Don’t you think it would be easier saying “main apni favourite hoon” and meaning it too if you had the same washboard abs and clear-glass skin that the actress who said it possesses? Surely, it would have! But you know what? Though this idea of liking yourself may seem difficult if you suffer from body-image issues, you’ve got to realize that nothing is more difficult than body shaming yourself.
I’ve lived with it for so long and been around fellow women who’ve berated themselves for not having a picture-perfect body that I know how difficult the transition can be. After all, going from being critical of your body to loving it the way it is isn’t a simple feat. But these six tips can make it slightly easier:
1. Self-affirmations work better than self-berating
Come to think of it and you will realize that it almost requires the same amount of energy and effort to say good things to yourself as it takes to deal with the negative comments that cloud your head.
Initially, while you’re still in the phase of acceptance, you might have to push yourself harder and say positive things about yourself and your body without any actual conviction. But I’ll tell you something—even a lie repeated a hundred times starts sounding like the truth. So why not take advantage of this phenomenon and bring some positivity in our lives?
2. Know that body positivity is a time-consuming process
There is no denying the fact that people change. But they don’t change overnight. So, after years of disliking what you see when you look at yourself in the mirror, you can’t expect to suddenly start appreciating your body post reading this. While you wait for the acceptance to grow over time, how about simply being neutral before becoming positive towards our body?
For instance, try saying “this dress doesn’t make me feel my confident best” instead of “I look fat and ugly in this dress”.
3. Reality check: Photoshop does exist and so does professionalism
The actresses and models you see earn their bread and butter from their acting and looks. Which is exactly why they’re surrounded by an army of stylists, who give them the most flattering silhouettes to wear; fitness coaches, who keep a track of every muscle in their body; and well, nutritionists, who oversee every bite of food they eat.
Moreover, the lighting, photo-editing apps, and sheer expertise of technicians, who can make them look beyond perfect also deserve a mention. And if you don’t have that kind of an army, then don’t even expect to look like them. Trust me, you don’t have to.
4. Exercise no matter what
The reason behind this isn’t to pressure yourself to achieve the kind of body you so admire. The logic is rather simple. Exercising or indulging in a physical activity doesn’t just keep you distracted, but also releases the happy hormones in your body called endorphins. This, in turn, can uplift your mood and make you feel good about yourself.
5. Understand the difference between unhealthy and “unappealing”
Ladies, you need to understand that being body positive doesn’t mean allowing yourself to accept an unhealthy body. Beyond the scope of health risks and obesity, if there’s anything about your body that you don’t find “aesthetic”, you’ve got to work on accepting it and not on being okay with being unhealthy.
Perhaps, those stretch marks are a sign of your bravery, those scars a token of a memorable moment from your glorious past, and well, that tummy without abs, simply a reminder of you being a human being.
6. Reminder: There’s more to life than your looks
The idea is to start making deeper connections that are beyond the superficiality of looks. Sure, being around fitness-conscious people can inspire you to work towards your health, but if the healthy ones are mean to you, kick their toxicity out of their lives.
Not to mention, make new friends and divert your attention away from your looks. Just go out, take a break, and have fun, girls.