It was about that time again for me to write about one of my favorite topics: body positivity. As summer heads into full swing it is truly swimsuit season and if you're like me then it that means you've got a fight coming your way.
Me versus my thoughts that tear me down for my outward appearance, what I like to call "the body shamers". This is my fight. These are the thoughts that used to hold me back from enjoying my life because I felt I wasn't beautiful enough.
Every once in a while I doubt myself and can eventually talk myself back into reality: if I'm healthy and happy with the appearance then others' opinions don't matter. I am enough.
Then summer rolls around and the idea of being half naked in the sun is a bittersweet thought. On one hand I love being tan, I love wearing trendy swimsuits, and I love taking cute pictures at the beach because what a summer aesthetic-truly. However, the body shaming thoughts I once had find their way back in and take their blows especially hard during the summer.
For obvious reasons of course, summer as aforementioned means showing more skin which means not only am I showing skin but so are others. Then the comparison game begins, the back and forth of "I love the way I look because it makes me who I am" versus "damn I wish I was skinnier/tanner/prettier like her". Please know that one's beauty doesn't diminish another's beauty.
Have you ever had a to-do list of things to fix about yourself?
If I don't make a conscious effort to remind myself the negative thoughts are wrong then it turns into an uphill battle that feels never ending. I find myself looking around and just finding reasons why people I believe to be beautiful are better than me because they are so beautiful.
Next thing I know I am summing my value and worth to simply being about looks. Those who I believe are beautiful I put above me and make their worth more than my own. I push myself lower and lower on my own list.
We cannot compare ourselves to each other. We are each so unique in our own way that there could never be a scale to measure our own individual value or worthiness.
Yet we subject ourselves to comparison anyway.
When I find myself beginning this self loathing track I try to stop myself before it gets out of hand. The things that used to bring me to tears are things that I create into healthy and rational goals now.
Instead of fearing dressing rooms, I champion them and grab everything I want to try on ignoring if I think I should wear it or not. If they don't fit and I find that I am leaving empty handed I tell myself that at least I can save money or I got get a lipstick.
When I find myself knit picking I stop myself and choose to think of things I like about myself if I'm not feeling pretty that day I remind myself of all the nice things people have gone out of their way to say to me. That's another thing, I will accept a compliment because someone went out of their way to make me feel good. I accept that compliment and save it for later when I need a little pick me up.
You can't always flip your mood on a dime but if you work at telling yourself you're enough then you eventually start to believe it. So don't stop loving yourself! Don't be obsessed but don't drag yourself down.
As a confessed control freak, see my last article "When The Other Shoe Drops", I understand that my weight is something I can control so instead of saying critiquing every curve and dimple on my body or saying I don't care at all I find the balance. I like eating good food and getting drinks with my friends. I can't do that for long without going to the gym.
The girl who used to be torn down by the body shaming thoughts has not disappeared entirely. She still exists because it is something I haven't shaken entirely yet. The difference now is that I don't let that old feeling of inferiority take over.
We all have moments of insecurity. It is human.
I don't think anyone can be one-hunnit percent confident all the time. However, I try to respond differently. I choose to solve the problems and address my body shaming thoughts instead of dwelling.
You have the power to build yourself up and also tear yourself down. In regards to others, our worth is not determined by others, they only get power if we give it to them. If you're like me, we have to fight the battle internally with ourselves not with outside world.
I am here to say that when you choose to love and accept yourself, you still have bad days but they tend to be less frequent and you find ways to shut up the body shamers.
Be a booty shaker, not a body shamer.