In the day and age of snap chat filters and make-up enthusiast you may feel a bit of inadequacy in the “self-confident” department. Millennials and Gen Z alike have struggled with self-image through a societal view. Fashion Magazines vs. Keeping up with the Kardashians to snapchat filters vs. social media perfection.
I am here to let you know it gets better. From an older millennial who fought with self-image issues and low self-esteem nearly my entire life, there is hope. Like most people I have had my ups and downs but society doesn’t let up when it comes to “beauty” standards. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a size 0 to be classified as beautiful anymore but just like each generation before us their are other societal pressures you will face to “feel” beautiful.
It is true that beauty comes from within. Ignoring what society tells you is beautiful is a great start but is it that easy? For some, yes. For others you feel like you might base your whole life on finding the perfect weight, perfecting your winged eyeliner or your favorite filtered selfie and pose.
I have come up with 5 ways to help you build your self confidence and at the same time rebel against what society “tells” us as women what is beautiful.
- Lose the Filter, you aren’t coffee.
Okay, Okay hear me out. Yes, a filter can save the day on those lazy days when make-up isn’t a first priority BUT you should not base your beauty on a filter. Filters are not real life, they make your skin look like plastic and that face you see, it is not yours. Filters produce a false sense of perfection. Perfection is over rated. It is okay to be flawed, what you see as flaws others see as beauty. Filters are creating a very unrealistic expectation of beauty. Dig deep inside yourself and ask yourself, “Why do I feel like I need a filter?” I challenge you to post filter free for a week. Embrace the real you, speak your flaws into self-love. Show off your freckles, your high cheek bones, your imperfect eyebrows.
2. Say something nice or don’t say anything at all.
You would be surprised at the amount of effort it takes to rewire your brain for positivity and growth. Here’s a brain hack. Be kind to others, start seeing the beauty in others, especially other women or girls. What you see in other people is what you will begin to see in yourself. Unhappiness comes from within. Happy people don’t hurt people. Begin with one compliment a day to a stranger, then up it to 3 and then 5 and then eventually it will be second nature. How does this affect you, well your brain instantly begins to feel happy and giving out compliments ups your self-confidence. Don’t believe me, try it for yourself.
3. Self-talk not Selfies
Now that we have the filtered selfies out of the way and you are complimenting others, another key way to increase your self-esteem and self-image is to speak kindly to yourself. Positive affirmations: “You is kind, you is smart, you is beautiful.”(The Help) Look yourself in the eyes, say it out loud and BELIEVE it! You must be your biggest fan, it is OKAY to love yourself. Remember, rewiring your brain takes practice, you may have to fake it every day for the first few weeks. Each day you speak kindly to yourself is growth. Self-love is a mindset, you are uniquely and wonderfully made, you are beautiful and you deserve to love yourself. When we love ourselves and accept who we are it is a lot easier to accept and love others. Your relationship with yourself will grow along with attracting more beautiful people into your life.
4. Let’s get physical
EXERCISE. Not to improve your rockin’ bod(although that is a plus) but exercise releases feel good hormones to boost your mood and make your day better. It is one of the first steps in self care which then trickles into all other aspects of your life. Physical exercise helps relieve stress and mental anguish. It has also been proven to help improve anxiety and depression as well. Add to this with a nutritious diet and your self-esteem will flourish.
5. You are who you hang out with
You are most like the 5 people you hang out with. If your tribe is not lifting you up, boyfriend/girlfriend included then you should not be wasting your time and energy with these people. This rule goes for family as well. Our friends and family should be our biggest fans, they should hype you up. If you allow people you are close to, to tear you down, manipulate you, or call you names it is time to cut them from your life. You do not have to allow anyone in your life that does not speak positive and love to you. You must find your self-worth to build your self-esteem. First and foremost lose the toxic relationships.
I am 32 years old and it took me nearly 30 years to learn most of these tricks and tips. You must know it is a struggle every single day to continue to love myself. But love is a choice. You must choose yourself. You must love yourself. It all begins by working on yourself and becoming someone you can face in the mirror every single day. You are all you have and you are stuck with her. Love her. Be kind to her.