The advice I gave my daughter when she was younger is so very true, but so very wrong.
Let me explain!
She was having a day where she felt off & was not having any type of confidence in wearing her bikini to the beach. My advice went like this: 'Don't worry hunny, all the women on the beach are feeling the exact same way as you. You feel self conscious about wearing your swimsuit today, but there isn't another gal on the beach that is not feeling the exact same way.'
Sure it is very true & accurate advice.
All of us ladies on the beach are feeling a little worried about what people are saying or thinking while looking at us in our beachwear.
That is no lie.
But where I went wrong added her to the society of insecurities that we all have.
What I told her was to basically not worry about it as we are all broken in how we view our body image, & even though those opinions of others don't matter, they are there within us & it is okay that we as individuals feel this.
I did not teach her to love herself. I taught her to be part of the team.
So taking a minute & reflecting on how women treat themselves in a situation above, or in other ways is something we all need to be aware of.
Love who you are creates a monstrous self-esteem.
There is an acquaintance I know that has had some serious marriage issues over the last 9 months or so, & well instead of finding her internal love. She has chosen to sooth her hurt by drinking & having some adult relations with a few people. Now, I am not judging as we have all of our ways to cope. I certainly have some questionable ones throughout my life as well.
But my concern is that no one has told her that maybe her ways are not reflecting self love, but self destruction. I have spent time with her on a few occasions & she is a spunky, loud, & has an adventurous personality. I have also heard her put herself down during these times we have spent together, but I did not think that her self loathing was as deep as it is.
That brings me to the team.
We are all women & we all struggle with something (or many) things about our bodies. Our self images are broken. Our teammates rely on us to help them feel better or more comfortable with those said flaws.
We rally each other:
'No, you look great.'
'You are not fat.'
'How can you think that about yourself.'
But even though we all got each other's backs we still spend too much time dwelling on those damn insecurities of our own.
I get that it was the Alma Mater of generations of women before us that have built these thoughts in our minds. They didn't have the ability to rectify their esteem as it was created by the women before them, & there was no way that they were going to be capable of building ours. Being that we depend on wise players from the past to create our community it makes more sense to realize that women do not know how to build themselves up, but only each other.
So with all of this built into our society of females how do we ever combat it?
I think the 1st is to let the tribe around us know that we love them & accept them for the personality that has drawn us together.
The 2nd would be to change the things we can, but not define our accomplishments in physical beauty, but in achievements in life. Achieving anything like a degree, potty training, and doing something that you would never attempt on your own. Like in my case this: Just Another Manic Funday.
The 3rd item is something that we all can do. Change the things we can, & accept the things we cannot. This is all related to the physical version of what we see. I can change my body weight, but I can not change my height.
I played the game - book 'If' with a friend during a road trip.
The question was: 'If you could have any one thing with the person you are with; what would that be?'
My answer was simple; it was to have her heels. I will elaborate on this in a few.
Her answer was; 'I would like your body. Not your height but your size 8 body.'
Here is the difference between our answers.
She has always struggled with her weight & self image.In saying that she almost forgets that we do not see her as having a weight issue. I am solely her friend who loves to travel with her because she has a wonderful personality, great listening ears, good advice & epic hugs. I do not see her in any other light except the one of a great amazing friend.
As for myself.
I do have the same self image issues as the next gal, but I also am confident in the Love I have for myself, that my external concerns are things I know do not have the same defining factor for me. I do also compare myself to others just like everyone else. However, I do not have any worries about being who I am, what I look like or wonder what people are thinking about me. Take me, love me, or hate me, I am okay with it & I will be perfectly honest, it will be the personality that will make you walk away from me.
I am who I am.
And is a girl with nasty heels that I cannot change (unless I am in Mexico, & then they would just be okay, but not great).
I could go into all the details about famous figures, models, the people we idolize in society that have great bodies, wonderful (perceived) esteems. But I think this topic has been mentioned over & over, through the years & we are now finally seeing change in our ads, media & life.
Quick side track: I do often think that celebrities do have all the same insecurities as us & they also like us say nothing except to their friends.
So we again only see them in one perception.
I wanted to talk to normal everyday women who are just like me.
Trying to live their life to the fullest.
We need to stop spending so much time dwelling on our physical & realize that our self-esteem should be the internal. The love starts within 1st.
As my daughter has grown into a young adult, I have spent many times building her up & creating a self confident, hardworking lady who is defined by her personality, not by her looks. She is still a part of the same team as all of us with her same physical issues, but she handles them with a Mom who builds her & not tears her down.
We all need to make this happen with young ladies today. Not just beautiful on the outside, but gorgeous on the inside.
The acquaintance whom I have not seen because of the 'new' world of today, I would say this. 'Has no one ever told you that you are beautiful, & your personality is what makes it shine. Don't doubt yourself; love yourself. You deserve great cause you are.'
Make that person who may be struggling right now, know that they are a shining star with a path of worth. That personality has carried you here, the visible are not the creator of you.
My dearest friend that I road trip with, I would say this. 'Your plight & struggles with your physical appearance are so visible for us all to see. But did you know that your most wonderful attribute about you is you? Your personality is what makes you one of the most alluring people that I have ever met. The beauty I see I only wish you could see through my eyes.'
In a world where we are changing the dynamics of how we view lifestyles, gender, & cultural groups we need to learn to change our personal selves too.
I am not anyone, but a Woman, Mother, Child, Spouse.
I am only speaking my view on where we have gone wrong & how we may be able to fix it. We are a group of people in society that don’t always talk about topics like internal beauty vs. the external beauty. We could make us all have a great strong voice if we could only realize that we are surrounded by the people in our lives because of who they are & not what they look like.
Make her know it is the Love we need inside to matter.
Compliment the best attribute within that personality.
The physical appearance is a shell of who you really are.
Realize that we have got a broken community of how we see women, reflect on ourselves & build our female teammates up.
You are all so very beautiful.
Make a world, a community & standing proud as a Woman.