The other week, we chatted about how to deal with negative comments. Today’s Real Talk column is an extension of that. Almost every woman deals with body image issues. These days so many pictures are photoshopped and plastic surgery is so common that we’re constantly faced with comparing ourselves to unobtainable beauty. Couple that with looking at high res images of yourself every week and trying to mold into an industry where looks are everything, it can be really rough on your self esteem! So I asked some of my fellow fashion, beauty and lifestyle bloggers to share ways they cope and stay positive.
Focus on the features you love about yourself.
Even the most seemingly perfect people have insecurities about their bodies. Instead of focusing on what you wish you looked like, focus on what you love about yourself.
My beauty blogger friend Jamie of Honestly Jamie wrote an article for Cosmopolitan about embracing what you look like. “I’m much more aware of the way I look than ever before,” she told me when we were chatting about body image. “I think it’s partly Los Angeles, partly also the fact that most of the fashion bloggers are very, very thin and, yeah…I do get a little self conscious about my size-8 body sometimes amongst all the 0s and 2s. My best coping tip is to try your best (but, yeah, we all know it’s hard sometimes). Sometimes I remind myself how much I love a certain body part or feature that maybe someone super thin wouldn’t be able to have…big boobs, a great butt…whatever it is. Focus on that.”
Embrace your so-called flaws.
Growing up I was constantly teased about my large forehead. Then as a teenager I became obsessed with Tyra Banks. She had a large forehead, too. And I idolized her. Instead of being embarrassed, I started to embrace this feature and realized it just meant I could wear more hats then girls with smaller foreheads.
“Physically, the battle of not being skinny enough, tan enough, tall enough (and the list goes on) have always been part of the conversation I was having with myself,” my beauty and wellness blogger friend Jeannine of Jeannine Morris told me. “Today, I learned to change the conversation and appreciate my body as is. I eat clean, work out daily and have learned to accept my flaws (hello, thighs) and show gratitude for the life I lead and what I’ve been given. I’m healthy and believe that as long as I can control that the best I can, the rest is a bonus.”
Use makeup and clothing to enhance your best assets.
After turning 30, I started freaking out about my skin. I’ve become increasingly insecure about not having the same glowing facial features I had in my 20s. Sure, treatments and beauty products help. But I’m slowly trying to accept that you can’t completely fight the aging process. Instead, I’m trying to bring out my best assets. I’ve always love my eyes so I’ve been playing around with more makeup to bring out that feature.
“Makeup can do wonders for you and with the right tools you can achieve a better version of yourself,” my friend Linh of Linh Winn advises. “With so many amazing beauty gurus on youtube and makeup artists they can teach you a thing or two. I picked up a few tricks myself and I’m happy to say that I’ve learned to love myself!”
The same goes true for your body. Use prints and bright colors to highlight the body parts you love. And use solids and darker colors to disguise areas that you make feel self conscious.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
“Being in the fashion and beauty industry can be tough because there is this expectation to look perfect all the time and we’re constantly be judged by our peers,” my friend Elizabeth of a A Keene Sense of Style says. “I have struggled with my weight for most of my life, so in order for me to be successful as a blogger, I try to avoid comparing myself to others. Whether it’s their bodies, how many followers they have or their travel schedule. I think It’s important to have tunnel vision and to focus on yourself and your goals. You know what they say, ‘happiness is found when you stop comparing yourself to other people.'”
“I’ve learned to just do me and as long as I feel good about myself, it doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks, says or considers ‘ideal’,” my girl Devon of Devon Rachel adds. “We’re all just looking for confidence if you really take a step back and think about it.”
So try to stay positive, no matter how hard it seems sometimes. “Celebrate that there’s only one version of yourself and that’s an incredible thing,” Linh so beautifully aritculates. “You may not see it now but you will over time.” We all compare ourselves but the minute we embrace there is only one us, that’s the moment we can finally be happy.
Photo by Jodee Debes
If you have any topics you want covered in future columns let me know!