On beauty and self image.

While it is far beyond National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (March 1), I tucked away an idea for a post after reading a few beautiful posts (Lindsay and Christine both struck me in particular, and Tina too!) on letters to your body and what makes you beautiful *beyond* what’s on the outside.

beautifulbodyNEDA

Well, I’d like to do a twist on this, because while I have never had an eating disorder (fortunate/blessed not to), I have had a long history struggling with body and self image. While the past two years in particular, have been a huge journey in counteracting that, physically and mentally, I find myself sliding into days or even chronic days of picking myself apart. And I am honestly ashamed of it, and even worse, of admitting it, to myself, and to you all here.

Because so much of it is baseless. Because so much of it is ‘in my head.’ Because so much of it is pointless.

It’s sort of like worrying…it’ll give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere. 

What finally got me? This video. This video from Dove is absolutely stunning. It brought me to tears. And it made me realize that we certainly see ourselves vastly differently than anyone else does. The beautiful words people in this video chose to use to describe the person being drawn. And the expression on that person’s face, the more she heard those words being said about them. Happiness. Emotion. And finally? Realization that they had been describing themselves with negative words, not positive attributes.

 

It’s what I have caught myself doing more than I’d like. And I need to get back to seeing myself the way others do. And valuing myself for who I am – determined, strong, happy, funny.

I need to appreciate myself for who I am, and not who I am not, and love me for me, flaws and all. Because the flaws I see? I can guarantee only I see.

I am beautiful. And I won’t apologize to myself for saying that even though it makes me uncomfortable (and goes back to compliments and being my own best friend). And I will believe it. In every way, not every waybutwithcaveats (I am strong. *Not* I am strong…but she is ripped!)

Self – it is time to cut the sh*t. You. Are. Beautiful. Inside. Outside. Embrace you for all that you are…..for ALL that you ARE.

 

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26 thoughts on “On beauty and self image.

  1. I cried twice watching this video. Once because I could see such sadness in the sketches the women described of themselves and also such sadness in their eyes when they realized that it was THEIR depiction of themselves that created such a sad picture/portrait. It’s an incessant and scary ‘rat hole’ cycle to get stuck in and it’s just SAD that so many battle it. I will say that I have dug myself out of the rat hole a lot less frequently lately and it’s made me really, really sad to see you struggle a bit more with it lately than I have. I sort of thought we were overcoming the self-hate thing together…but maybe this is where we’re different at this moment and time. Which makes me even MORE sad sis. I’m really, really, really glad you’re recognizing it and pulling yourself up, one note-to-self/hug-to-self at a time. That’s all it takes, one day, one moment at time. xoxo sis

    1. It is hard to dig out of the rathole sometimes, and I promise, I am doing it, I am working on it and it will get better. The mind is a strong thing, but will is even stronger. XOXO.

  2. I saw that video yesterday and absolutely loved it. I feel very blessed that my mom bestowed such positive self esteem in me. My mom grew up with a very critical mother, while my dad’s sisters (five of them!) grew up hearing they were beautiful and smart and my mom saw how good they felt about themselves. so she did that for me. And honestly, I’ve never really had “ugly” days. There are times I feel like I could lose more weight (only to be back to where I was!) and there are some days that require more work than others. I think we all struggle with image issues in some form or another, but it’s great to recognize it and improve our own issues with self image.

    1. You know what? this is so refreshing. I am SO GLAD that you never had this trouble before. It is awful to have, and I am trying to shed it as much as I can, yet it still comes back now and again.

    1. I am glad that you watched this too and it rung true…scary isn’t it? We all do this in one way or another. It needs to stop! XOXO you are beautiful!

  3. A friend of mine from high school shared this with me, and I shared it on my page. It’s beyond perfect…beyond words, really. It needs no introduction, no explanation. Just seeing how many women describe themselves so inaccurately is so sad, isn’t it? Their reactions to seeing the sketches made by their own descriptions versus the sketches made by the descriptions of others? It was priceless. Simply priceless. I have a post similar to this in the works…I go back and forth on it a lot. It’s a very personal topic…despite the fact that none of us are alone in these feelings.

    You’re beautiful, friend…and I’m truly blessed to have you in my life, that’s for sure!

    1. It’s scary how much those women describe themselves w negative words isn’t it? I was saddened but even more because I do it too. And get mad at myself for doing it! I would love to read your post on this friend. YOU are beautiful and I too am blessed having you in my life! XO

  4. I’m so glad that you wrote this and so doesn’t matter that it’s not NEDA week. I heard about the Dove campaign but I hadn’t watched the video before now. It’s amazing how different we think we look compared to how others see us. It makes me sad that it’s so much easier for us to see the beauty in others than it is to see it in ourselves. YOU are beautiful and strong inside and outside.

  5. I think it is normal for us to feel insecure about bodies. But this video does show, like you said, how baseless it is. I had seen posts of the video on social media but this was the first time I watched it and it made me cry. I think many people have gone through moments of introspection, given all the events that happened this week – this was a beautiful post to remind us to be gentle with and love ourselves — and its perfectly okay to do so!

    1. It IS normal and it’s kind of scary how normal it is too, isn’t it? I am glad that this video is making people, women, think more, and not do this to themselves. I am working on it, every single day, and admitting it is a big step, I think too. XOXO

  6. I’ve been thinking about doing a post about this same thing! I have caught myself so many times recently saying what I don’t like about myself. It’s awful!!! I have a guy friend that posted this video too. He said something to me a few months ago about people pointing out their “flaws”…what we think are our bad parts, are really good parts that make us unique. I really loved hearing him say that. It’s been on my mind a lot lately. I definitely don’t see myself the way others do, which is really sad. The funny thing, is when I see pictures of myself, I don’t think they look like the same person that I’m looking at in the mirror. The brain is such a strange and powerful thing…

    P.S. You are amazingly beautiful! Inside and out!

    1. The brain is ridiculous, isn’t it? SO strong and powerful but also utterly dumb too, in a big way, if it’s allowing us to feel this way about ourselves!! YOU are amazingly beautiful inside and out too friend, I hope this video helps you too. I keep thinking about it as I start going down a negative path.

  7. I loved this too! Definitely made my heart beat a little faster and made me excited to think of what others see. My daughters were touched by it too.

    Did you see the parody? Cracked me up! (Share it with M. He’ll love it too!)

  8. just got done catching up on your blog I think I read about 10 entires….I’m so happy for you. I love the balance you have in everything you do. I struggle at finding that balance still and always admire it when I see someone flourishing in it.

    1. Aww thank you so much Livvy!!! It feels so good right now, everything, life, love, self, all of it and I couldn’t be feeling more grateful or blessed. XOXO

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