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Monday, August 7, 2017

Why It's Okay to NOT Love How You Look

I almost wasn't going to share this post today because I feel like there are too many "self love" posts out there - and this goes against them completely. 

Why? Because I'm telling you it is okay to not love how you look all of the time. 

We live in a world that is obsessed with perfection and personal image. 

Anti ageing creams line the shelves of supermarkets and department stores, weight loss products promise you "the body you've always wanted", Instagram is constantly flooded with before and after photos, botox and fillers are injected with gusto, clothing brands are pushing the latest and greatest fashion trends that you have to have, the list goes on and on... 

and yet? We're still not happy. 

Self love and positive body image have become buzz words and yet, whilst we know we should be nicer to ourselves, we still can't get past it when we're feeling a little vulnerable or blah. 

But do you know what I think? 

I think it's completely unrealistic to love yourself all the time. Why? Because we hold ourselves to ridiculous standards - and we're also human. 

We each view the world differently and we each have different perceptions of perfection - which means perfection doesn't actually exist.

What do I mean by that? 

Think about someone you think is "perfect". They have the perfect body or amazing fashion sense or whatever you think is perfect... 

Meanwhile, that person might have a completely different perception of themselves - and someone else will have a completely different perception of them too. Whilst you think they're perfect, that's just your perception. 

Take the above photo. 

I saw that and I thought; 
  • Frizzy hair
  • My left eye is bigger than my right eye 
  • My posture is weird
  • My face looks puffy 
  • That's a weird half-smile
  • I'm totally getting smile lines 
  • That is a terrible photo
I'd almost hit the delete button on the camera when Jesse said "I really like that photo". 

And then I realised. I really am my own worst critic. Sure, you might look at that photo and see those "flaws" too.... but do they really matter? 

When I look through our photobooks, almost all of our photos are of Jesse - with a few of me sprinkled throughout. Why? Because I hate photos of myself - so I am always behind the camera (that's the reason we have photos taken on our anniversary each year - because sometimes they're the only photos of me in a year!). 

But what happens when I'm old and want to show my grandchildren the adventures we've been on? There will only be a few photos of me to look at. 

Body Image Quotes | Even when someone gets to looking like she should be so proud of herself, instead she's like "I could be another three pounds less; I could be a little taller and have bigger lips". Where does it end? You just have to say "I'm pretty damn good. I am right here at the moment and I’m okay with it". Melissa McCarthy

When I look through my grandparent's photo albums - there are imperfections everywhere, but those photos are perfect to me. I love seeing where my grandpa has caught a candid photo of my grandmother swinging on a swing in the backyard with laughter in her eyes and love on her face. 

I love seeing the photos of my grandpa pulling silly faces or photos that are blurred with the rush of children in the background. Or photos of smiling faces with backgrounds of mess and clutter that shows life and reality - not chaos and disorganisation like my type A personality would believe if that photo was of me. 

If those photos were digital, would I have ever seen them? Not if I was the one doing the curation. 

Body Image Quotes | One day I decided I was beautiful and so I carried out my life like I was a beautiful girl – Gabourey Sidibe

So you know what I've realised? It's okay to not love how you look or what's on the outside all the time. 

Why? Because it's not important. 

I'm seeing my imperfections and realising, you know what? That's okay. I'm perfectly imperfect. 

When I'm old, I'm not going to look back and say "oh wow! I am SO glad I had an amazing butt from all of those squats" or "you know what? My life was amazing because my hair was always perfect". 

Even though I would change things in a heartbeat (let's be REAL - I'm a flawed and naive human!), I'm going to stop beating myself up. 

Body Image Quotes - Who cares if there are lumps on my thighs I'm guilty of having human legs made up of fat, muscle and skin and sometimes they get bumpy - Kristen Bell

I don't like photos of myself but my husband does. 
I have cellulite but I also have legs that are strong and have taken me to the most incredible places. 
I have acne and pimples and blemishes but I have hormones and a reproductive system that works and that's all part of the package. 
I have crazy frizzy hair, but it's also thick and healthy and I can rock a killer mermaid 'do after a day at the beach. 
I don't have killer abs but I do have working organs that keep me alive and healthy. 
I don't have an incredible physique but I have copious amounts of free time to spend with the ones I love - instead of slaving away at the gym. 

My list could go on and on - and I'm sure yours could too.... but those lists are silly. 

Instead of focusing on external appearances, why not focus on just living life? 

Do you really want to miss out on an awesome day at the beach making memories just because you're too concerned with what you look like in a swimsuit? 

Do you really want to skip a date with potentially the man of your dreams just because a pimple decided to rear it's giant head why you were sleeping? 

Do you want to be the dull one at the party because you're so worried about your appearance that you can't bring yourself to talk to anyone or have fun? 

Or do you want to be like me and have your photobooks filled with photos of everyone but you, just because you either won't get in photos - or you don't like the ones that are taken? 

I don't think so. 

Body Image Quotes - How much time have I wasted on what I look like? Take your time and your talent and figure out what you have to contribute to this world.. and get over what the hell your butt looks like in those jeans. America Ferrara

Give yourself a little grace and realise it's normal to feel insecure and unsure at times. It's normal to not always love the way you look. Sure, it sucks - but that's human nature. 

What you really need to remember, however, is that none of that matters.

We're all perfectly imperfect and that's okay. 

Let's be REAL;
Tell me, what's one "flaw" you get caught up one that you really need to get over?
And what do you really want to change your attitude about? 
I'm always fussing too much over my skin and my cellulite. I'm changing my attitude to photos and bikinis. Does it really matter what I look like in either if I'm missing out? 


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