While my blog primarily focuses on fashion, I want to take a moment to reflect on something that’s important to me and what my message stands for: body confidence.
When I first started this blog back in 2011, it was simply a creative outlet- a way for me to share my personal style and love for shopping. Shortly after posting some of my daily looks though, I received several emails from strangers, saying I changed their outlook on their curvy bodies, by wearing clothes that someone with my body type typically doesn’t, with confidence.
I get emails almost daily from readers asking how I achieved confidence, and how I stay body positive, in a world where we’re made to feel as if we don’t deserve to be stylish and beautiful, due to our size.
While spending some quality time this past weekend with my two youngest sisters who are both built like Victoria Secret models (no kidding), yet still have a few major body issues, I started thinking about the term body confidence, and reflect on the ways I’ve been able to build my own confidence through the years. After pondering my own personal struggle to accept my natural curves most of my life, which contributed to a teen and early adulthood battle with eating disorders, excessive exercise, constant weight loss and weight gain (more on this in a post to come), I thought it was time to share.
So without further ado, here are my top 7 body confidence tips:
If you’re like most women who aren’t comfortable with their bodies, you try and avoid yourself in the mirror- especially while nude. Here’s the harsh reality: the mental effects of seeing yourself in the nude more often can actually change your perception of your body, drastically!
For instance, if you make an effort to do your hair and makeup in the nude just once per week, it will start to change the way you see your body. Focusing on something other than your naked body- in this case, your hair or makeup, will help you become more comfortable facing yourself in the mirror more often, naked or not.
While at first this may be uncomfortable, after forcing your naked image to be in your face more often, you’ll soon get used to seeing your reflection without looking away or picking it apart.
No you’re not a crazy person- we all talk to ourselves! But instead of nagging thoughts and whining about what you want to change, focus on what you like about yourself, by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.
Tell yourself how proud you are that your body can do x, y and z.
Maybe you’re a new mom and although there are things about your post-baby body you’re still trying to accept, be proud that your body carried and gave birth to an amazing little human being!
Instead of being consumed with the fact that your thighs are bigger than you’d like them to be, be happy that those thighs help carry you through life, and maybe even make you an awesome speed walker or runner.
Maybe you don’t like showing your arms, but you’re a kick-ass cook, so you should be thankful for those strong arms that can whip up a meal like nobody’s business!
By now I’m sure you’ve gotten the point.
Whatever your body hang-up is, find a way to change the negative into a positive, and over time, the positive thought will outshine the negative one.
We’ve all heard that misery loves company, and it’s true! If you’re friends with someone who constantly rags on their own body, their self-hate may be affecting the way you view your own. The next time your friend brings up her body hang-up, tell her why she should learn to love and accept it, and turn the conversation around.
Discuss the things you love about your bodies vs. the things you loathe, and the positivity will spread like wildfire. Remember: the effect of a positive thought is so much greater than a negative one.
Celebrities have glam squads that make their skin and hair look perfect. They’re airbrushed, and their pictures are taken in perfect lighting and most of us don’t look like that in real life.
We have households to run, a job to do, other people to care for and not enough time in the day to take care of ourselves- and that’s okay! No one is perfect, so don’t set that standard for yourself.
Aspire to be the best version of yourself, not the unrealistic ideals of beauty we see in the media which most of the time aren’t real.
It’s easy to read gossip magazines, websites or E! news and trash-talk celebrities, but this often translates to trash-talking women you see on the street, on the internet, and most importantly the one you see in the mirror.
Instead of looking for flaws, give a compliment, and mean it!
Over time, you’ll start to compliment yourself vs. putting yourself down. Truth be told, no one’s perfect, but that doesn’t mean we should look for imperfections.
Feeling good about yourself is so much more than the clothes you wear, or making sure your roots aren’t showing. For most of us, making the effort to look good, makes us feel good internally, thus boosting self-esteem and confidence.
For you, that might mean going au naturel on the daily, or never leaving the house without a full face of makeup. Either way, make an effort to take care of yourself in the ways that make you feel good. Go the extra mile and paint your nails, get a weekly blow out, learn to do a perfect top knot- whatever it is that makes you feel amazing, do that!
In the past if someone looked my way, I thought it was because they were either laughing inside about how freakishly tall I am in heels, or how my hair is much too big for my head. Now, when I catch someone looking my way, I smile with confidence, even if I don’t necessarily feel confident at the moment.
Forcing yourself to smile can trick your mind and body into thinking you feel confident and amazing, and eventually the feelings of insecurity will go away and you will feel confident and amazing.
Sometimes you have to fake it until you make it!