Who hasn’t felt bummed at the supermarket checkout, reading headlines and admiring those “after” pictures for Get a Great Summer Body in Just 3 Weeks articles. The woman in the photo spread didn’t go on a diet to look like that and Photoshop did wonders for her seemingly gorgeous, flawless skin. How many women do you see in real life that look like that?
Well, those dreaded headlines are coming up again, as they do every year around spring. Those stunning models staring back at us from the covers of the glossies can trigger feelings of insecurity and body image shame. How to deal with the pressure?
SEEING THROUGH THE HYPE
We know that magazines airbrush photos to the extent of altering models’ bodies and faces dramatically. Even stars like Eva Longoria don’t look themselves in some pictures, as we could see in the cover of Amica magazine last July. If you realize that models in a photo shoot don’t resemble the real-life version of themselves, you can stop mentally competing with that unattainable and impossible standard.
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As for the fad diets that promise you will drop five sizes in three weeks, forget it! If you manage to to lose a significant amount weight that fast, you will double in size as soon as you go back to your usual eating habits. Crash diets don’t work in the long run and can even trigger eating disorders.
REJOICE IN YOUR BEAUTY
This year, I invite you to forget the “summer body” trend and focus on how you feel, nurturing your inner beauty. If you only focus on your looks, your self-esteem will never measure up when you compare yourself to the beauty industry standards. It’s all a sales pitch and marketing scheme to sell us products, gimmicks, and things that promise to make us thinner, prettier, and happier.
Love your body now, every inch, and celebrate it with or without the lumps and bumps we’re told are ugly! It is yours, it is unique!
Change your eating habits because you decide you want to feel and be healthier. Exercise to feel better and become stronger, but do it for yourself. Remember that the only way to feel and look beautiful is to take care of yourself from within, which will inevitably reflect on the outside.
TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR SELF-IMAGE
Wear clothes that fit. Play up your best features. If you want to hide your tummy, but have killer legs, show them off!
Remember it’s all about attitude. A smile is the best accessory. A joyful, positive demeanour will make you come across as beautiful.
Indulge in a hobby. Take dancing lessons, go for a run. There is nothing like having fun by putting your body in motion to feel better about yourself.
If you’re a mom, remember that your body did something short of a miracle. It nurtured and gave birth to your babies. That should be reason enough to love it!