Breaking Free From Beauty Standards & Body Shaming
As a woman who has struggled with body image issues, I understand the pressure to conform to society’s beauty standards. From a young age, I was bombarded with images of what a “perfect” body should look like, and I spent countless hours comparing myself to these unrealistic ideals. These were the start of my insecurities. As a result, I developed a negative body image and suffered from feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. However, over time, I learned to break free from these beauty standards and the damaging effects of body shaming. Through self-reflection and personal growth, I cultivated a sense of body positivity and self-acceptance. In this blog post, I want to share my journey and offer tips and advice for others who may be struggling with similar issues. Let’s break free from the constraints of beauty standards and embrace our unique bodies with love and appreciation. Today I’m sharing my journey of breaking free from beauty standards and body shaming. I’ll be sharing tips for building self-confidence and body positivity, tips for overcoming insecurities about body image, and much more.
Overcoming Insecurities About Body Image
Overcoming insecurities about body image is a journey that requires self-reflection, self-love, and a commitment to personal growth. Body image insecurities can significantly impact an individual’s mental health, self-esteem, and overall well-being. However, with the right mindset and tools, it is possible to break free from negative self-talk and develop a more positive relationship with your body. You can work towards breaking free from beauty standards and body shaming.
One of the first steps towards overcoming insecurities about body image is recognizing that your worth is not determined by your physical appearance. Society’s beauty standards constantly change, and keeping up with them all is impossible. Instead of trying to fit into a mold, embrace your unique qualities and celebrate what makes you special.
Another helpful tip is to surround yourself with positive influences. Social media, in particular, can be a breeding ground for body shaming and comparison. Unfollow accounts that make you feel inadequate and seek out influencers who promote body positivity and self-love. Additionally, surround yourself with supportive friends and family members who appreciate you for who you are, not what you look like.
It is also important to take care of your physical health. While your worth is not determined by your appearance, taking care of your body can help you feel more confident and comfortable in your skin. This can include regular exercise, eating a balanced and nutritious diet, and getting enough sleep.
Finally, practice self-love and compassion. Be kind to yourself, and remember that everyone has flaws and imperfections. Instead of focusing on what you don’t like about your body, try to focus on what you do like. Treat yourself with the same love and kindness you would show a friend.
Tips For Building Self-Confidence and Body Positivity
The other day I found myself at the store. While working on breaking free from beauty standards and body shaming, I was trying to step out of my comfort zone. I had set out to buy a new bathing suit to wear when we go camping this weekend. I tried on 3 different ones. Different colors, different styles, different everything. With every single one, I found myself standing in front of the mirror, picking apart everything I deemed wrong with me. Every scar I saw in the reflection was screaming at me. Every stretch mark was telling me how disgusting I was. I stood there staring at myself in complete dismay. I hated every single bathing suit on me. When they were on the hangar, they were beautiful. For me, that was a completely different story. I was crying at this point and called my husband. I was a mess. I had decided it would be another year for shirts and shorts at the beach. I was filled with insecurities and poor body image.
I had failed another year of getting my body `bathing suit ready.` My husband was calming and helped me get through my tears and then asked me, `What is it that you don`t like about the bathing suit?` `I look chubby.` I told him
Body Image Insecurities
His response hit me right in the heart. He said, `You look beautiful, but even if you think you look chubby, why is chubby a bad thing?` I remember being quiet for a minute. I was completely thrown off guard. He was right. Completely right. In my mind, the word chubby was not one I wanted to be used to describe me, but why was it such a bad word? Why was I so afraid of it? What made it so scary? I`ve never been comfortable in a bathing suit. I`ve never worn a tank without something on top, and only in the last year have I worn shorts, and still, really, just a handful of times.
Even when I was at my smallest, I still had such a distorted view of my body and preconceived notions of what it was supposed to look like. I have never felt comfortable with my body. I have spent 20 years hating it, actually. Every single part of it. I have always struggled, and therefore I struggle in my relationship with food. Every emotion I feel has a food that it is associated with. It`s how I manage to get through things. I`ve tried to trick myself into believing that I love my body, but really… deep down… I always knew I didn`t. I never have.
Growing Up With Insecurities
I grew up in the presence of a person who often spoke about the weight they felt they needed to lose. I found that I would often look at their body and compare it to my own. As a little girl, I would think if THEY needed to lose weight, then I definitely did too. I heard things about not being thin enough to wear a bikini. Many of what I know now are negative remarks relating to body image. I am not blaming anyone; I am simply exploring where my unrealistic views of what my body should look like may come from. I grew up in an atmosphere where fit and thin women were the ones who should wear beautiful bathing suits, and bigger women just shouldn`t. I think it was just the way the world was. The way that it thought and projected its ideas onto very impressionable children.
Poor Body Image
So, for 20 years, I`ve hated my body and the number the scale told me. This number represented my worth. I constantly have thought I would be happy when I lose 10 pounds. But, even when/if I lost those 10 pounds, I still wasn`t happy. I wanted 10 more. No matter what size, my body was never small enough. Small meant beauty to me. So, the smaller I could get, the more beautiful I would be.
It makes me so sad to think that these minor things might have played such a lasting part in my relationship with my body and food. These things affected how I felt about my appearance, body image, and my bucket load of insecurities. As I would get smaller, I would be praised, as if I was doing something better than what I was doing before. I was becoming more beautiful because I was smaller.
But the dark part, the part that nobody could see, was that I wouldn`t allow myself to eat. If I didn`t eat, then in my head, I had a larger chance of being smaller. Health and getting vitamins and nutrients for my body didn`t matter to me. All that mattered was the number on my pant tag. I sought validation like this. The smaller I got, the more I was celebrated, so to me, the more beautiful I was. I still get so sad when I think of this. I still struggle so much with food and my body. It is a journey I constantly embark on.
I ended up buying the bathing suit, and I am determined to wear it.
How to build your self-confidence and embrace body positivity?
Tangible Tips For Building Self-Confidence and Body Positivity
Practice self-care: Taking care of your physical and mental health can help you feel better about yourself. This can include getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating a balanced and nutritious diet.
Set realistic goals: Setting achievable goals and working towards them can help you feel more confident and accomplished.
Learn a new skill: Learning a new skill or hobby can help you build confidence in your abilities and give you a sense of accomplishment.
Embrace your strengths: Everyone has strengths and talents. Focusing on your strengths can help boost your confidence and give you a sense of purpose.
Surround yourself with positive influences: Surround yourself with people who uplift and support you. Avoid negative influences that bring you down or make you feel insecure.
Practice positive self-talk: Replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations. This can help you feel more confident and boost your self-esteem.
Dress for success: Dressing in a way that makes you feel confident and comfortable can help boost your self-confidence.
Practice good posture: Standing up straight and maintaining good posture can help you feel more confident and assertive.
Try new things: Stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things can help you build self-confidence and overcome fears and insecurities.
Celebrate your successes: Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. This can help you feel proud of yourself and boost your self-esteem.
I am determined to change my view on personal body image and work on the many insecurities surrounding my appearance. How are you working on breaking free from beauty standards and body shaming? If you’re looking for more support about overcoming insecurities about body image I’ve linked a few tools below – Click the image to visit for more details.
I hope one day I succeed.
Love Always, N
Wow, such a great post my friend. The scary part is that you are not alone. I’ve never owned a bathing suit and never go lay at the beach. It becomes a point in life when we have to choose our battles. I don’t go anywhere that requires a bathing suit, then I don’t have to face these sort of issues. If there is not an option, then make up your mind to dress the way you want to and feel comfortable in your own skin. Peace and blessings to you my friend!
I love this post. I can relate so much. Thanks for sharing.
This was so honest. You had me hanging on every word as if it were my own. I know all to well the feeling of hatred for your body, being unable to look in the mirror without hating what you see. So many women struggle with the same thing and yet, when you’re in the middle of those thoughts, you feel so alone. It’s amazing, and horrible, that the external expectations of society can get to us so much.
You’re so brave for sharing this.
N, you are so brave to say what so many of us think, I agree with the aforementioned comments…so many women struggle with these same fears about our own body image. Your husband’s comment is as good as gold, you are clearly beautiful inside and out and that’s all that matters! Put on that bathing suit and wear it proudly #Girlboss!
I enjoyed your honesty. I think this is a struggle that most women can relate to – I certainly can. We all need to work on loving ourselves and accepting ourselves. It’s tough!
I loved what your husband said
Georgia - whatsinmywonderland.com
Thank you for writing this beautiful post! You are very brave and honest!
This really must be tough for you and this is a powerful post. I used to binge then purge and restrict and it was so toxic. Time is a healer and you will look fabulous in your bathing suit 🙂
Such powerful words from your husband! Wow. It will be hard, but I’m sure one day your relationship with food and your body will be better. I’m rooting for you and proud of you for your journey!
This was really refreshing – I have also grown up hating my body and largely for the same reasons you’ve discussed here.
I’m so glad you took that first step and bought the bathing suit! I hope you get to wear it and that you feel fantastic when you do!
Hayley | https://www.thriceuponadream.com
wow, this post spoke STRAIGHT to my heart. i also struggle with my body image, always have kind of scared that i always will. that’s the scariest part thinking that no matter how hard i try i’ll never be satisfied. i’m so glad that you won that battle of buying the bathing suit and not letting the dreaded fitting room win. i genuinely hope you decide to wear the bathing suit this weekend. sending love. xx
mich / simplymich.com
Enjoyed reading how frank and honest you were in this post, appreciate the authenticity and your husband sounds like an awesome guy 🙂