With the weather getting warmer and wishes for summer to be upon us, thoughts of shedding the winter weight and getting back into shape fill our minds. Stores are now full of summer apparel including entire sections of swimsuits. As much as I enjoy shopping I dread trying to find a swimsuit. Having to look at myself in 360 degree mirrors, finding it impossible to squeeze into the tightest spandex as it compresses my body and not able to find one that will somehow make me look like that flawless model in the ads.
The Today show is currently featuring “Love Your Selfie” week; I found the following research according to Dove very disconcerting.
Nine out of 10 women have felt badly when looking in the mirror, yet they look at their reflections an average of six times a day. In fact, the study found that women spend 50 minutes every day looking in the mirror.
A few years ago I attended a women’s conference where we were each given a hand held mirror. We had to look at ourselves in it for what seemed like an eternity, but in reality it was only a minute or two. Really looking at ourselves, not fixing our hair or makeup or critiquing our crooked teeth, big nose, small lips, etc. Looking at ourselves, surpassing surface level into the depths of who we really are. It seems like such a simple exercise, but actually was really difficult to do.
We live in a culture where we are constantly bombarded by a hijacked concept of what beauty is. From TV, magazines, billboards you name it; our subconscious is filled with images we are told we need to emulate and model.
Often as women we give way to these unrealistic expectations, how we must look and what the number on the scale must say. The focus is so much on weight and appearance that the important factor of just being healthy is lost in the propaganda. It’s the feeling of satisfaction after a good workout or the energy you have after a good night’s rest, the feeling of self control after saying no to the second piece of cake or third scoop of ice cream.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of never being content with our weight even if it’s the lowest we may have been in awhile; it seems our society will still tell us it’s never good enough. I read a story last week of a girl who had been told most of her life she was underweight, at a recent modeling interview they said she measured as plus-size.
Our feeling of self worth and joy can’t be controlled by a number on the scale. We are whole and complete by our very nature, but do we also see ourselves as such. Stretch marks, scars, flaws and all, its part of our story, part of our journey. The stretch marks making room for life’s greatest miracle, the scars that mark renewed health, our unique traits and features that truly set us apart.
I encourage you to try looking in the mirror, to the core of your being; the beauty, grace, splendor and greatness of who you are!