E. dropped this one into the suggestion box back in July:
I would love to see a piece on how you can positively influence the self esteem of others around you. I find that I often have girl friends who have such poor self esteem and body image, and they look at me (I have relatively high self esteem) and they always wish they could mimic it. But they never actually do and instead just keep beating up on themselves. Any ideas on how I can help positively influence them to feel better about themselves? (I also think this would be good information for moms as well.)
Originally posted 2010-12-08 06:08:32.
You do not have to be tall to be beautiful.
You do not have to be thin or long-limbed.
You do not have to have long, straight, shiny hair.
You do not have to be an hourglass or a string bean or a pear.
You do not have to be blemish-free, without freckles, scars, or tattoos.
You do not have to fit or demolish certain physical paradigms.
You do not have to be buxom to be beautiful.
You do not have to possess va-va-voom curves or full lips.
You do not have to resemble a movie star, or a lingerie model, or a porn star.
You do not have to sexualize your exterior to be beautiful.
You do not have to neuter your exterior to be beautiful.
Originally posted 2011-02-16 06:15:23.
We learn from a very young age that showing kindness to others is good, admirable, wise. We are taught to forgive our peers their trespasses, be patient with friends and family, offer support and love and understanding to all who seek it.
And we learn from a very young age that showing kindness to ourselves is a sign of weakness. Delicious foods are reserved for special occasions, and constitute “indulgence.” Massages, long naps, yoga, facials, and other practices that restore and refresh our bodies fall under “pampering.” Celebrating our bodies through stylish clothing and expressive makeup is chalked up to “vanity.” And, above all, we are taught that the natural forms our genes have sculpted from our precious human cells merit nothing but dissatisfaction and disappointment. Just as we are driven to be competitive and successful in our achievements, we are driven to be self-critical and unkind about our appearances. Somehow, somewhere, someone decided that kindness is something that can only be bestowed on others.
Originally posted 2011-02-02 06:01:35.