What do you think of your body?
Too skinny, too fat, too muscly, too weak, too pale, too dark, too curvy, too flat, too tall, too short, too round, too thin, the list goes on…This is all I hear about in today’s articles about women’s bodies. We see constant complaints from women about how society is judgemental on their bodies and that it’s not fair.
I feel like there is not one single women (or man) who has spent some time in their life worrying over how they look and whether they conform to societies standards.
We hear first hand accounts on what its like to be fat or skinny shamed or how #fitspo or catwalk models are bad for our confidence as they are an unrealistic standard of beauty.
So how did we get so caught up in this mess? That we actually don’t understand what beauty is anymore, or that our idea of it is so deformed that we can’t tell fact (real life) from fiction (photoshop).
Some of the problem lies in the definition of beauty. If I were to ask you to define beauty what would you say? The problem is if you ask 100 different people, you’ll receive 100 different answers on what constitutes as real beauty.
It’s hard for us to look past the physical elements of beauty as society has decided that these are the qualities we need to process to be seen as beautiful. However, this becomes a problem when you realise that, as they say, you could be the juiciest peach in the room, but not every body likes peaches.
Beauty is subjective and in the eye of the beholder. Our experiences, upbringing, our peers, our environment, culture, personal preference, trends, social pressures and a desire to fit in shape what we personally find beautiful.
Rarely is a consensus reached as people have their own beliefs, and what I find beautiful, is simply not your idea of beauty. For example, someone from a fashion background may find “very slim” the perfect example of someone beautiful (if we are going to talk about bodies) whilst someone from the fitness industry may decide that a “toned, athletic body” is what is truly beautiful.
What’s on the inside?
So where does this leave us? Once we strip away the layers of what beauty is, the aesthetic we are left with is beauty on the inside. In your lifetime, there will be significant changes to Fashion, your body and your looks.
The concept of what is beautiful to you will also change. What is left has to have substance, like the inner beauty of being the person you want to be. Again this is also subjective and has to be beautiful to you.
So how do you go about this change? It’s not that easy to ignore the overwhelming voice which society and marketers shout at us – be skinny, be tanned, be prettier, desire objects, buy my product…
Understand the differences in everyones body
Firstly, you have to understand that trying to achieve something that is unobtainable like being as thin as those girls in the magazine is always going to end in failure and heartache, as it is unachievable.
And not because you’re not good enough to achieve it but because your genetics or body type simply won’t allow it.
It is a fantasy created for us to want to buy into which is harming us. If you realise and accept this fact, you’re on your way to having a better body image. You have to stop chasing an illusion and start chasing something real and worth achieving!
For example, if your goal was to be a size 6 try focusing on something that will actually make you feel good about yourself, like learning to eat a healthy diet, or improving your fitness for vitality rather than eating to starve yourself and exercising to be bone thin.
Swap negative for positive
You can see we have swap two negative goals with two positive healthy goals. It’s good to question what your goals are trying to really achieve and if they will have a positive impact on your longevity rather than the short term.
Remember you have this body for a lifetime and in that lifetime the idea of external beauty will change because it is subjective. However, internal beauty will be constant throughout your life, so you should invest in making your life better, your soul healthier and your person stronger.
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About the Author
Elle has a passion for women's fitness and helping girls improve their self-image through fitness. Her vision is to create a CrossFit gym, which allows women to learn how to move, build their strength, learn to be healthy and gain respect for their bodies showing them how amazing they really are! Find out more