Body shaming is, sadly, a trend these days. You have songs that hate on the skinny girls because “real women have curves.” Then you have songs about shaming people who don’t happen to have the body type of a Victoria’s Secret model. We all know that no one is perfect, but there are still some people who insist on telling people how they should look, how they should act, what size they should be, what their hair color should look like. Give me a break.
Everyone has the right to love their own body. Whether you’re skinny, fat, tall, short, missing a limb, dark-skinned, pale-skinned, what have you, every single body in the world deserves to be loved. It’s just a shame that so many people insist on hating on their bodies, simply because they don’t conform to the unrealistic standards set by society.
How to love the skin you’re in
So what if you’re a size 0 with olive skin or a short, size 10 with pale skin? That doesn’t give you any less of a right to love your body and pamper it with all you’ve got! If you have no idea how to love the body you were born with, here’s how you can do it.
#1 Treat yourself. If you are one of those people that never takes time for yourself, it’s time you stop, and start making time. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant or 24/7, but depending on your lifestyle, every month or 3 months, you should treat yourself to something for you, and you only.
This could involve having a spa day, or going on a trip somewhere, but it should really involve doing something that relaxes you, and something that also rejuvenates you. All the days you spend working will take its toll on your body, so you need to let it relax and recover. [Read: 14 stress busters to soothe a tired mind]
#2 Splurge. Stop obsessing and feeling guilty for eating 2 slices of pizza, or for having that extra glass of wine. It’s okay. I promise. If you continue to deprive yourself of all the great things life has to offer, especially the simple things like a glass of wine, or pizza, you’ll be miserable! Obviously, you shouldn’t eat pizza every day, or drink a bottle of wine every night, but if sometimes you want to have a little more than normal, do so in moderation!
#3 Treat yourself right. Treat yourself the way you want others to treat you: with respect. If all you do is stuff your body with junk food and work for 12 hours a day, that’s not respect, that’s torture! You have to learn that your body isn’t invincible, and that it needs to be treated with care, both physically and mentally.
Give yourself a break when you’re tired. Get a relaxing massage to soothe your sore muscles. Stop mentally beating yourself up for some trivial thing you did last week. Cut yourself some slack, supply your body with the nutrients it needs, and you’ll reap the benefits tenfold, I promise you!
#4 Find something to love about yourself. Find something about yourself that you love, and remind yourself about it whenever you can. It can be something as simple as reminding yourself that your hair is gorgeous or that you have dainty hands or that your legs can withstand running for long periods of time.
For example, I know this one girl who struggles with her weight, and she documents everything on her social media. But one thing that really stands out about her is the way she loves certain features and qualities about herself. She happens to love her eyes, which are huge, round, and very blue.
Every day, and I’m not kidding when I say this, she will always post a selfie and mention something about her eyes. Sure, it might be annoying, but I have to hand it to her, her eyes are pretty, and she knows it, and she rocks that. Find what you love about yourself and rock it too!
#5 Set goals. When you set goals for yourself, only you are in charge of meeting them or not. You are in charge of you. Think about all the New Year resolutions you said you wanted to do that you haven’t actually done. Maybe it’s time to sit down and create a vision board of all of them, and make this year the year you meet at least half of them! If you have wanted to lose 10 pounds, lose it! Stop talking and start doing.
The more you focus on yourself, and what you want, the more you will start loving who you are. There is nothing more gratifying than knowing you accomplished something all on your own, because you wanted to, and you did it for you and no one else. Your confidence will shine so bright that people will wonder where you’ve been hiding all along. [Read: 25 tips to motivate you to work out]
#6 Surround yourself with love. It’s true, if you are around negative people, you’ll probably find yourself being a bit more negative. Just like if you’re around positive people, you’ll probably have a pep in your step. Energy is contagious, and you get what you give. Have you ever given someone a compliment and it made you feel good, because you knew you made the other person feel good? It’s that kind of feeling. Surround yourself with people who love you for who you are on the inside, and you will love who you are on the inside and outside, too! [Read: 10 toxic friends you need to get rid of]
#7 Go where you’ve never gone before. If you’re familiar with the new hit reality TV show on TLC called “My Big Fat Fab Life,” you will probably understand what this means. In short, the show follows an overweight woman with polycystic ovary syndrome, who had a dance routine video on YouTube that went viral. The show focuses on her health, her dancing her way to being fit, and most important of all, her ability and desire to face all the bullies and negativity by standing up for herself.
For example, in one episode she decides to finally go to the beach, which she hasn’t been to since she was like 8 years old. And not only that, she wears a two-piece. Sure, she might be large, but she’s tired of hiding who she is. She finally faces her fear and stops worrying about others, and lives her life for herself. And she doesn’t just go to the beach: she goes swimming and has a freaking blast!
She is a breath of fresh air, reminding everyone that just because someone might be fat does not mean they are lazy or not trying. We never know what anyone else is going through, and it’s time to take a stand and stand up for yourself! She’s a motivation to us all, big or small. [Read: 7 life lessons you’ll learn on a road trip]
#8 Find something you’re good at. If you’ve got a career, or you dream about having one, do it. Make it a reality. If you’re really good at something, hone your skill sets, and perfect it. No matter if you think you know all there is to know, I can tell you right now, you don’t.
Never stop learning, and growing, and teaching yourself more and more about things you are passionate about. If you are great at writing, always continue reading and writing. If you are great at drawing, never stop doodling and playing around with ideas. Become the best version of you, and you will fall in love with yourself.