I’m German and Irish – in other words, big-boned and pale as a sheet. My knee bones are about as wide as my leg, and my hue barely darkens, especially since my surge of self-confidence stole my ability to blush on command.
And I’m not the only one who can pin-point everything that went wrong during puberty, or whatever unattractive gene clung on to my parents’ DNA and passed on to me. I have a friend who barely caps at 90lbs and works part-time as a model – yet she still refuses to smile for the camera, because two of her pearly whites overlap.
Ragging on yourself is habitual; it begins when you look at your short eyelashes in the morning, when you try to tug your work pants over the hips you meant to lose after Christmas, when you try to brush the frizz out of your hair but only end up teasing in more. Every day, like clockwork, we spot each of our imperfections exactly where we left them, and each time we do so, we slow down. Here are some tips I used to come to terms with what I considered “wrong” with myself, and begin to love the quirks nature gave me.
1. Ask yourself how your life would change if your imperfection did
When I asked myself this, I realized that even if the things I disliked about my appearance changed, my life wouldn’t. I’d still have a great relationship, the same family, same friends, same job. It’s important to ask what it is we’re truly looking to change. If something needs fixing, it’s better to concentrate on that rather than blaming your appearance.
2. Take a photo of yourself everyday
Call them “self-love selfies.” I don’t mean take one photo every day. I mean keep taking photos until you find what you love about yourself. Finding the right light to view yourself in, or the angle you love best, not only will produce the best photo but the best mindset as well. Just like you have to adjust the lighting and angle of the photo, you have to adjust how you look at yourself before you can find the beauty in your features.
Just try not to bombard your Instagram with photos until your friends want to unfollow you.
3. Ask yourself if this is a healthy fixation
It’s good to make the choice to change something bad about yourself – like weight that is preventing you from doing something you want. However, obsessing over something you don’t like will only depress you, and most likely make your fixation worse. Try to obsess over your positive elements instead, doing all you can to show off what you already love about yourself while you’re still learning to love the other parts.
4. Who are you doing this for?
If you don’t answer ‘myself,’ you should know what I am going to say next. Maintaining and caring for your body, keeping it healthy despite its imperfections – all of these things are vital to your mental and emotional health. If there is someone else you are changing for, you need to ask whether or not changing your appearance is the main problem in your relationship. If appearance is the issue, there’s probably something else at the root.