Cultivating self-love and body positivity can feel so daunting. When you’ve spent ages trash-talking your own physical form, fielding criticism from others, or dealing with any kind of negativity that has jarred you loose from a foundation of self-respect and acceptance, the road back to body love can feel long. The work can seem overwhelming. And there will be days when you wonder if you’ll ever feel at peace with yourself again.
And, the fact is, that total self-love and body acceptance are really, really difficult to achieve. I know I’M not there, and I’ve been actively working at both goals for more years than I can count. So bear that in mind: It’s a work in progress and more about the journey than any imagined destination.
Originally posted 2012-10-19 06:30:51.
Reader Christine sent me this question via e-mail, and although it’s not strictly style or body-image related, it hit so close to home for me, I felt I should share our correspondence:
What if someone feels bad about him/herself, not because of body/appearance insecurities, but rather accomplishment/intellectuality insecurities? What would you suggest to help that person back on a path to self love? For example, the university student who can’t forgive herself for her terrible GPA, and since she valued herself based on her intellectuality, now feels as though she has no worth? Or the career woman who has worked incredibly hard to get to where she is and was passed up for that promotion (or worse, demoted) and now feels as though she has no value?
Originally posted 2011-09-19 06:10:13.
Compliments are controversial around these parts. I’m a fan of both giving and receiving them, and feel that doing so is beneficial. But I’ve heard you folks say time and again that compliments can be tricky, confusing, even painful depending on how they’re presented and how the person receiving them interprets them.
Since I am fascinated by all things style and body image, the compliments I tend to encourage have to do with those two topics. And what I’ve learned is that when some people are told, “You look great today,” what they hear is, “You look better today than you usually look.” That when some people are told, “You’ve got gorgeous hair,” they feel uncomfortable accepting praise for something that is genetic, inherited, and mainly beyond their control. That when some people are told, “You look fabulous in that dress,” they feel the underlying implication is, “You have conformed to social beauty norms. Good job.”
Originally posted 2012-09-11 06:20:25.