“I hate my arms!”
These are statements that you almost never hear coming out of the mouths of men. In general, women degrade our bodies on a much broader scale than men. We do it to ourselves, to other women, and some of us do it to our own children.
We can also pass on our own insecurities by being overly preoccupied with out weight or appearance. Little kids think the world of their moms and dads. They look at us as beauty queens and super heroes. So when then they see us calling ourselves fat, grunting at the mirror, eating cereal for dinner to squeeze into a dress, or jumping on the latest diet bandwagon, it makes them question their own beauty and weight. If their mom’s aren’t good enough, how can they possibly be good enough?
Commercials and magazines definitely don’t make it easier. Nowadays, almost every magazine airbrushes inches off of thighs, sharpens cheekbones, erases stretch marks, and cinches waists. We can’t go a night without watching commercials about women eating yogurt or cereal to lose weight, or watching the latest celebrity with an endorsement by Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig.
So when I watched the new Dove Ad, it put things into a completely different perspective. An FBI profiler draws women based on what they say about themselves, which includes: “My chin kind of protrudes a little bit, especially when I smile.” “I kind of have a fat rounder face.”
Whether we refuse to see our mistakes or refuse to see our greatness, we are not seeing ourselves for who we are. When we put ourselves down, we ignore our own gifts and dismiss our beauty. I see it all of the time when people are given compliments. Instead of feeling grateful and whole, we insert an excuse or diminish our light.
Your cake is amazing! “The recipe was really easy.”
Your dress is stunning! “You like this? It’s old.”
Your hair looks amazing! “You don’t see the frizz in the back?!”
When are YOU going to start accepting and embracing your beauty and your strength. The next time someone pays you a compliment, don’t minimize their words. Simply say, “Thank you.” And if you are a parent, you owe it to your children to look in the mirror tonight and say, “I look incredible.”