mirror next to a plain tiled wall

Challenges with a Positive Body Image

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you sigh or do you smile?

II’m that person who compliments someone when I see prettiness, a nice outfit, new hair doo etc. But when the compliment is returned sometimes I shy away from what I’m being told and reply with a simple, “Thank you!” I think a lot of it comes down to my levels of self esteem.

Body image and compliments

It’s easy to give someone advice who is challenged with their body image – whether it be their weight, skin, overall appearance – but many of us have something we wish we could change. I have multiple things I think about but my partner adores. There are things I dislike so much that others will compliment. Sometimes, it’s we are our own demon with my minds and what we believe to be true. If I start to tell myself more positive things about my body when I look in the mirror, will that make them true?

Another thing is,,I feel I look younger the older I get which is a huge bonus right? At the same time, I feel like I don’t always look ‘grown up enough’ and I don’t even know if that’s a thing? It makes me wonder about all sorts of things to do with appearance – skincare routine, hair, clothing style etc. when I honestly don’t have the time to look at least 50% of what I might have before having a baby. I don’t think I have let myself go but I am much more critical. Okay, I might have a more sporty look for comfort in the week when family members have asked, “Oh have you been to the gym?” and if I haven’t on that particular day, I easily get down because I think hmm… maybe I should have.

Far from the ‘real life’ body image

TV shows, films, Instagram – we are surrounded by filters and a distance from reality – that’s something I need to remind myself of more. Some days, I am torn on whether to delete on social accounts but I love seeing updates from my family and friends and course sharing blog posts like this one. Without social media, my blog wouldn’t reach as many people. Next time you see a photo or video, think to yourself, there’s more behind that camera lens. Each and every one of us has a story. Some people look more confident than others but could be battling their biggest challenge with body image. Other people are quieter, don’t share much and could be living their best life. It’s all about perspective and I think a lot of it gets lost.

Since high school days, I also felt there was a trend to keep up with. Could I? Nope. I wasn’t in the popular groups, I wasn’t not liked but I wasn’t in the middle neither. I was bullied and some people don’t realise the extent to what went on but it happened. As long ago as it was, I think it still plays a part of the thoughts about myself that play on remind, including comments that have been put my way in more recent times. Two of the hardest parts for me are, looking back in the past and comparing myself to others. It’s so damaging and but even coming to the realisation of that which took a great deal of time, still doesn’t make it any easier not to.

I wish we lived in a world where it was considered normal for people to lose weight or gain weight, have dry or greasy skin (or both), not have to wear makeup to look pretty etc. You can talk with friends who agree but it isn’t the message that’s conveyed outside of those conversations. I suppose it’s just part of the world we live in now even if it does give some people more of a struggle. I wish I could be someone who didn’t care what anyone said, or in fact, even wonder what someone thinks when it might not be anything at all? Oh imagine!

Take something positive from your body image

Right now, I am writing this post wearing my Minnie Mouse pyjamas, hair in a messy bun, with a face looking a bit like Casper the Ghost and some red blotches. I recently tested positive for Covid but I still have these days and I love them because I am happy being comfy in my own company or around my partner and baby.

If you have read this post, I hope you’re able to take something away from it. Perhaps you want to try and feel more comfortable in yourself or how you look when you’re around people. Whatever it might be, your body is part of what makes you, you! Start with someone small and hold onto that thought whenever you start to feel like you’re down about your appearance. I am going to give it a go (when I’m finally able to get out of the house that is).

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