiness. You shouldn't be self-conscious of your teeth, they're there to promote your happiness and show the world just how much you love it. You are someone who is constantly embracing life and enjoying it, so you should be proud of such beautiful teeth because you live such a positive life that you always want to be showing them off!" - LK
2. My "huge" forehead
"Your skin is so perfectly smooth and you have the cutest little forehead that matches your face perfectly with absolutely NO impurities on it" - MM
3. My stretch marks
"Your stretch marks are evidence that you have lived life. Never feel ashamed or insecure of these natural little lightning bolts on your skin. They are yet another aspect that makes you unique." - AK
4. My "chubby" thighs
"Mia, you worry too much about your thighs. You run every day and I've seen the muscles really starting to build. Your thighs are skinny and they fit you perfectly! Not everyone is gonna have a thigh gap and that is okay!" - CC
5. My "huge" stomach
"Though some days you wake up and hate the way your stomach looks in the mirror, you don't truly recognize how beautiful your body is. What you call 'excess skin' really isn't excess at all. It is your perfect skin just like you." - MSM
6. My "quadruple" chin
"You have exactly the right amount of chin. Given an imperfect photo angle, everyone can feel insecure, even the celebrities you tag on Finsta as #goals. Try a #newgoal -- Fall in love with that soft, smooth place which so gracefully connects your beautiful face to the beautiful rest of you!" - KM
8. and someone who just couldn't find any way to compliment me on those perceived flaws...
"These 'issues' you see with yourself are just an issue with your perception. I don't know anyone besides you that sees those things when they look at you. When I look at you, I see a beautiful young woman who is incredibly strong despite her unfounded insecurities. I wish that you could see how amazing you are through my eyes. If you could then all of your insecurities would melt away." - OM
So I challenge you. Yes, YOU to address your perceived insecurities head on. To tackle them by hearing all of the incredible things your friends and loved ones perceive about you.
You'll be surprised to see just how much self-love you have been missing out on!