This week, at the UNL Rec Center, we are celebrating Love EveryBODY Week and taking the time to acknowledge everything about ourselves that we love, rather than focus on what we don’t like. I know that we all could use a dose of this celebration in our own lives as well.
Too often we get caught up in what we see as our flaws. We stand in front of the mirror and nitpick every little thing that we hate about our bodies.
Oh, look at my face – it’s always covered with acne.
I hate my thunder thighs.
My stomach is the worst – it always sticks out.
My hair always looks terrible, no matter how hard I try to fix it.
Why do we allow this to be acceptable? You wouldn’t stand next to your best friend and allow them to say these hateful things to themselves in the mirror, so why do we do it to our own bodies?
Even if we do not verbalize these negative thoughts, they are still there, pervading our brain chemistry. Over time, these negative thoughts start to blind our eyes from seeing our true beauty. We look in the mirror and all we see are flaws and negativity, instead of being proud and confident in ourselves and our bodies.
How did we get here? Well, part of it comes from society’s impact. We are constantly bombarded with images of “perfect” bodies on magazines, television, social media, and everywhere else we can imagine.
The problem is, though, is that most of these images are photoshopped and manipulated to conform to societal ideals. What does that mean? It means that they aren’t real and therefore shouldn’t be desired by us. However, does that stop us from comparing ourselves to these images?
Even though we may know deep down that these photos aren’t real, we still place ourselves next to them as if they are the standard of beauty. Newsflash – they aren’t!
The true standard of beauty comes from within, when you learn to recognize what makes you beautiful and unique and proudly flaunt that to the world. Now, this doesn’t mean we have to be arrogant. Rather, when we recognize our beauty, we are able to give and accept compliments about ourselves and also see the beauty in others, therefore spreading the positive body-love message to the world.
Take a look at your life and your perception of yourself. Could you use a dose of Love EveryBODY Week in your life this week? Join me as we stand tall and embrace our own unique beauty this week. I challenge you to look in the mirror every morning and tell yourself, "I love you. You are beautiful, and you are strong. Never forget that."
Remember, if you don’t love yourself, how can you expect someone else to?