How to Realistically Love Your Body
If we’re honest with ourselves, most of us have some part of our body that we hate.
Whether we’re too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short, have too many pimples, or too little muscle mass, our minds – and often our cultures – are very good at pointing out all the flaws in our appearances that make us different from our society’s standard of beauty.
So how can we possibly learn to love and have confidence in our own skin, without being unrealistically “blind” to our faults, or challenging the status quo?
Understand That “Beauty” is Subjective
We all know the fads of fashion change as rapidly as they appear, but did you know that the same is true for society’s standard of beauty as well?
In ancient times, being obese was actually something to celebrate as it signified wealth, prosperity, opulence, and fertility. Many of the ancient statues depicting Grecian goddesses were of hefty women, while Rome’s beauty standard was one of big thighs and curvy hips.
Even in today’s American society, amongst the African American culture, most men view overweight woman as just “more to love”.
The simple fact is, a society’s standard of beauty changes with the culture itself, so just because your body type doesn’t line up exactly with an ideal, doesn’t mean by any measure that you’re not attractive. In fact, why not be the one to change that ideal?
Beauty is subjective to the person beholding it. One might find someone with freckles more attractive over clear skin, or prefer men of a medium body type versus a body builder, or think a woman with curves is sexier than a size 0 model, in the same way one might find a Picasso painting more inspiring than a Van Gogh.
It all depends on your perspective. To think that something is wrong with the way you look just because you don’t look like the celebrities you see on tv, is nonsensical. Everyone looks different from everyone else.
Can you imagine what a boring world it would be if we did all have the same body type?
Appreciate and Work on the Beauty Within, Rather Than the Superficial Without
Do you know what is a universal standard of beauty, however?
What your character is like.
We’ve all heard the saying “it’s what’s on the inside that counts”, but, as cliché as it sounds, it’s true.
If research on interpersonal relationships have taught us anything, it’s that true attraction to other people has only an initial foundation in a good appearance, and then is almost completely supplemented by the personality and character qualities of that person.
If you like their personality – finding them kind, smart, funny, caring, etc. – then they automatically become more physically attractive in your mind’s eye. Equally, if you find a person attractive, but then learn that they are in reality a horrible human being – attractive or not – they become repulsive to you.
So, rather than spending all your time and energy picking on all your imagined physical defects, take the time to appreciate the beauty of your soul. Have a character trait you don’t like? Work on changing that, instead!
Bodies change, age, and eventually die, but our souls last an eternity.
Pursue Health, Not a Societal Image
No one knows what’s best for you, as an individual, then yourself.
If you find that your body is getting in the way of what you love – regardless of what society says – then by all means, change that!
Just because a certain body type is praised, doesn’t mean that it’s the body type you should have!
For example: while the models you see in magazines may seem thin and beautiful, a large majority of them are painfully malnourished and frail. The bodybuilders you see pumping iron on tv? The steroids they’re taking have a plethora of side effects, including impotence.
Similarly, obesity causes cancers, heart attacks, diabetes, and more, while having little muscle mass greatly decreases your quality of life and the activities you can do.
Bottom line: be strong, to be strong, lose or gain weight to be healthy, and let nothing stand in the way of becoming the happiest, healthiest, most beautiful YOU you can be.
Especially if that thing in the way is yourself.