Your arms are fat. Your nose is too big. Your eyebrows suck. Why do you even bother? These are evil words that pop into every girls’ head at one point in time throughout her teenage years, probably more than once. We look in the mirror and instead of seeing all the wonderful things that make us beautiful, we immediately notice all the things that make us “ugly”. I think everyone is a culprit of this, even myself. Even if we try to make a conscience effort to notice the good things about ourselves, that sneaky little voice constantly seems to seep its way into our thoughts. So, what do we do to combat that voice? If we can’t get rid of it completely, how do we make sure it doesn’t completely overtake our thoughts? Your thighs are huge. Your acne is horrible and everyone notices. Boys think you’re annoying and ugly.
I think that to combat this voice, we need to start with how we view other women. As a girl who goes to a huge university with tons of beautiful women, I think I have the experience to say that nothing is more intimidating than doing something as simple as walking to class and feeling like you’re the only below-average person in the vicinity. With everyone’s stylish athleisure clothes, perfectly pinned ponytails, and glamorous jewelry, it is easy to feel like you’re a chewed up and spit out version of everyone else. I know I feel like that every day. But I believe that if we stopped comparing ourselves to other girls, making snap judgements about them, and thinking less of them because of what they are wearing, those small steps, in turn, would boost our own self confidence and promote a healthier body image and higher self-esteem. Everybody could use a good dose of that.
I chose this picture of two of my little best friends and I because before this picture was taken, Charli (the younger one) was going to get glasses for the first time. She was nervous she would look silly so I told her glasses were awesome and I would wear mine too to make her feel better. After Charli and I both had glasses, Katie Beth (the one on my right) felt left out, so she wore her mom’s to take a picture with the two of us. I include this to say that something I think that would help women lift other women up is if they went out of their way to compliment somebody else. It could be something small (I love those earrings!), something huge (Claudia, your debutante ball dress is incredible), a physical item (I love that your grandma gave you that ring and you wear it every day), or something that is a part of her (You have the most amazing smile). Little compliments like these add up in a person’s mind, as I’m sure most of you have noticed, and they make us feel better about ourselves.
When we receive these compliments, it feels so good that we feel the need to share it with others. We then, in turn, pass on compliments to more girls, and they do the same. It’s a wonderful cycle full of positive body image that works when everyone is willing to open their heart a little and pass on that kindness. Something so small can make such a difference, and we can eventually make that evil voice in your head as small as possible, to where it is eventually gasping for fuel and it will be suffocated by positivity.