This story was written for and originally published by Hope For Women Magazine.
An uplifting perspective on body image and beauty. Say goodbye to self-criticism this holiday.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Remember that old phrase? Do you believe it’s true?
As women we tend to pick ourselves apart. And are we really to blame? Society has been teaching us self-criticism for eons. It’s ingrained in us from a young age, whether through cultural narratives or consumerism doing its work. Let’s not forget the scene from Mean Girls when Cady Heron learns there are a lot of things you can find wrong with your appearance as her new friends pick themselves apart, analyzing their bodies.
Thankfully we’re in the midst of the body positive movement, challenging traditional views and reshaping the beauty landscape. But the hiring of models with varied body types is only a small piece of the puzzle. There’s not much value in seeing your body type in an ad campaign if you’re still going to turn around and compare yourself to others. It’s time for us to do our part, ladies. It’s time to love your reflection- even the seemingly imperfect parts.
Self-love is crucial and all-encompassing. It’s your ticket to feeling whole and complete. Your personality, the things that make you tick, your skin tone, your pore size, your fine lines, the batwing that says hello with you as you wave to a friend- they all deserve equal adoration. Be empowered to change the things you have control over and liberated to embrace what makes you uniquely beautiful.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The phrase implies that beauty cannot be judged objectively. What one person finds beautiful or admirable may not appeal to another.
I don’t know about you, but that feels liberating to read. We have the power to shape what beauty means to us, how we view beauty in others and how we treat ourselves. It’s a declaration of compassion.
The holidays are stressful enough without self-criticism. So treat yourself with love and kindness this month. When you look in the mirror, check that critical voice that starts to comment on how your thighs look in that party dress. When you realize you missed your botox appointment and the company dinner is Friday, remember that your furrowing brow is proof of a life well lived and a face that tells a story through expression.
When you realize that what you see as imperfect is based on your self-perception- what you allow yourself to believe from the story you’ve been told- you’re free. You’ve earned the right to feel radiant. That antiquated story is a false truth. You are more than capable of turning it around. Be grateful for what makes you uniquely beautiful and embrace it with open arms.
Sarah Payne is a licensed esthetician, self-proclaimed skin nerd and co-founder of Sarah Nicole Skincare. In her spare time, Sarah writes about beauty, wellness and the importance of loving the skin you’re in. Having spent time working with clients in the treatment room, Sarah is devoted to helping women feel beautiful and confident in their skin at any age. You can sign up for her emails where she shares skin and wellness tips on her website www.sarahnicoleskincare.com.