Beauty standards have always played a cruel role in determining women’s agency, no matter the time period. We have become so prone to seeing ourselves from the eyes of others that we end up alienating ourselves from our core essence. This shame and the refusal to perceive ourselves in light of our body’s abilities set us down a destructive path of mental decline.
Still, women are not to be blamed for their self-critical nature. Instead, the male gaze and centuries of social conditioning perpetuating negative perceptions about female body functions should be held accountable. The cycle starts with disgust around menstruation and labor and extends to criticizing stretch marks and behavioral changes postpartum.
The struggle to ‘look a certain way’ reaches an impossible high in the digital world because of social media. The societal emphasis on appearance can lead to insecurity, and self-doubt, and trigger a range of behavioral and mental disorders in women, from eating disorders to body dysmorphia and depression. This ultimately benefits the beauty industry and the cosmetic surgery industry as women try to eliminate the shame society has associated with their bodies to fit into a beauty standard.
Body positivity challenges this norm to ‘fit in’ by promoting acceptance and celebration of all body types, breaking down societal prejudices, and advocating inclusivity.
Self-love, which encompasses acceptance of one's entire being, is the foundation of positive self-esteem and involves treating oneself with kindness, respecting personal boundaries, and developing a positive self-image.
Don’t know where to start your self-love journey? Come, walk with me!
- Your Unique Canvas: Your body is a masterpiece, adorned with every laugh, scar, and curve that tells your story. Embrace it as the beautiful canvas that it is.
- The Power Within: Remember, beauty radiates from confidence and self-assuredness. By loving yourself, you unlock a power that shines brighter than any physical attribute.
- Kindness Inward: Treat yourself with the same kindness you'd offer a dear friend. Replace self-criticism with self-compassion, and watch how it transforms your perception.
- Joyful Movement: Engage in activities that make you feel alive, whether it's dancing, hiking, or doing yoga. Focus on how it makes you feel, not how you look, and relish in the happiness it brings.
Let’s embrace our uniqueness. Let’s stop treating our body as an aesthetic but rather as an able structure that deserves love, care & respect.