Recently in the news, you may have seen some photos of Kim Kardashian on holiday in Mexico sporting a bit of cellulite on her bottom!
Now this got me thinking; although not a fan of the Kardashians, who I believe are media idolised for their looks, inspiring young girls and women to obsess over them and aspire to look like them, the reality is they only look the way they do through millions of pounds worth of surgery and cosmetic treatments (plus all the best makeup, hair products, skincare and stylists etc.) it certainly doesn’t warrant public ridicule.
At Cleo, we promote non-invasive treatments, a healthy lifestyle and a good skincare regime; our strongest ethos. We believe in enhancing one’s natural beauty, not taking drastic measures to change it, because we are all beautiful!
Whilst the Kardashians do not support this, Kim having a bit of cellulite is completely normal and natural (as women we can all vouch for her on this one!) and I do not believe she should be shamed for this. Body-shaming is a bad thing, and as women we can all be dampened by our own insecurities at times, so it is important we not only learn to love ourselves, but learn to praise others too.
Positivity breeds positivity, and applauding someone’s assets rather than passing comment on their flaws is fantastic for the soul and will make your energy much more positive.
So here are my top ten ways to get you feeling optimistic about your image and boost that body confidence and self-love!
1. Turn your imperfections into trophies
Those stretch marks on your tummy; they are not a flaw, they are evidence of you giving life, which is the greatest thing a woman can do so you should not be ashamed!
The food baby you have after your holiday; that’s just the remains of the amazing time you had, and you can work it off if you want to!
Your hair is going grey; that’s just a sign that (maybe!) you’re maturing, and maturity means wisdom - plus silver is sexy!
2. Accentuate your assets
Whether you like to admit it or not, you have assets! Even if you can’t think of anything yourself, ask someone close to you to tell you what your best features are, and then draw focus to those. For example, you might really like your eyes, but not your lips. In this case, treat yourself to some eye shadow that will make them pop, and get a more subtle lipstick so all attention is on those eyes.
Dress to your body shape to highlight the parts of your body you prefer. Don’t drown yourself in baggy tops and baggy trousers, even if you hold a bit of weight there is always something to show off! Get a bottom lifting pair of jeans, or a nice waist belt to accentuate some curve.
Top Tip: showing off one’s chest area is a great way to draw attention from parts of your body you are less comfortable with, and creates the illusion of being slimmer as you do not hold fat on your chest!
3. Set yourself goals that don’t focus on fixing areas of your body
Exercise and eat well, but for the right reasons. Join a running club, and tell yourself that in a month’s time, you want to be running 5K in half an hour (for example), rather than in a month’s time I want to have lost half a stone.
Take up cooking, and tell yourself you want to make the perfect coq au vin. Doing healthy things, but taking the focus away from its effects on your body can help advance your progress and keep your spirits up as you are not putting too much pressure on your body.
4. Become your own best friend
Think about the way that you are feeling. Think about what you see in the mirror, and what you tell yourself when you look at your appearance. Consider the things you tell yourself, and let yourself believe.
Do you ever wake up and just think to yourself “Oh, I look so awful today!” Before you pass comment on your appearance, think to yourself “would I say this to my best friend?” If the answer is no, if it is too horrible to say to someone else then you shouldn’t be saying it to yourself! Be your own best friend, be sensitive to your own feelings and treat yourself with love, respect and affection!
5. Make the skin you are in feel good
Take a bubble bath with a glass of wine and listen to your favourite music. Shave your legs, exfoliate, moisturise and paint your nails. Go on a walk and get some fresh air in to your lungs and some sunshine on your face. Go on the sunbed. Even brushing your teeth can have a positive effect on you. Keeping yourself well groomed and feeling fresh is a great way to increase your body positivity.
Allowing yourself to become lazy and taking little time to care for your body can have very negative effects on your confidence. Spending time on your body will help you to learn to love it!
6. Switch your idols
Rather than spending hours looking at magazines and social media and comparing yourself to all the physically attractive women you see, idolise women for attributes which don’t concern their looks.
There are plenty of women who are deemed beautiful in the media, who you’ve probably wished you looked like at some point whose looks are insignificant when you consider their incredible life achievements and contributions to society.
For example: Beyoncé may have the perfect caramel complexion, but through her music she has managed to explore issues of racism, feminism and monogamy. She represents empowerment for women, promotes positive body image and also has her own charity campaign “Beygood”.
Angelina Jolie may have the most amazing lips on the planet, but her contributions to serious humanitarian problems over the years is truly incredible, donating more than $5 million to UNHCR, being appointed as UN Special Envoy to Refugees and setting up many charities.
Applaud these qualities in your idols and you will begin to adopt a much more affirming attitude to life, and looks will begin to seem much less significant in the grand scheme of things.
7. Avoid numbers
Don’t allow yourself to get hung up in the numbers. Do not let your weight, dress size, height, hair length or even age consume or define you. It is not about whether you are a size 16 or a size 2. It is about how you look and how you feel.
Don’t tell yourself you need to be a size 10 because that is what is sexy, because we are all unique and not everyone should be a size 10. Marilyn Monroe was a size 16, and one of the most beautiful women that ever lived.
Get yourself feeling good, and ditch those scales!
8. Start being more thankful
Life is a blessing, and we only get one turn at it. Spending your life criticising yourself and being miserable is not worth it when you consider how short our time actually is!
Embrace yourself and realise that you are your own agent; you are responsible for your own happiness. Be thankful for the things you do have, your health, your family, your job, just simply being alive. As you begin to appreciate the smaller things in life, the other things you allow yourself to get worked up about will have less importance.
9. Learn to take a compliment
If someone is giving you a compliment, it’s because they want you to know that’s what they think about you, and you should appreciate that!
Of course don’t let it go to your head, but be thankful that someone sees something good in you enough to actually comment on it! Start taking the compliments on board and let it give you the confidence to realise you’re a lot more special than you let yourself believe, and other people think it too!
10. Love yourself, and others too
Whilst learning to love your own body, start appreciating others and applauding them on their assets. Don’t let jealousy become you. If you see a woman with a washboard stomach and killer rear, don’t resent her for it, but compliment on her and appreciate the physical effort she puts in to achieve it.
They say giving is greater than receiving, and giving someone a compliment that would really make their day can make you happier than it makes them!
Avoiding negative emotions (like jealousy, insecurity, resentment and anger) will spill in to all different areas of your life, and you will adopt a much more positive attitude, making you comfortable in your own skin!
So go follow these tips, and start treating yourself like the gorgeous goddess you are!