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.
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.