Okay, real talk: Do you ever eavesdrop on the conversations that women have in the dressing room? Not in a creepy way, but sometimes it's so hard to not overhear the chatter from behind a thin fabric curtain.
Just last week I was in a department store trying on a sundress, and it felt like all of the women around me were trying on bathing suits and bashing their bodies in-between changes (and being pretty dang verbal about it):
"My ass is so jiggly. Well... I'll just wear shorts to the beach".
"I guess this fits? I can just not eat for a day before I wear it".
"OMG, my stomach is ridiculous. I need to go on a diet".
"Can you see my cellulite in this? Or my back fat? my stretch marks?"
....Not to mention a never-ending tune of ugh's and heavy sighs.
Now, I'm not sharing all of this because these women had interrupted my shopping experience - I genuinely FEEL for these women who believe as though their worth is dependent upon wearing a swimsuit that they look thin in.
Whatever happened to purchasing a bathing suit that you feel comfortable in? Did a time like that ever even exist?
Not ONCE did one of these women say, I look AMAZING! I feel so great in this. My question is, Why?
Have we become so brainwashed by society that we are unable to look at our bodies with pride and acceptance?
. . .
We're surrounded by images and messages of unworthiness - literally, surrounded.
In the dressing room, immediately upon closing the door, My eyes met a gorgeous and undoubtedly photoshopped brunette model in a bright orange string bikini, with perfectly tanned and chiseled abs.
In the gym (I go to a big box gym out of sheer frugality), they promote group classes with taglines of, "Only 3 more weeks to get that bikini-ready-body!" And the best, "Feeling flabby? We'll get you feeling FABULOUS!" ...(LOL).
Flipping through magazines unable to find the seemingly decent articles, we're met with advertisements for wrinkle creams, the "miracle fat loss pill", and belly-shrinking belts.
What these signs and advertisements are really saying is, "Hey you, you're worthless if your stomach jiggles. If people can see your cellulite, you need to cover up. You think you look good? Think again, that 6-pack isn't showing so you're unworthy of confidence when bearing it all at the beach. Wrinkles? YOU CAN'T LET THEM SEE YOUR AGE!"
Unfortunately, society has created the idea of an ideal body, and have plastered this idea in every single nook and cranny of the media.
You probably read through that pretty quickly...So I'm going to repeat it.
SOCIETY AND THE MEDIA HAVE CREATED THE IDEA OF AN IDEAL BODY.
We see up to 5,000 ads A DAY.
They tell us what we're supposed to look like. What we're supposed to be eating, wearing, using on our hair/skin, what electronic products to use. I know, you're thinking, "But Jol, I don't really acknowledge ads or care. I ignore them"...Do you though? I bet you saw an advertisement that made you want that new iPhone you're holding, that awesome purse that you use daily, or even that brand new hair product that's going to tame all that summer frizz.
...Scrolled through Facebook or Instagram lately? Ads and messages are EVERYWHERE.
Now, media and advertisements definitely have their place, but where they do not belong is in the back of your mind, telling you to care what others think of you, or morphing your mind into believing that you're not good enough. ❌
You are good enough. But they don't want you to think so.
They want you to feel insecure, worthless, fat, ugly, and all things negative, so that you NEED to see these ads and keep buying the next miracle product to make yourself feel secure, worthy, beautiful, thin, and seemingly positive.
So, how do we escape this? How do we teach ourselves that we're worthy, beautiful, and all-around amazing?
Be AWARE of these advertisements and messages, and dissect them.
- How do I feel about this initially?
- Is this something that is designed to try to make me feel like I am not blank enough? (i.e, prettier, thinner, stronger).
After asking myself these questions, I end up with thoughts of, wow - someone out there is making money off of making people feel like crap. And I am SO HAPPY I am no longer victim to this.
...And you don't have to be a victim of this either.
TBH, when I think of all of the time in my life I have previously wasted thinking about how I/my body looks TO OTHER PEOPLE, I cringe. Is that really how YOU want to go through your life? When God (or whatever higher power you believe in) put you on this Earth, he/she did not intend for you to be obsessed with such superficial issues like folds in your belly and dimples on your butt. This is something that I have to remind myself daily. What we need to learn to accept is ourselves. It does not just happen overnight; you need to constantly remind yourself to accept yourself for who you are, and have faith in the fact that you are the most beautiful version of yourself RIGHT NOW, and not a "work in progress". Your body may change day-to-day - AND THAT'S OKAY. Stop feeling the need to change who you are. We are creatures that are constantly growing, aging, and evolving. Your soul stays the same, you're always going to be YOU, and that's what matters.
Once you learn to accept yourself, that's where the magic happens.
I have been seeing more and more of these images and messages lately, and it pisses me off that people actually BELIEVE what these messages are telling them (even subconsciously). What signs/images have you been seeing that have made you feel less than, or pissed you off? Or, have you even noticed any at all? (I swear, we're flooded with them on a daily basis that it's easy to overlook them).