It seems like everywhere we go society is determined to make us hate ourselves for profit. We’re surrounded by billboards, ads, commercials and apps that tell us that all we need to do to feel good about ourselves is to buy the next beauty product or seminar for perfect health, wealth and happiness. Many of us are caught up in this marketing fiasco, buying this Louis Vitton bag or that Gucci belt without ever wondering why we feel like we aren’t enough.
Finding Body Confidence in a Body-Shaming World
It seems like we never stop the hamster wheel to ask why we have to follow the latest trend to feel better about ourselves. We have to ask ourselves, “Why don’t I feel beautiful? Why don’t I feel sexy?” “What’s missing in my life?”
I wanted to offer a few tips on how to regain a sense of self-worth and you reinvent your body image. As you could probably guess, it has nothing to do with what you’ve acquired externally, and everything to do with what you're cultivating inside.
Stand in Front of the Mirror … in Your Birthday Suit.
Actually, don’t just stop there. Lounge around the house naked. Stare aggressively at every reflective surface you possibly can. Go nuts. The point of this exercise is to become so comfortable in your own skin that you can show up completely as you are without any discomfort. I always had a problem with this when I was younger. It even got to the point where it was difficult for me to even look at myself in the mirror. If you have this problem it’s important that you force yourself to do just that.
Whenever you pass a mirror of yourself (preferably naked), pause for a second and find something that you like about yourself. At first you’ll feel exposed. After a while, you’ll feel at home in your body. When you stand in front of the mirror, look yourself in the eye and say, “I love you.” After a while you’ll start to believe yourself. (Read: 6 Steps That'll Help You Love Love Love Your Naked Self.)
This may sound strange, but giving myself a hug is something that helped me when I was at my lowest point. Of course, if you can find a cuddle buddy this helps a lot, but sometimes you may feel so broken that you don’t even feel you’re worthy of that. Perhaps you think no one would want to hold you or you don’t have too many people in your life you can do this with. The reason is irrelevant. What’s important is that you perform this action whenever you can. It’s important to do this whenever you’re in a place that you consider safe. I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me it created a physical anchor to a mental sense of calm. When I did it I instantly felt warm and calm, even through whatever pain I felt. I felt loved and cared for - by myself. This is exceedingly important. Of course, if this isn’t exactly your cup of tea, you can…
Sign-up for a Striptease or Martial Arts Class
The above two exercises are designed help you develop a sense of self-love by yourself. Everything starts with you, but eventually you’re going to have to leave the comfort of your home and branch out. As an adult it can be really hard to make friends in between the rigors of work, kids and life. One of the ways to solve this problem while balancing self-care is to join a class that helps you get off your feet and allows you to meet others who are on the same journey as you. I recently joined a striptease class that helps you get in shape while making you feel sexy (I also gained a newfound respect for strippers). In the process, I met a number of friends who had the same goal as me: they wanted to feel better about who they are, while staying fit in the process. (Read: Own It! How to Take Back, Accept and Even Love Your Own Body.)
In short, despite a society that thrives on lacking self-esteem, you can live a life of happiness and confidence in the face of all kinds of obstacles. Self-love isn't something you can buy, but it is something you can cultivate. Love yourself and surround yourself with others on the same path, and you’ll be able to live your fullest, sexiest life.