This article was inspired by a conversation I recently had with a good friend of mine, talking about why it’s it’s important to love yourself.
She said something to me that really hit me. “Mi belly big and mi nuh shape good”. That is patois for “I have a big belly and I don’t have a good shape”.
This saddened me a little because I know so many women who have body image issues because they don’t fit the prescribed definition of beauty they have been force-fed all their lives.
They have unfortunately been taught not to be in love with their bodies unless they meet a particular beauty standard. Only to love yourself if you’re “Instagram worthy”.
Read: Body Confidence, Body Positivity And Self Esteem – The Complicated Truth Behind Instagram And Body Image Woes
But I ask you this: what fun would there be in that? If everyone looked the same, that would just be so boring! Wouldn’t you agree?
As someone who has struggled with body image issues throughout my life, I understand the insecurities. Believe me. If anyone needed body confidence tips, it was me. I’ve been skinny, normal weight, overweight, obese, and everything in between. And giving birth twice did not help erase the insecurities.
I have since learned how to love my body and stop comparing it to other women. I’ve truly learned what is self love, and it is in that spirit that I’d like to share these tips with you. 6 Body Confidence Tips To Love Yourself Like Never Before.
Be sure to read my other body confidence tips
- 5 Easy Ways To Regain Your Body Confidence
- 10 Effective ways to build up your self-worth and self-esteem
1. Change your mindset to love yourself more
Stop telling yourself that you don’t have a good figure. Girl, I beg you! STOP IT! Okay. So you don’t have the “ideal” body type. But what is the ideal body type anyway? An hourglass figure? A 110 lbs body? Broad hips? Big boobs? What is it?
It’s an image that you’ve generated in your head based on societal influences and beauty standards. It’s an image that has been shoved down your throat for as long as you can remember.
One of the most important body confidence tips, in my opinion, is to remember that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and just because you don’t fit into the box society has set for you, doesn’t make you any less beautiful. You can – and need to start to – define your own beauty standards.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those super-liberal people who promote fat acceptance under the disguise of “learning to love yourself”. I do believe that if you are overweight, you should work on getting to and maintaining a healthy weight. I’m not about to start arguing with science on this one.
I also don’t believe in letting yourself go in the name of “fighting against society’s standards”. That’s just ridiculous!
What I’m simply trying to say is this: you are beautiful no matter what your body looks like. You have to believe that your body is beautiful. You must look in the mirror and tell yourself that every single damn day until you start believing it. You have to practice affirmations for self-love and believe them too.
2. One of my favorite body confidence tips is: Stop focusing on your flaws
We all have areas on our bodies that leave much to be desired. That’s perfectly normal. However, if you want to learn how to love your body – to love yourself – you must learn to shift your focus to the areas that you DO love.
If you don’t pay attention to any of the other body confidence tips I share in this article, pay attention to this one: start admiring your body by looking for areas to love.
When I started working on my self-esteem, this was the first thing I did. You can try, what I like to call, my Naked Mirror Challenge.
The gist of it: you strip yourself down naked and stand in front of a mirror every day for 21 days. (21 days because according to psychology experts, a new habit is more likely to stick if consistently repeated for 21 days). You stare at yourself until you find something you love about your body and focus on that.
Every day, your aim is to find at least one more thing to add to that list. Every day, you compliment yourself. Say positive things about the parts of you that you do love.
The idea is to retrain your brain to see your positive attributes. Because the truth is, they are there. You just aren’t noticing them because you’ve been paying attention to your imperfections.
Your aim should be to retrain your brain to think positively about your imperfections by focusing on your other assets. Do this as many times as you need to love yourself.
It’s an exercise I practice every time I find myself developing insecurities about my body. It’s beneficial for me so I hope it will be for you too.
3. Learn how to dress for your body type
I explored this concept in an article I wrote on the Share To Inspire Blog. It may take a little bit of effort and time to develop a personal style that is complementary to your body type and lifestyle, but I promise you, the effort is well worth it.
I know this from personal experience. Case in point, I feel so much more confident in this outfit:
Than I do in this outfit
They are both cute outfits. And they are both outfits I like. But Image 1 complements my body better than image 2 simply because image 1 is more suitable for my body type.
Remember, clothes are supposed to fit your body. Not the other way around. The problem for a lot of us is that when we go shopping, we try to “fit into” clothes instead of shopping for what fits our bodies.
You shouldn’t be buying clothes to “make yourself look good”. You should be buying clothes that look good on you.
Start reading articles on the different body types so you can get a better appreciation for your own body type. Read articles on how to choose clothes that accentuate your figure based on your body type.
Read: The Guide: Dressing For Your Body Shape
It’s not so much about hiding your flaws, it’s about accentuating your most positive attributes.
If you really look, you can find a lot of women out there who would be considered beautiful, yet they don’t have the stereotypical body type. They’ve just learned how to dress in a way that magnifies the beauty of their own body types.
Check out these style personality quizzes to help you get started:
Do you know the type of wardrobe that best fits your elegant style personality?
What Is Your Style Personality?
What is your style personality?
You’d be surprised that it’s not so much your body type that’s the problem, it’s just that you don’t know how to dress for your body type.
4. Work on your ideal body
This is one of those body confidence tips that will probably be received with some negativity, but the good news is that if you’re not happy with your body, you can do something about it.
You should learn to love yourself as you are. Yes. You should learn to love your body as it is, but there is nothing wrong with making improvements.
For example, if you need to lose weight, lose the weight. If you need to gain weight, gain weight. Stop making excuses and put in the work required to achieve the results you desire.
You must, however, learn the difference between the things you can change and the things you can’t. Learn the difference between the things you can change but probably shouldn’t and the things you can and should change.
Don’t be afraid to fix your flaws. While it’s important to accept yourself, there is something to be said for self-improvement. While you should appreciate your body type and find joy in the body that you do have, don’t use self-acceptance as a crutch to not improve.
Speak to a personal trainer, a doctor, a dietician, or a health care provider if necessary to develop a plan that works for you.
I can sit behind my keyboard and tell you to love yourself. Tell you that you’re beautiful until the trumpets sound and God comes back for his world. But unless you believe it, it won’t make a difference.
Stop comparing yourself to others in that chronically toxic way! It’s good to draw inspiration from others but stop trying to BE others. When you begin to love your body and focus on the positive aspects, your flaws will begin to appear as simply elements that distract from your more positive attributes.
They will become “areas for improvement” and will stop being burdens that make you feel less than others.
5. Learn the true meaning of self-love
Do you honestly know what is self love?
Realize that self-love is not simply burning sage and taking bubble baths. While those are great expressions of self-love, understand that it runs much deeper than that.
Self-love means truly taking care of yourself. However, since the point of this article is to help you to learn to love your body, I’ll focus on that.
Self-love in this case means taking proper care of your physical health. As I’ve mentioned before, that might mean you need to lose weight. Or it might mean you need to stop starving yourself and gain weight. I don’t know which applies to you specifically, but I do know that if you truly love yourself, you would take care of your body.
I’m sure you’re not surprised that weight loss is on this list. Yeah, I get it, you’ve tried a thousand things. But just because you’ve tried a thousand things and it didn’t work, doesn’t mean there aren’t a thousand more things that would work for you.
The number one thing here is to find the thing that works for your specific body and your specific lifestyle. Because I can promise you, until weight loss becomes something that’s specific to you and complements the way you live your life, you’ll probably be one of those women that give up thinking it’s not worth it.
For me, losing weight was a big part of learning to love my body again. You can read how I lost 20 pounds and kept it off here. But trust me, since I started this health journey, I have been able to see myself and love myself in ways that I had forgotten how to.
6. Surround yourself with better people
If your circle is full of shallow, vain, and toxic people, then guess what? You are more likely to dislike your body. We are social creatures so whether we like it or not, our thoughts, and feelings are influenced by others around us.
Many people are afraid to be alone so they allow themselves to become or remain attached to all kinds of crappy relationships. But there’s a reason self-love, self-acceptance, and self-esteem all begin with the same word: SELF. You have to do the inner work and find it within yourSELF.
Now, while I don’t believe in relying on others for validation, I would be silly to think other people’s opinions don’t matter. As mentioned before, we are social creatures so other people will inevitably have an influence on us. It’s your job to police who you allow in your life and who you allow to have an influence on you.
Read: Upgrade Your Lifestyle: How to Upgrade Your Environment
At the end of the day, I want you to remember that you are beautiful exactly as you are. Don’t buy into the lie that social media has forcefully shoved down your throat that you need to look a certain way or have a certain body type to be considered beautiful. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes but you must first begin to see your own beauty. Only then will you begin to truly express your true beauty in the world.
Articles that go well with this one:
10 Ways to Practice Body Positivity
Over to you
How do you practice body positivity? What tips do you have for someone who struggles with body image issues? Have you ever struggled with body image issues before? If yes, how did you deal with that? If you are still struggling, how do you deal with it on a daily basis?
I would love to hear from you. Drop me a line in the comment section below, join my Facebook group so we can chat more, or connect with me on social media.
Remember sharing is caring so don’t be stingy.
As always, thanks for reading. Until next time, stay feminine, sexy, classy and unapologetically woman!
-Love, Lis xoxo
[…] Alyssa Day from lyssaday.com wrote an amazing article on 15 ways to build your self-confidence. Be sure to read it when you’re done reading this. You might also want to read my article on 5 Easy Ways To Regain Your Body Confidence and 6 Body Confidence Tips To Make You Love Your Body Like Never Before. […]
Taking care of ourselves is key! We need to be in tune with what our body and mind need to practice meaningful self-love. I love talking and writing about this topic so much, because there are sooo many ways to show yourself love, and it’s different for each of us! Also love your point: just because you don’t fit an image that society pushes, doesn’t mean your less beautiful. Just love how you worded that, thanks for this post! 🙂
Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts with me Skye. You are so right that self love may look different for everyone. It is important that we practice self love without feeling guilty. Self love is not selfish, it’s essential
I didn’t know you are Jamaican – I lived in St. Elizabeth for 8 years as a teen! Still miss my island… great post on how to work with your body type.
Wah gwaan gyal! lol. Once a Jamaican, always a Jamaican! Thanks for reading and dropping me a line