Do you know any woman who isn't insecure about her looks? Honestly?
If you answered yes to the above question then please ask her for her secret, but if you answered no then you, and clearly all of your friends, are just like the rest of us. It is so common for women to hate something (if not many things) about their looks that the media and many other industries have started to take advantage of it.
Almost every women's magazine you open has articles on how to improve your body, face or hair. However I am yet to find a magazine article that tells you to learn to love who you are. Why is this? It's a common belief that it is because many industries make billions of pounds each year out of our insecurities. One thing I have seen a lot of lately on social media are features on how to contour your face.
This image was found on http://ilovecutemakeup.com/the-art-of-contour-makeup/.
Don't get me wrong...I love makeup, but this process is basically hiding all of your natural features. So much makeup is used that you can't see any freckles or even the real shape of the woman's nose! The resulting image is a world away from the original, yet before any of this makeup was applied I think that this woman was already beautiful.
As I said before, I am not adverse to makeup. I love using it to cover tired eyes or blemishes, but when people are being taught that wearing so much makeup that your actual face shape changes, surely this message is contributing to the self-hatred many women hold regarding their image. Whether it's your face, hair or body, it's time to stop hating what you see in the mirror.
If we put as much time and effort as we do hating our appearance into learning to love ourselves the world would be full of happy women. I don't know any woman who is totally happy with their appearance sadly. I have tried various beauty treatments in the past ranging from fake tan to eyelash extensions, and while they did make me feel better they were only temporary. It wasn't until I stripped back to the real me that I began to accept who I am. But it is thanks partially to pictures printed of celebrities that our insecurities remain.
We need to stop comparing ourselves to glamorous celebrities who have stylists and makeup artists working on them for hours before events to ensure that they look their best. The average woman doesn't have that option, so why are we comparing ourselves to them? We've all see the pictures of celebrities without their makeup.
Next time you're looking in the mirror smile at yourself. A smiling face is instantly better than an unhappy face. A smile is also a way of making yourself feel happier. So stop looking depressed when you look in the mirror and you will eventually stop feeling depressed with what you see. Wouldn't you rather see a happy you looking back at you?
Instead of always focusing on the 'bad' things about your appearance focus on the things you love, and if you are reading this thinking 'there are none' then take a closer look. You are beautiful. You have just been clouding your mind with negative thoughts about your appearance for so long that it makes it harder for you to see it.
Be proud of what you HAVE achieved instead of disappointed about how far you have yet to go. During a weight loss or toning program it seems to be easier for us to focus on how much more we have to lose, rather than praising ourselves for what we have already done. Stop your negative thoughts. It is a fantastic achievement to lose any weight, no matter how small. So think about how well you have done and congratulate yourself. Take it one day at a time and continue to praise yourself for how far you have come, because if you just focus on how much more work you have to do you aren't celebrating all of the hard work that has already paid off. Remember one pound of fat is never as easy to lose as it is to gain. You are doing tremendously well.
So stop comparing yourself to others and you will learn to love yourself. I'm not saying it will happen instantly, and I'm not saying that I have managed to combat all of my insecurities YET, but I am working at it every day.
I refuse to spend the rest of my life feeling like I'm not 'good enough'. I am going to stop comparisons and simply be the best version of ME that I can possibly be. Who's with me?