A few years ago, I was against swimwear, and now that I think about it, I’m sure it had to do with body image. I was wearing swimwear that looked like everyday tank and shorts. Blah. I always had confidence in however I looked leaving the house, but I struggled with showing my body, because I have never been a small size. Not to mention that I was raised very traditionally; modesty is still pretty important to me, as I’m sure is evident in my style.
I’m still not small in size. At age 22 I have rolls here and there, love handles, cellulite and whatever else, but I realized that it’s what I have to work with. Of course I could do better about getting in shape, but in the meantime hiding behind certain styles of clothes would mean never learning to be okay with my body. In the last couple years I’ve gotten to a really good place, not only about my body, but about life in general. It all starts with an inward resolution to be happy and beautiful in whatever condition or situation you’re in. To me, that’s the only way for confidence to be outwardly evident.
Here are some things you can do:
(1) Walk around naked in the daytime whenever you have the chance. Make sure to actually look into mirrors. It sounds crazy, but you have to get used to seeing your body in a good light, literally and figuratively. Trust me, It won’t happen overnight or by never looking into mirrors.
(2) Make a conscious effort to never say anything negative about the way you look. I get on the women in my family about this all of the time. How you feel about yourself starts in the mind and the feelings are perpetuated by verbal expression. If you always tell yourself how disgusting you look, then you’ll always feel disgusting. If you tell yourself you look great, you’ll have no choice but to eventually believe it.
(3) The best way to receive a compliment is to say “thank you.” When people comment positively about your appearance, 9 times out of 10 they’re being sincere. Store those nice words in your mind and save them for days when you don’t feel too hot.
(4) Don’t make comparisons, especially not to celebrities. Not everyone has the same genetic makeup and not everyone has the same resources. Looking the way you’d like to look takes a little more effort in some areas than others.
All that I’m saying is to focus your attention on being the best you that you can be. Happiness and confidence are byproducts of that focus.
Photography: Keith Nixon