Embracing Yourself In A Filtered World

“When you learn to love yourself, you will stop putting your self esteem in the hands of others.” – Thema Davis

Like most people, I have a list as long as I am tall of things I would change about myself if I could. However, I choose not to. Why? Well, firstly, it would cost a small fortune! Secondly, this is me.

We are surrounded by the perceived ‘perfect’ beauty standards – social media, film and television, advertising etc. Celebrities who seemingly never age, hitting their 40’s and some even beyond their 50’s, with not a wrinkle in sight. Many of these women have had multiple children, yet don’t seem to have a single stretch mark or area of cellulite, and have the perfect beach body all year around. Men who have a body worthy of a magazine cover, chiseled face, and the perfect beach tan.

Did they win the genetics lottery? Are they regulars under the knife? Is it witchcraft?! Or is it just perfectly photoshopped? I don’t think we will ever truly know how they maintain these ‘perfect’ looks.

Seeing these beauty standards has caused many men and women to feel a pressure to achieve these too. More and more people are opting for fillers and other injectables, and even going under the knife for sculpting procedures. Now, there is nothing wrong with this, everyone is entitled to do as they wish with their body. And if I am completely honest, I considered going under the knife in the past, too.

The problem I see for children of the younger generation, is the more we conform to this cookie cutter beauty standard, changing ourselves, the less they potentially embrace their own uniqueness. Thinner lips, hooded eyes, less sculpted faces, all become a thing of the past, because they are deemed as less beautiful. If those differences are not there to be seen, how do future generations embrace and accept these too?

Self love is easier said than done, but here are some tips to help –

Surround yourself with love and support – Surround yourself with people who build you up, rather than judge and tear you down. We all know at least one person who is a little too honest, if not verging on brutal; don’t be afraid to cut ties. Although it is down to you to love and accept who you are, surrounding yourself with those who love and accept you, as you are, is always going to help.

Change your thoughts“It’s not what we say out loud that really determines our lives. It’s what we whisper to ourselves that has the most power”. We spend most of our lives in our own mind – make this a nice place to be. Talk to yourself in the way you would talk to someone you love.

Acknowledge what you are good – We are more than a face and body, yet we seem to hold a lot of our self worth and value there. Acknowledge what it is that you are good at, and do more than that – whether that is sports, music, art, or just being a great friend, place more of your self value in those.

Acknowledge what you like about yourself – This is often easier said than done, but I urge you to stand in front of the mirror and look at yourself, and list 5 things you like about yourself. It might be your personality, you’re good at your job, your hair colour, your freckles, the colour of your eyes – and keep reminding yourself of these.

Listen to your body – If you need that delicious bar of chocolate, eat it! If you need a day lazing in the pj’s, laze away! We are often quick to punish ourselves, but slow to reward. We’ll try new fad diets, feel rubbish on them, and then tell ourselves we are a failure when we struggle to stick to them. If your body is craving something; listen to it (if it is craving two large pizzas, ice cream, and a bowl of jelly, maybe slow down a little!) Listen to what your body needs, especially when it is asking for some TLC.

Eat well, drink well – I know I personally feel much better about myself when I eat and drink well. Take care of yourself, and know that you are worth taking care of.

Limit your social media intake – I am 100% guilty of scrolling through social media, wishing I looked more like others, or feeling that my life doesn’t compare to another filtered life. I ultimately end up feeling deflated and rubbish about myself. If you find yourself doing this too, limit your time on these platforms – spend this time on yourself instead.

Detach your value from others – Your like count does not equate to your self worth. Having 30,000 likes on a photo does not make someone more worthy than someone who has only 3. Do not look to others for approval, you are you. If you encounter negativity about yourself from others, know that this is a reflection of their character, and not yours; and just because something is said about you, doesn’t mean it is true.

Spend time with yourself – We all live very busy lives, but how much time do we spend with ourselves, building ourselves up? This can be done in the form of self care, daily affirmations, or morning pep talks. You have this body and mind for your entire life, invest your time in it.

Exercise – This doesn’t have to be an intense session at Cross-Fit, it can simply be a walk or a session of yoga. Try to schedule some regular exercise. It’ll help to boost your happy hormones.

Forgive yourself – You are human, you will make mistakes; none of us are perfect. Don’t hold a grudge against yourself.

Keep working at it – This isn’t something that can be fixed quickly; this is more of a life-long change. There will be days when this comes easily, and there will be days when it is near impossible – keep pushing forward. No matter how hard it is, remind yourself how worthy and loved you are.

On those days when things are little more challenging, imagine it is someone else saying they feel the way you feel – what would you say to them? Would you tell them they are a terrible person, or would you say they are a great person, and proceed to list off the reasons why? Would you tell them their thinner lips and hooded eyes are not catalog worthy? (I personally have both of these), or would you tell them that their lipstick colour complements their skin perfectly, or remind them of celebrities x, y and z all have the same thinner lips; and that their eye colour is stunning? Whatever you would tell someone else, start saying it to yourself. Take your own advice.

None of us know how long our lives will be; but a lifetime is a long time to dislike yourself. You have your wonderful self for life; spend your time boosting and building yourself up, without seeking approval from others. You owe yourself the love that you freely give to others.

Be you. Do you. Love you. For You.

Elisabeth

“Seek to be whole, not perfect.” – Oprah
This is me – flaws and all! No filters, no make-up!

Don’t forget to follow my social media accounts;

Instagram @littlecupofmum

Facebook @littlecupofmum

Pinterest @littlecupofmum

Twitter @littlecupofmum

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s