Beauty is not about number or size and confidence is something that concerns us all!
Secrets you need to change the way you think about your body and most importantly about yourself.
While my blog focuses mainly on fashion and style, I want to take a moment to write about something that is important to me: body confidence.
I often receive emails from readers asking how I have managed to love my body and remain positive, in a world where we are ready to feel like we are not worthy of being stylish and beautiful because of our size.
I’ve heard stories of girls who grew up happy and adjusted. They had a healthy relationship with their food and their body. Something that doesn’t apply to me. I started my first diet at the age of eight. I remember that I almost always felt hungry as I always did some activities (dance, many sports) that consumed my energy.
In combination with championship and my very fast growth (before 12 I had already become a “woman”) I began to stand out from other kids at my age. So, from a very young age, I always had “issues” in the way I viewed my body.
So, I spent all of my puberty hating my body or trying to accept it or be accepted by those around me.
“You have to love your body, to be proud of it,” they told me, but I never understood exactly what that meant. “How to do that,” I thought, “when the image in my mirror is not like what Beyoncé sees in hers.
What is the point in trying to prove all the time that I’m happy with my curves, when I know I’ll never be like the models in the magazine? How can I love my stretch marks when they always remind me of how big my thighs are and my cellulite that will forever remind me that I will never become like the girls on Instagram?
Give me a reason to do it, “I kept saying. Fortunately, sport activities and dancing have always given me the courage to continue and maintain a body that is not slim but not too fat. That’s what was happening until I said enough.
I was tired of hating and downgrading myself because I didn’t have the perfect body.
But what have I learned from all this?
We get so many messages about how our bodies should look like and we rarely get them out of our minds.
Self-esteem is an inside job. And if you want to improve your body’s confidence, you will need to change what you put into your body in a way that has nothing to do with eating.
Those were the tips I have been following, and I am sharing them with you, in the hope that I will help even one person to feel better and take the first step to love its image.
1. Confidence is a strong characteristic.
It spills and influences those around you. Everyone understands it, admires it and in a magical way attracts them to you. But all those years I spent hating my body made me who I am now.
An image consultant and a plus size model. So, changing my perspective, I changed my relationship with myself and found not one but dozens of reasons to finally love my body for exactly what it is.
And guess what happened once I learned to love my body as it is: then others did as well!
If you love yourself, you will open the way for others to do the same.
2. Don’t become an enemy of yourself!
Poor image of your body can have a bigger impact on your quality of life than you realize.
Some negative thoughts here and there may soon escalate, resulting in social withdrawal, anxiety, and depression. Women are the guiltiest of not accepting and appreciating their body type.
According to the charity DoSomething.org, “about 91% of women are unhappy with their body” and “more than 40% of women and about 20% of men agreed that they would consider a cosmetic surgery in the future”.
Start by accepting the beautiful parts and the “parts to improve” on you.
3. Think positive but at the same time realistic and don’t let anyone change your mind about yourself!
Investing in yourself means freeing your mind for more positive thoughts and actions.
The only person who can stop you from achieving your goals is yourself. So be proud of you and don’t stop anywhere!
4. Real beauty is a power.
When we say “real” we mean the beauty that comes from your soul! And why is this beauty a force? Because when you know who you really are, then you’re ready to deal with everything.
5. Think or make a list of everything your body has helped you to do.
Instead of looking in the mirror and finding out every time what you don’t like at your body, recognize all that your body can do.
Think about it: the bags you were able to lift while shopping, the mountain you climbed, the baby you gave birth to, how beautiful you dance, the curves your boyfriend likes and makes you sexy!
We have made our body such an enemy, but we should see it as a friend.
6. Some people look at themselves in the mirror and say horrible things. And if they say it out loud, then they hear it daily and underline the problems even more.
Choose a part of the body you love and talk about it loudly.
Yes, yes, it might seem silly at first, but it can be a powerful tool for combating body image problems. So every morning, you will focus on a beautiful spot leaving behind all the negative thoughts.
You will say: how nice my hair is today, how nice my nails are, how nice my red bra is etc. You have to get used of seeing yourself in the mirror, hearing beautiful words and feeling positive emotions.
So, day by day, you will create a security-wall around your fragile but growing self-confidence, leaving only the good thoughts and feelings pass by and help you.
7. Are you just your body? I don’t think so. Are you smart, funny, strong, talented, compassionate, successful, ambitious or athletic?
Give to these aspects of your personality more power and of course you will get a boost of self-love!
But do not forget that as you work for your inside world, you must work for your outside as well.
8. Feel happy and healthy at every age and stage of your life.
One of the best things when we grow up is the confidence that comes with age – studies show that the experience and understanding we gain over time means that we feel more capable and effective every decade, armed with the stamina needed to negotiate any ups and downs.
Even so, because our skin and body shape change naturally with our age, we sometimes need to spend a little time to enhance our body image to make sure it fits our mindset.
Don’t forget beauty is an OPTION.
9. Stop looking at other bodies and comparing them to yours.
I have been doing it for years and honestly it hasn’t helped me anywhere, beyond the role models that still have a positive effect on me. Each one on this planet has a different DNA as well as lives in a different environment.
You will never look like anyone else, so stop comparing yourself. Firstly, delete/unfollow people on social media or your life, who makes you feel bad or makes you feel like you have to be someone else. Don’t worry about hurting one’s feelings – your mental health is more important.
Then use social media in a positive way -not to criticize yourself: follow different people – the more diversity you see, the better you will feel about yourself. You will find that you are not the only one struggling with her/his image every single day.
My goal and mission when I created this blog was to influence people’s lives through fashion, inspiring them to feel comfortable in their own bodies, giving them the courage to wear what they love.
When you have low self-esteem, it is easy to fall into the habit of wearing things that hide your body, avoiding wearing clothes that you like and make you feel good. That is so wrong!
Follow your body shape and your personality and show to the world who you really are by wearing what you love every single day.
Conclusion: Love yourself!
With love and lots of colour, Aristea Korkovelou