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How To Accept Your Flawed and Beautiful Body
Acceptance starts with understanding that everyone is beautiful.
Body Image 21st Dec, 2020
Everybody struggles with body image at times – even athletes and supermodels. Perhaps you believe you are thin, fat, scarred, flawed, or somewhere in between. Whatever your starting point, your perception of your body is likely to be hypercritical and not what other people see. When we are constantly bombarded with perfect images on television, in the press and on social media it’s easy to believe we need to conform to an idealised body shape. It’s time to begin your journey away from idolising this ideal, and perhaps not matching up to it, towards self love.
There is no one size fits all solution to self love. Some of the following ideas may help you start your journey to accepting your flawed and beautiful body.
One of the best places to start is by retraining your brain. When a person has the same thoughts over and over again – ‘I don’t fit in, I’m not attractive, I’m too feminine/not feminine enough…’ it is likely that they will keep having these thoughts until they are challenged. Retraining your brain is about changing this story of self-dislike that you are telling yourself. You could start by looking at people you see in real life, while shopping, at school or at work. Often we see the beauty in others so elusive in ourselves. While it is true we often judge the people around us, if you look for attractive qualities, you will find them.
Start to make this the norm and then use this fresh perspective to look at your own body. Instead of criticising what you see, celebrate the things you like about your body. By using this thought process on the parts you see as flawed, you may begin to find the beauty there too. Acknowledge that telling yourself these body parts are flawed is a form of self-dislike and that you can change your viewpoint.
This is not a quick process and nobody will always be happy with what they see. That is ok. Take the time to start changing your outlook by looking at what you perceive as flaws and imagine how you and a friend would discuss them. You would never allow a friend to criticise themselves as heavily as that voice in your mind criticises you. Understanding that is key to self acceptance, as you learn to recognise that self critical voice and stop it in its tracks, then replace it with what a friend would say. Slowly, but surely, you can start to see past the weight, or scarring, or anything else you see as an imperfection, to the beauty that is there.
Talking to people is also a great way to gain acceptance. Listening to others complain about weight yo-yoing, fad diets, the desire to whiten teeth, thicken hair, the list is endless, helps you understand this drive for perfection is a shared human experience. It is not something you are suffering through alone. It could also open your eyes in many ways. During these conversations you may find you have never noticed the thing named as a flaw by the other person. Alternatively, you may have noticed it, but as a positive thing about their appearance that gives character. Is it possible they feel the same way about your perceived flaws? Of course it is. On the other hand, if it is something you have seen as a flaw, can you now try to see the positive aspects and communicate them during your conversation? Then apply the same to yourself.
Accepting your gorgeous body starts with understanding that everybody is beautiful in their own way not with diets, exercise or cosmetic aids. It starts with seeing the images all around us are airbrushed, polished and not what that person looks like in real life either. It starts with learning to love yourself and others, flaws and all and seeing how beautiful that really is.