What messages do you hear from the beauty industry and advertising?
Here is a video from the Dove Campaign that sums it up in one minute. It’s pretty shocking to see all of the ads run by so quickly, but it paints a good picture of what a girl will probably come across on a daily basis.
The biggest message girls are sent is to change. How are we, as girls, supposed to love ourselves if we are constantly trying to change parts of us? Everyone has a physical attribute that they dislike. Have you ever seen the movie Mean Girls? The main characters find things as minimal as their pores to hate. Did you also know that everyone has something that they like about themselves? For some, it can be hard to identify a physical quality to like about yourself, but trust me, it’s there. Start by thinking of a body part that you have never criticized–maybe you ignore it because you don’t feel the need to change it. Perhaps you have never even realized you like your eyelashes or your perfectly tapered toes.
Forget about dimples on your thighs or the size of your breasts or anything else that may bother you. Focus on something that you love about yourself. Your shiny hair, that cute little gap in your teeth, or your ability to grow really long fingernails. Whatever it is that you love, celebrate it.
Our bodies are with us for life. We need to treat them with respect to ensure a long, good-quality time on this planet. We cannot starve them or they will not provide us with energy to think in school or walk to a friend’s house. We cannot fry them in a tanning bed, drink too much alcohol or smoke too many cigarettes because we want them to last. Our bodies were created as a vessel to carry our minds and souls through life. Start to look at yourself and your body for what it can do for you.
Our arms are meant to wrap around those we love, our legs allow us to run along the beach and feel the sand squish between our toes. Our fat (yes, our fat!) is meant to nourish the babies we may one day bring into the world. A big rib cage is protecting your organs and your not-so-straight teeth let you chew food and nourish your body. Learn to love yourself. Others cannot love you if you cannot see your own worth. At the very least, respect your body enough to be kind to it. Do not torture it with starvation and drugs, and do not let others disrespect it.
You are unique and that is what makes being a human being so special. There are no two alike. Celebrate who you are!