When you see your shadow do you think I am too fat, too tall, too short or too awkward? When you look in the mirror do you criticize what you see; too many wrinkles, bad complexion, crooked teeth, need to lose some weight, what can I do with this hair?
Self Image is defined as one’s conception of self. Our culture here in America is very tough on women and girls. A girl’s, young or old, self image is very tangled up in her vision of her body. Our culture plasters perfect models on everything we see in our everyday lives; magazines, movies, T.V. shows, billboards, commercials and the list goes on. These images make us feel as though we all need to weigh 110 and wear a size 3 dress or we are not “hot”. These images if we were to explore them more in depth would tell a different story. A story of air brushing out the wrinkles, illnesses such as bulimia, anorexia and obsession with exercise, women who although they look “perfect” are dying inside and have a horrible self image as well. If our society could stop placing so much emphasis on outward appearances and more on who that person truly is within we would have a much healthier self image.
I am a runner, I have been for years. I have never been overweight yet; I have always struggled a bit with sizes and my self image. I am a mom of 4 kids so I should not have the body of a teenager but I want that because it is “perfect”. I look back at pictures of me in college and high school and think “Why didn’t I appreciate it when I was tiny?” I never had major issues but it was always in the back of my head. Now as a mom I think my butt is too big and will I ever have a six pack for abs? About 5 years ago I was running 6 days a week and nursing a newborn, I could eat whatever I wanted and I fit into a junior’s size 4! I consider that my claim to fame! Now I know that I will never be that size again and I was probably not as healthy as I am now but I still look in the mirror and think can’t I have a flat stomach ever? Last year I did one of the healthiest things I have ever done for my self image. I bought a pair of good looking comfortable yet dressy jeans 2 sizes too big however if I wear a belt they fit great. I did this so that I don’t have a melt down when I put on a pair of jeans and they are too tight. I always feel good about myself in these jeans. More women should do this instead of pushing their mental states to the brink. We judge ourselves by our bodies way too often.
We should be healthy. It is important to respect our bodies; they are the temple that God gave us. We should all exercise 3 days a week, eat healthy, maintain a healthy lifestyle and stop letting our self image get so tangled up by our physical presence in the mirror. We need to look in the mirror each day and find one thing that we can compliment about our image. We need to take a look in the mirror and see what God sees, not flesh that is flabby and bones that are weak but our hearts that are strong and love that is unconditional. Try it today look in the mirror and find something good to say, sincerely good. Do it daily and you will change your self image.