So it’s currently 11:02 pm, on a Monday, and I just got done finishing up some homework that I forgot about over break that’s due tomorrow morning…(it’s not totally finished but I figured I’ll get some more stuff done tomorrow morning before class. #ProcastinationAtIt’sFinest)
Anywho, lately there have been a few thoughts that I just can’t seem to get out of my mind, but the most recurrent one is the idea of self-value.
Now, although I’m mostly speaking on the behalf of women, this topic can easily apply to men as well.
Why is it that it seems so many women (and men) are posting their bodies out there as if that’s their only value?
Let me explain in a bit more detail…many fitness models (and regular models alike) post solely booty pics and half-naked pictures and I notice younger girls, my own friends included, that look up to these pictures and continuously talk about how amazing they look, and how envious they are of her body, and how badly they wish they could stop eating to look like that. (First, a lean body is well earned through hard work and proper nutrition–but that’s a whole other topic I could vent about.)
Anyway, back to my point: so many young girls look up to the girl in that picture for her body, and they quickly put themselves down because their bodies are different from hers. Inevitably, this results in low confidence and low self esteem, but of course this kind of thinking is going to build stronger barriers in young girls’ minds if they are not taught from a younger age how much more they are worth than their physical features.
Yes we are young, we are vibrant, and we want to flaunt what our Mama gave us, but we also need to realize that there is more to us than our bodies. We have talents, we have knowledge, and we all have unique abilities that make us who we are; likewise we all have our own unique structure.
It took me a long time to realize that I will never ever look like the fitness models that I aspired to look like, but it took me an even longer time to accept that I will only ever have this body, so I might as well accept it, love it, and work on it to be the best it of it’s ability, not just so I can feel good in my own skin, but for my health. (My health–physically and mentally–is #1 above everything.) But I also realize that even when I do finally reach my goals, personally, I don’t want to be known for my body parts because I realize that one day I will get old–as much as I hate to think about it, it’s the beauty of life. This young body I live in now is going to change, it’s going to accumulate more wrinkles, less elasticity, more cellulite, and who knows (I mean God forbid but) what if one day something life changing happens to me? What if I get into a very severe accident, and I can’t go to the gym and work on making my body the best it can be anymore? My body will no longer mean anything, and if that’s all I valued about myself…well, now what? I’m just supposed to wilt away into a depression until I die?
We need to love ourselves for who we are on the inside. Maybe that means valuing our brain, our humor, our ability to give great advice, or our courage…maybe your a great problem solver? Or your amazing at making kids stop crying? Or maybe you have an undying passion for something you’re really good at? Painting? Singing? Dancing? Science? Construction work? Walking cats? Feeding monkeys? Plunging toilets? I’m just being silly here, but I mean it can be ANYTHING, the traits are infinite. It doesn’t matter what it is, but our job is to find it. Because we all have SOMETHING in us to value.
The message isn’t just toward women or men comparing themselves to others, but also to those in the pictures. A progress picture here and there is okay, but to strictly post pictures of your half-naked body…is that really necessary? Do you really want people to look at you only for your curvy-licious booty and fake boobs? I understand that being a fitness model is a job, but the more of those almost-pornographic images are posted out there, the more young women grow up believing that their bodies are a strict asset and that’s what they need to be successful, or get somewhere in life.
Some may argue that its motivation, which I can agree with; however, I could also argue that we need to practice being our own motivation. Additionally, why should we need to see half-naked models in order to be motivated? I’m sure any image of a man or woman working hard in the gym can be motivational to get up and perform some type of physical activity.
Same goes for an simple image of a skate boarder doing a cool trick for example. It could motivate a skater to go outside and practice some tricks to get better at. Does that skater need to be half-naked to show off his hard work? No. His hard work presented in the photo is enough to get the skater off his feet and moving.
I’ll admit I can be guilty of this mentality myself, but I have been trying to catch myself in the act–and know what I’ve noticed? Whenever I catch myself in the act, I’m on some type of social media network. Coincidence?
Not really. Social networking makes it so much easier to get wrapped up in someone else’s perceived world. The thing about pictures is you never, really, truly know what’s going on behind it. It traps us into the idea of how things are “supposed to be” thus making it 100% easier to start judging, comparing, and putting ourselves down.
Now I love social media, I’ll admit this too, but it is sooo time consuming. It takes away so much from my day. (and most likely, yours too!) Personally, it takes away study time, time to talk and bond with my family, time to go out and do things. Heck, these days, its hard to go out and 100% emerge ourselves in an adventure without feeling the need to document it and post it on social media so everyone can know what we did. But for my well-being, I plan to start cutting back a bit. I want to focus more on who I want to be and become.
It is currently 12:03 am, Tuesday morning…and this little post took about one hour out of my day. Therefore, I am done here. My next step is to focus on getting a good nights rest. Especially now that I vented a bit.
In conclusion, we need to find other things to value about ourselves. Therefore, my little challenge to you, from today to this day next week, I want you to think about one thing that you love about yourself and right it down. Each and every day, right something new. Whatever it is, write. it. down.
When you get one week’s worth of things that you love about yourself, hang it up somewhere that you will look it often. Continue to reflect back on it. And if you find more than one thing to love about yourself in one day–DON’T HOLD BACK. RIGHT THAT BABY DOWN. You deserve to love one million things about yourself, but for now I ask that you find 7 things and constantly reflect on it when you might be feeling down.
Goodnight lovely people! Sleep tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite! 🙂