For many women, the first step in the journey toward positive body image is acknowledging their own beauty. Regardless of size, shape, skin type, hair color, age, height, or any other factors, every woman has beauty and recognizing that fact can transform appearance-related self-esteem issues. But if recognizing beauty is the first step, it’s a doozy; It can take a long time and loads of work to take that step.
Once it’s taken, though, the journey has just begun. And, in my opinion, a great way to keep moving forward is to find ways to honor beauty. Your beauty. Don’t just accept that it’s there, celebrate it, live it, make it integral to your sense of self. Sound daunting? It needn’t, since many of the most effective ways to honor your beauty are ones we talk about right here on a near-daily basis:
Buying and wearing clothing is a decidedly social activity, but getting dressed can also be about celebrating your relationship with your body. Choosing clothing that reminds you of loved ones, wearing colors that make you smile, picking outfits that help you feel proud of your physical form all contribute to honoring your beauty. If you can find a way to dress joyously, you’ll be amazed by how much doing so will bolster your self-image.
In a society that prefers its women uncertain, doubtful, and jealous it can feel positively bizarre to acknowledge the truth in a compliment. But depending on how you’re wired, learning to accept the gift of praise from others can help you learn to love and praise yourself. And, regardless, feeling grateful for and accepting compliments is a marvelous way to honor your beauty. It may feel awkward at first, but eventually it will feel utterly marvelous.
Care for your body
With careers, children, social lives, family obligations, hobbies, health issues, charity work, and countless other people and activities competing for our attention, our bodies often get neglected. We eat on the run, abandon exercise and meditation, ignore minor injuries or illnesses, and prioritize just about everything else above body care. Each body is unique, so each body’s definition of care will be unique. But each of us is familiar with that definition for ourselves, and each of us knows when we’ve been slacking off. Care for your body. It is yours to care for, and can only thrive under your ministrations. Your body is part of your beauty, and deserves honoring, too.
In my opinion, beauty is never solely physical. It is mental, philosophical, psychological, and utterly ephemeral. Beauty is more of a feeling than a trait, more of a compound than an element, more than just shiny hair or graceful limbs or striking features. But since the physical elements of beauty are the ones we typically doubt, question, and obsess over, finding ways to honor that beauty can help us to feel more holistically sound.