Summer is nearly here and with it warm weather, sunshine, days spent frolicking by the lake, sea or pool and invariably wearing clothes that expose more skin. So many girls and women fret and worry about revealing their bodies and I wish I could wave a magic wand and make everyone have a positive body image. Oh, if only it were that easy. Regrettably it takes much more to peel away the layers of self-doubt and negative comparisons that have been steadily building since the day the doctor said "It's a girl". The times, they are a changing with many new magazines and websites dedicated to building women up instead of tearing them down but the challenge is immense and progress is slow.
Mass media geared at women has long been built on fear. Fear of being fat, fear of not having good hair or flawless skin or perfect teeth, fear of being unfashionable or untrendy. The fear is what motivates us to buy whatever product is being sold and based on the numbers (in the billions for the beauty industry) it is highly successful. To dismantle that fear mongering is near impossible but I sincerely wish all women recognized the ploy and were savvy enough to not let it bother them. The easiest way to do that is simply don't buy traditional beauty magazines. Try ones that devote themselves to bettering your opinion of yourself and the world at large such as Darling and Womankind. These magazines focus on the internal aspects of beauty like grace and kindness and vow their models are not airbrushed and neither one have advertisements within their pages.
Try and remember that there is no such thing as perfection. Nobody and no body is flawless. It is our quirks and imperfections that make us unique and beautiful. Please recognize this and be content with the wonderful instrument and visage you have been bestowed. Give yourself a party and don't forget to show up.
Treat yourself well by doing the obvious things like eating healthy, excercising, respecting your body by abstaining from harmful things like smoking and drinking too much. But also do the less obvious things like laugh, dance, sing, enjoy deep conversations, read, create something, plant flowers and give some away when they bloom, enjoy campfires and fireworks. These things will do more to cultivate your beauty than buying a new bikini or bronzer ever could.
If you are young, savour your youth. Trust me, in the future you will look back and be mad at yourself for nitpicking whatever slight flaw you may think you have. You are more beautiful and fabulous than you give yourself credit for. Celebrate your uniqueness. I'm not sure who said it but it's true nonetheless:
I saw an article recently that said "Get your hair wet." I love that. It embodies the act of living instead of just being. Actively engage in life and don't be too worried if your hair gets wet or you get sweaty or dishevelled. Life is in the moments that we fully participate in. Life is not a spectator sport. Go live it and forget about how you look. They say love is blind so, love yourself just the way you are.