5 Ways to Empower Women to Love Their Bodies
June 25, 2012 by Robyn Hussa Farrell
Filed under Activism, Body Image, Empowerment, Fat Acceptance, Featured, Finding Your Voice, HAES, Healthy Communication, Healthy Coping, Loving Your Body, Media Literacy, Mindfulness, Nutrition, Prevention, Role Models, Self Esteem, Self-Acceptance, Self-Care, Self-Compassion, Spirituality, Wellness, Wellness
This guest post graciously submitted by Heather.
Open any magazine or turn to any TV channel and you’re sure to see the “perfect” woman. She is tall and leggy, has long, cascading blonde hair and bright blue eyes, the perfect pouty lips, and curves in all the right places. She is an impossible ideal. And yet over and over again girls and women are encouraged to try to conform themselves to that ideal. Magazine articles that claim you can lose the last 10lbs. in the next 30 days, diet meals that are delivered straight to your home with guaranteed results, and pills that will squash your appetite so you can eat less and slim down… they all tell us the same thing: you are not good enough as you are, and until you fix that you will never be good enough.
The perfect woman doesn’t need legs for days, nor does she need long, flowing locks or a body that only curves in the “right” places. The perfect woman is in love with her own, unique body. The perfect woman is you and me as we are; women need to be empowered to love their bodies and not society’s ideal of what the perfect body is.
- Stop encouraging body-bashing – It’s easy for women to fall down the slippery slope of body bashing. One woman will complain about her thighs, and then her friend will chime in about her abs… before you know it, every woman in the group is pointing out her own flaws, and a body-bashing session ensues. Instead focus on the positive: be proud of your body and all that it allows to you to do, find a part of your body that you love, and encourage your friends to do the same. Have a body-loving session instead of a body-bashing one.
- Dress for your body type, not what you think your body type should be – A big deterrent for a positive self-image is dressing in clothes that don’t fit right. Advertisements tell women they have to dress a certain way, and regardless as to if the clothes actually look good on us or not, we attempt a trend. Instead of dressing for a body type you don’t have, dress for the one you do. You’d be amazed how much more positive you feel about your body when you look in the mirror and see clothes that fit the right way and flatter in the right spots.
- Ditch the scale and focus on how you feel – Stepping on the scale can do a lot of negative things for a woman when she has an ideal weight stuck in her head. The problem is that women usually have very unrealistic weight goals that don’t take into consideration their personal body, and are based off the bodies of women on TV or in magazines who have been air-brushed, nipped, and tucked. Instead focus on how you feel – if you are energetic, calm, and happy then you are doing better than a lot of other people out there.
- Exercise – Making time to work out every day has been proven to give women a boost of confidence and see their bodies in a more positive light. By pushing yourself in your workouts you gain a new respect for what your body is capable of doing. So your thighs may touch… they also power you through workouts day after day. Focus on what your body does for you, not what society tells you it’s lacking.
- For every negative thought, counteract with three positive ones – Thinking that you’ll ever truly banish negative thoughts about your body is unrealistic. However you do have the power to either succumb to them or fight them. The next time you feel a negative thought creeping into your head, give yourself three compliments instead. Tell yourself that your arms look great, your hair is styled perfectly, and that shirt really brings out the color of your eyes… before you know it you’ll have forgotten all about whatever negativity initial plagued you.
Don’t strive to be society’s perfect woman… instead strive to be your own perfect woman. Everyone was created differently, which is what makes us each individually beautiful, and that is something to be celebrated.
Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to nanny service by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to nannies and families across the U.S. and Canada. She can be available at H.smith7295 [at] gmail.com.