I’ll be honest — The “Am I Ugly?” article on Forbes.com almost brought me to tears. Watching those tweens/teens staring at the computer screen, asking viewers “Am I pretty?” resonated with my younger, insecure self. How many of us have received those disapproving glances, harsh comments, or experienced rejection all based upon someone’s opinion of our exterior shell? Teen or adult, I’m certain we all would raise our hands.
Let’s move on over to Angelina. According to Bitch Magazine, Jolie’s weight “ignited 3,399 tweets per minute” during last month’s Oscars. Say what? Since when did jokes that Angie needs to “eat a cheeseburger” become acceptable? Are we now the body image police? Please say it isn’t so! I’d argue that we can be both gorgeous and healthy at any size.
Celebrity or not, we all face the same struggle against the underlying beauty standards of our respective cultures. Who defines these standards? The answer: Who really cares! Confidence and self-worth can only come from within. We simply cannot rely upon the opinions of others to define who we are (obviously!).
I recognize this is easier said than done. And I’m certain there are some who have experienced verbal abuse too great to discuss. Please hear me — The opinions of others do not define you. My mother would always say: “Hurting people hurt people”. Those who belittle others are acting out of their own personal pain. It has nothing to do with you.
Thus, here are a few thoughts to chew on in light of this discussion…
Let’s make a pact to encourage. I’m not just talking about commenting on Chictopia outfit posts (although we enjoy spreading the love on here), but choosing to only speak highly of others. Perhaps this starts by not snarking about “so-and-so who’s too (insert comment here)”. Or maybe it’s going out of your way to compliment someone you wouldn’t have otherwise spoken to. I can’t count how many times I’ve chickened out from telling someone that I really admired their style. We just need to get over ourselves! (I’m partially talking to myself here)
Be selfish for a moment. Write down what you love about yourself, your personality, and what makes you unique. Then, have a moment and ponder what you dislike. If it’s something that can be changed (within reason), create realistic goals of how to achieve it. However, if it’s a trait that can’t be changed, go ahead and have a pity party for 5-4-3-2… okay, time’s up! We can’t change everything about ourselves, but we can embrace our uniqueness and learn to love our quirks. You’re an original. Remember that.
Finally, surrounded yourself with great friends. Nothing beats an encouraging friend after a rough day. Be the girlfriend (or boyfriend) you’d want someone to be for you!
Stop snarking and start encouraging. Can I get an amen?