For the Love of Women series Part 5

puzzle-140904_640“Body image is the mental representation we create of what we think we look like; it may or may not bear a close relation to how others actually see us. That is, it is subject to all kinds of distortion from internal elements like our emotions, moods, early experiences, attitudes of our parents, and much more.” Psychology Today 

 
So how do we change what we think we look like? Can we find peace with our bodies? And is it possible to break the habit of bad body image with our children?
 
I think so, if you really want to. It’s not a quick over-night happening. It takes work. You need to change your perception of others, yourself and your children. It’s important to know that you will always be a work in progress and you will slip up. But a slip up doesn’t mean you give up. It means you try harder and avoid the action, situation or person that made you falter. The following are things I changed about how I perceive others, myself and my children. 
 
I started with working on my perception of others. I thought it would be the hardest, but you know what, I was wrong.
  • See the beauty in people. I’m not just talking about outward appearances. I mean see people for who they are, their personality, heart, attitude, etc. Society’s idea of beauty doesn’t mean beautiful spirit, unfortunately, so although a person maybe perceived as “beautiful” or “handsome” they could have the nastiest spirit. 
  • Realize that everything in life comes in all different shapes, sizes, colors and styles. That includes people.
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Learning to not judge others on their looks was easy compared to the internal dialog we give ourselves. I had more problems with this than anything else. I had judged myself for so long and so hard. I had allowed it to tear me down. And I still catch myself thinking of some part of my body with disappointment, so I’m not completely “cured” by any means. Like I said before, I am a work in progress. These are the thing I resolved to change or let go.  
  • I don’t need to lose weight to be sexy or hot or because someone thinks I should. If I choose to lose weight, it will be for myself and to be healthy so that I can enjoy my life and watch my children grow. 
  • I refuse to allow others to define me. 
    • Call me fat….Duh, guess what I have a mirror.
    • Call me a ginger….Yeah and I paid for the box it came in.
    • Point out the gravitational pull of my body….I’m 40, it happens.
    • Point out my big butt….so this Baby got back, never had any complaints on that.
    • Freckles…Yep got those, Nope I don’t cover them with make-up.
    • Brain….Why,yes, thank you for noticing….that doesn’t usually get acknowledged.
  • I refuse to define myself in a negative way also. 
  • I determined to realize that I am beautiful. Maybe not in the way that you are beautiful or the way these women are beautiful. But my beauty is unique to me and yours is to you. 
  • I decided to let go of toxic people in my life, I may not be able to rid myself of them (i.e. co-workers, family, neighbors, etc.) but I can limit the contact I have with them. 
My babies and I....they love me....just the way I am! And I love them just the way they are.

My babies and I….they love me….just the way I am! And I love them just the way they are.

The only way to end the war on #bodyimage , #girlhate , and #womenvswomen is to change the course of the future. Well, that sounds daunting doesn’t it? Well guess what? Most of us probably already do some of the suggestions I’m about to make. As cliché as it sounds, our children are the future and to change the future’s outlook on body images, we need to help them learn how to value beauty in everything and everyone. We need to:
  • not allow others to define them. 
  • show them how to love themselves just the way they are. 
  • show them how to not focus on physical attributes only. Appreciate a person’s mind and heart not the size of their jeans. 
  • teach them the difference between being healthy and overweight/skinny, because neither one means you are healthy. 
  • teach them that television/media/advertisers are out to make money. They don’t care about the message they send out as long as it sells the product/look/show. 
  • make a point to never voice a dissatisfaction of their body or your own. This is important. No child should ever hear their parent tell them they are fat, ugly or skinny. 
  • tell them not only are they handsome/beautiful every day but tell them they are smart, friendly, and a good person. 

We all have enough pressure on us about body image in every magazine, advertisement, tv show and movie that’s out there. The last thing we need is to be negative toward our children and ourselves. Besides, don’t we all deserve to be treated as the beautiful beings we are? 

 
Live your Life, perfectly crazy~~~<3Kathy<3
 
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4 thoughts on “For the Love of Women series Part 5

  1. jamie@southmainmuse

    Amen. We are messed up with a culture and body image. I so worry about the younger ones and the girls to come. With the obsession with photos and selfies and looking perfect. It can’t be good for our mental health.

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  2. bodynsoil

    I love your post, so many people are struggling with self image and being inundated with media images and articles that imply there can only be this or that way to look; they are wrong if they aren’t considering the beauty within..

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