This probably one of the biggest struggle of so many people all over the world: how to be comfortable in your own skin and love the way you look. We are not to blame though, there are just way too much image and information out there that makes us constantly question why we look the way we do, why so different from perfection. And these thoughts probably started to haunt us since we are able to grasp the concept of beauty. The first time looking at pictures of delicate princesses fairy tale, or models with porcelain skin in the magazine, we almost irresistibly compare these images to what we see in the mirror, we all know that trying to become prettier can easily turn into something addictive and dangerous, but we simply couldn’t help and try desperately anyway. I don’t know how often the mirror makes us feel disappointed or even disgusted by our own reflection, but when depressing thoughts like that comes at you, there are a few things you can do to get over it and help you to make peace with your body and build confidence over time.
- Read. Fictions, classical, biography or whatever kinds of books you like. When you read books and get to know the characters formed only by words not images, you will realise appearance does not matter as much as you think. I always loved to read as a child, from Pippi Longstocking to Jane Eyre to Harry Potter, and in some sense books taught me that, if you love Ginny Weasley without knowing the thickness of her thigh, why should I care about mine? It’s irrelevant, right? I love her because she is strong and tough yet playful and sweet. The way we are and what we do, that’s what define us, and our appearance is just an attachment as a person.
- Listen to your body and take good care of it. We tend to focus too much on how the body looks and ignore how the body feels. Remember that your body is on your side, so don’t try to work against it. Instead, treat your body with appreciation and nourish it with what it needs, like good food, exercise and care. Avoid speaking negatively about how your body look like, cause that could really break your confidence and stress out your body before you notice a thing.
- Understand that good-looking people are people too. “Well obviously,” You might think, but I mean really, living in Sweden gives me the chance to meet stunningly beautiful people here, and you’d think they probably they are living their lives like some kind of dreamy goddess. Well very few do, I suppose, but most of them are just as you and me. They also have to do laundry and dishes and problems they don’t want to share with people. I’ve met a gorgeous looking girl who turned down a modelling job because of her health problem, but that did not stop her from graduating college with top grades, even if her body feels like a battle field from the inside, after all the surgeries. So next time you think you would give everything to exchange body with some someone else, be aware that they might have problem you never even knew exist. Be grateful to your body as the way it is and you will be surprised how well you get along with it.
- Travel. Maybe to somewhere far away where people has different perception of beauty? You’re going realise that the aesthetics can be completely different on other side of the planet. When I first move to Sweden I was fascinated by how different people think about beauty and attractiveness, and it made me look at people from a different angle and totally changed my mind about the standard of beauty. Even if you cannot travel somewhere far, you can still go to the nature nearby and let yourself surrounded by creations of mother nature, it will definitely take your mind off how your body look like.
- Understand some basic knowledge about biology. Ok don’t roll your eyes just yet, I know it sounds boring as hell but that’s was how I learned the psychology behind aesthetics, as how people prefer symmetry which indicates health and genetic fitness, and then there is other factors like in some part of the world, curvy figure and pale skin indicates wealth and high social status in ancient times, but it doesn’t necessarily apply to places where all people born with darker skin naturally. Knowing these perception will make you realise how ridiculous it is for a society to have a standard for beauty and it will give you a sense of relief.
So these are the tips that will help you overcome the body image problem. It helped me go through a difficult page of my life, and I would like share with you. Let me know if you have any problem with body image and how do you cope with it?