One of the departments in my school had this posted on the mirrors in the ladies room today...
MIRRORLESS MONDAY: The mirror only shows a small part of who you are. Focus more on what's inside.
At first I smiled and thought 'yeah, right!' because I was actually changing into my gym clothes and unconsciously checking to see if my abs had started getting swimsuit ready when I saw the note. I caught myself and realized how much we all need this reminder, especially the ladies. A man can have a beer belly and balding head and still think he's hot. Not so for the ladies.
The prettiest of girls is likely to have an insecurity about her looks which is all she sees when she looks into the mirror. Forget luxurious locks, a face to die/kill for and a killer figure. Some obscure 'imperfection' only she sees can make her feel inferior, unworthy, unpretty,... to the extent that she may even believe anyone who pays her a compliment is making fun of her or is just being 'nice'.
On days like Valentines Day, negative (often delusional) body images heighten as ladies who would stand a good chance at winning any beauty contest they enter, convince themselves it is because of a chipped wisdom tooth (who sees that?) or two extra pounds that they are still single.
If there is one thing I have learnt, It's that confidence is attractive in both sexes. If you have nothing going for you (in your own estimation) and have an attitude that says 'This is who I am, take it or leave it. I love me' You are more attractive than someone who is 'pretty' and insecure about her looks.
Second lesson is that people will often treat you as you see and portray yourself. If your dressing, language, etc. says I'm fat and ugly and no one likes me, It will take a lot for someone to want to get close to you. You are supposed to know yourself better than anyone else and if you're convinced you're unlovable, you must have good reason. Who are they to come and try to prove you wrong?
Having struggled with body image for many years myself, I understand the psychology behind this and know we are not at our most rational when we feel that way.
So today, what I have to say isn't to try and reason with you. It's a plea. There's only one of you in the world. Your body you were born with is the only one you will ever have (plastic surgery can modify certain parts but cannot give you a new body). Embrace it and love it, whatever you may believe is wrong with it. And for those who are single and itching to pair up, loving yourself makes it easier and more inviting for others to love you too.
Accept the parts you can do absolutely nothing about. You didn't choose your face, headshape, etc. before you were born. You owe no one an apology for it. Work on the parts you can do something about. If you don't like your weight, do something about it, but do it for you. Do it for your health and do it healthily. Starving yourself (anorexia), or throwing up what you eat (bulimia) wont do you any good, if at the end of the day, you do not live long enough to enjoy the 'ultimate body' you acquired.
No one cares whether a corpse is size zero or twenty. And you know what? Losing every pound you don't want on your body won't make everything in your life alright. More often than not, it doesn't even make you feel any better about your body. You get to size zero and want to be a size 00 and it continues...
To borrow TLC's unpretty lyrics,
'You can buy your hair if it won't grow
You can fix your nose if you say so
You can buy all the make-up
that M.A.C can make'
But if you can't look inside you
Find out who you are and love you
No one (and nothing) can make you feel pretty