Let's not sugar coat it; we all have things about ourselves that we are not exactly crazy about. Whether our dissatisfaction is with our physical appearance or with our "inner self", it can feel like the same thing at times. You might look around at other girls and say, "Ugh, why can't I have her legs?", or, "I wish I was her size.", or even, "How is she so positive all the time? I wish I could be like that." We all compare ourselves to the rest of the people in the world. To be frank, it is ridiculous, but we are all human and that's just how we work.
We all do it! And if you think that even J. Lo doesn't look in the mirror and sometimes think, "Man, I wish I had a smaller butt," you're wrong. Not that I can vouch for it, I'm not her mirror. But I can imagine that she has thought that at least once in her lifetime.
As I was thinking about how to write a post on learning to love yourself, I looked in the mirror and thought of all of the things that have bothered me about my physical appearance in the past. Most of them I am still somewhat insecure about, but I have learned to just deal with it and look past my so-called "flaws" to feel good about me.
A while ago, I decided that the things that have bothered me in the past can be turned into things that make me unique and show the rest of the world who I am. So, without further ado, I will reveal my own examination:
I have been teased about my nose my entire life. It's probably my biggest physical insecurity. It's not a "cute" nose and, personally, I think it is too big for my face.
BUT.. when people look at me and see my nose, they may notice that it is a symbol of my heritage. You see, my grandmother is Cherokee and Irish. As a tribe, the Cherokees have large noses and ears. While I do not have big ears, I do have a Cherokee nose. And for my lack of dark skin, eyes, and hair, my Cherokee nose is the only indicator to the rest of the world that Cher and I are practically distant cousins! (A girl can dream, right?)
Ah, my chin. The bane of my existence... I once had a so-called "friend" give me a roll of toilet paper as a birthday present so I could wipe my butt-chin. Nice, huh? But, you know what? It marks me as my father's child the way nothing else can!
All of you ladies with 8-pack abs or that gorgeous modelesque line down your belly, I am jealous of you. It's not that I do not work out, but even though I work really hard to have a flat stomach, it's just never going to happen for me. I have this weird dent between my protruding ribs and my belly button that makes it completely impossible for me to have visible core muscles. I know I'm not fat by any means, but it used to really bother me.
I can't change the basic shape of my body, so now I just remind myself that, because of my protruding ribs, my waist is super tiny and gives me curves! There's always a positive.
This particular topic is weird for me to talk about, but I am going to do it anyway! I have hairy arms. Seriously... like the crazy physics professor with the wild eyebrows? Imagine that on my arms.
Anyway, I always got made fun of for my arms and I remember one day in 9th grade I was more hurt than ever about it due to something an idiot boy told me in class. So my mom finally gave me permission to shave my arms! I kept thinking, "YES! This will solve all of my problems and I will be completely satisfied with myself every second of every day for the rest of my life!"
Guess what? I wasn't. We all complain about shaving our legs but shaving my arms quickly became even more of a chore. Then, one day, I was watching Live! with Regis & Kelly and Amanda Seyfried was on. And do you know what I noticed? SHE HAS HAIRY ARMS! Suddenly, my 13-year old self, in Limited Too boxers, eating Cheerios, had an epiphany. Amanda Seyfried has hairy arms. I have hairy arms. Amanda Seyfried is a famous actress. Why the heck am I shaving my arms when Amanda Seyfried obviously still gets plenty of acting jobs with hair on her arms?
So I stopped caring about having hair on my arms. I stopped shaving, and accepted my arms as they were.
And you know what? I haven't worried about my arms since.
Now that you've seen how I got past my insecurities, I hope this will inspire you to do the same. At the end of the day, the things you hate about yourself can ALL be seen in a positive light - you just have to decide to look at them that way. I promise, with a little work, it's totally possible to love yourself unconditionally, no matter what your perceived "flaws" are.
Now I want to hear from you - how do you deal with the things you don't love about yourself? Have you ever evaluated yourself physically? How have you dealt with other people commenting or making fun of your appearance? Leave a comment and let's talk!