How many women do you know that have a positive self-image? How many really exude confidence that shines through their whole body and mind? Most women I meet complain that they don’t look good or they don’t consider themselves beautiful. I used to be one of them, until I learned not to compare myself to others but improve my own body and love myself the way I am.

Unfortunately in our society, women, since their younger ages, are bombarded with unrealistic photos of photoshop airbrushed perfect figures of models. We grow up feeling that we will never fit in the mould of these stereotyped beauties, which were defined mainly by the fashion industry and the media. We feel inadequate and some of us sadly will never see ourselves as attractive women. That is not fair because beauty is everywhere. Diversity is what makes life beautiful. As beauty comes in many different shapes and colors in nature, people do as well. It is time for women to discover and accept their own style, they unique body shape. Why not try to become the best of ourselves and stop trying to be who we are not? This is really a waste of time. We have to learn to become whole and not perfect, as perfection is a myth.

But what if this is easier said than done? According to an American study, we see our reflection in the mirror 55 times a day, in elevators, at home, in the stores, etc…So what if we don’t like what we see in the mirror? What if we think that our legs are too shorts, our hips too large, or even that we are too skinny and too long? Even after trying to convince ourselves that we are not comparing to those models in magazines and that we decided to love ourselves the way we are, we still feel bad about our own self and feel like giving up and settle for mediocre feelings about our bodies. It doesn’t have to be this way. I am here to tell you that it is possible to learn how to feel better about the way we look despite the fact that we know we will never have the perfect figure that we have in our dreams. 

There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve our image and have the goal of feeling attractive. However, we should never do that at the cost of losing ourselves in unrealistic goals that would just perpetuate the stereotype idea of what is beauty. Never should we compare our short legs to someone who has long legs or want to be 6 feet tall when we are 5 feet tall! Let’s be realistic and realize that we CAN always improve what we already have. It is all about what kind of clothes we would be wearing, what style would show our personality and creativity, which colours we would choose for our skin tones. All of that have its importance and we probably all agree that it is much easier to have someone else helping us that to do it on our own. With the help of a professional or even a skilled friend, we can learn to use the right clothes and accessories to balance our body proportions and give the illusion of a more balanced body. It’s all about harmonizing the shape of the body with the shape of the clothes that we have. It is also learning to be appropriate in the style of clothes we choose to wear. For example, we would wear very different outfits if we went on a professional meeting rather than going out with the girls. We live in a society that offers many choices in clothing. The right dress can flatter a body shape tremendously and make the woman who is wearing it feel like she has lost 10 pounds and grew younger. When we wear the right outfits that fit for our bodies, we know it and we start to change our body language, our posture, we smile more and the confidence that we carry won’t be unnoticed by our peers. Indeed, people will start to notice the changes and will start to compliment us which will add to our confidence and make us feel more and more at ease with ourselves.

Let’s stop the madness of seeing beauty through the eyes of the fashion and media world. We, women, will become even more powerful if we start by loving the way we are by accepting our own shape and also find ways to improve the way we look by discovering our unique style and stop trying to be who we are not. A positive self-image starts by the way we feel inside. If we know we did everything we can to respect and love the temple that is our body and mind, we would have succeeded. Then, we will start to shine our unique color and be the flower we are meant to be among the multitude of others in the bouquet of the world.

Lila Reggad  

Women & self-image