It is hard to live in such an image-obsessed world all the time. Gossip magazines and websites constantly analyze every picture of popular celebrities and create stories about supposed weight gain and signs of eating disorders. Even though the public’s protests have already caused some agencies and designers to adopt new health requirements that claim to provide a healthy work environment, we still see international models becoming taller and skinnier every season. People of every age, shape, waist size, and sex are told what they should look like and whom they should idolize, although many of the role models we strive to be like are so heavily photoshopped and size-obsessed themselves that they are not at all portrayals of healthy or realistic human bodies.
These days, no one has perfectly unblemished self-esteem, but no one deserves to be ashamed of their bodies or the way they look. Some people are naturally lithe and lean, with little visible body fat, and they have trouble gaining weight. These people may be teased or looked down upon for being “too skinny” or even be accused of having an eating disorder because of their weight. On the other hand, individuals on the heavier side are often targeted for their weight, made to feel uncomfortable about the amount they eat, or deemed unappealing because their body type isn’t frequently represented in the media in a positive light.
Furthermore, when most people think about low self-esteem, they almost entirely exclude men from the conversation. Men can also be victims of low self-esteem, and it’s even worse because they are often not encouraged to share feelings of insecurity or self-loathing. Appealing men in the media are portrayed as oily, chiseled, and brimming with testosterone-laden confidence. This image is entirely unrealistic and does not even come close the incredible diversity of the male physique.
I’ve only touched upon a few of the sometimes overwhelming number of insecurities many of us hold about our bodies. For some, an overabundance or lack of hair makes us uncomfortable; for others, it’s the presence of acne or scars. Everyone has something about them they would like to change, but it is our differences that allow us to appreciate the diversity of humanity. You are the only you in the world. No one looks exactly like you, or feels exactly like you feel. Each person is unique, special, and beautiful in their own way. When you are stressed, unhappy and perhaps depressed, try not to throw that negative energy back at yourself through self-loathing or self-hatred. Slow down, breathe, and think about the parts you love about yourself: your eyes, your hair, your laugh, your sense of humor. If you give yourself the chance to focus on everything that makes you such a wonderful person, it’s hard to beat yourself up about the little things. Being a confident, motivated individual begins with the acknowledgment that no one is perfect, but that you have the strength and the character to be content knowing that you will always be imperfectly you.
Article by Carli Baker
Feature Image Source: LinkedIn