Every time you turn around, it seems like someone is extolling the virtues of compliments. They’re good for your health! They build goodwill! They build confidence in both giver and recipient! All very true. (OK, not sure about the measurable health benefits, but there are probably some.) Still, doling out compliments can feel daunting. Where do you start? Who will be a willing recipient? What should you say?
Well in my opinion, you should:
- Start anywhere
- Assume everyone will be a willing recipient
- Say something genuine
That’s not specific enough? You’re still daunted? Right-o, here are some incredibly simple, training-wheel ideas to get you started:
Originally posted 2012-02-17 06:36:17.
“The most common way people give up their power
is by thinking they don’t have any.”
~ Alice Walker
Quote shown at the beginning of “Miss Representation”
Last week, I attended a screening of Miss Representation, an amazing and heartbreaking film about how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in the United States. The film touched on body image, sexism, racism, the systematic demonization of feminists, the nauseating objectification of women, and many other issues that outraged and sickened me. Images of high school girls crying because they hate themselves, political leaders being dismissed for their fashion choices,and bikini-clad body after roiling bikini-clad body made me dizzy with dismay. And, if I’m being honest, it made me call into question my work, my writing, and my goals. I want women to be empowered, and in a moment of panic I questioned the value of style advice as a tool for empowerment. After all, the problem is that women are increasingly taught to believe that the ONLY thing that matters about us is how we look. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to contribute to that insidious lie.
Originally posted 2011-10-24 06:07:24.
Like most of the best things in life, learning to love yourself takes time. Committing to self-acceptance and cultivating tenderness toward your own body are both fantastic initial steps. Acknowledging that the definition of beauty does encompass you can kick start the process. But don’t expect to rewire your brain overnight. Most self-loathing and negative body thoughts take time to eradicate, and patience is key.
And even after you’ve made tremendous strides, even after you feel that you’ve done the brunt of the work, even after you know that you’ve drastically improved your self-image, you will still struggle. Do not expect to love yourself completely and wholly every day of your life. It may sound like a worthy goal, but it’s actually a trap. Because if you hold yourself to that standard – the standard of consistent, unwavering, holistic self-love – you will fail. And when you catch yourself wishing your upper lip was less hairy or your thighs a bit slimmer, you may feel guilt or shame. Since the goal of striving for self-love is to abandon guilt and shame, this is counterproductive. You will have tough days, moments of frustration with your body and inner self. You will doubt.
Originally posted 2011-07-26 06:22:27.