Wednesday, October 15, 2014

a reflection on body image

"Oh man, I look like a horse!"I thought looking in the mirror before my first sabbath dinner in the kibbutz. After a week of being almost constantly dehydrated my face had become quite thin and now it looked "long". My eye seemed unnaturally big. I wished I had a beautiful oval like Sophia with full cheeks and dimples when I smiled. Not a thin, cheekless face, all nose and cheekbones.

At the back of my mind, a fastidious voice popped up, a memory of a long time ago when my cheeks and my round face were the bane of all my pictures. When I thought that my face was too round and I longed for my cheekbones to stick out a bit more. And now that I have that, I'm not happy.

It struck me then how it's easy to be severe with ourselves and discontent with our image in the mirror. We become so accustomed to hunt down every small blemish of our body to proudly parade it in high school changing rooms before PE that every time we look in a mirror we immediately notice that small spot and not how nice our hair looks today. And even when we achieve what we longed for in terms of body image, we can still be dissatisfied. Am I the only one to think this is exhausting? That we should stop bringing ourselves down by being critical every time we brush our teeth and we look at ourselves in the mirror over the sink?

mirror, mirror on the wall...
Despite thinking long and hard about it, i haven't found a good-for-all solution: people are so different and different are the reasons why we may be dissatisfied with our image in the mirror. However, I can share with you the tricks which work for me.
1. I focus on a part of my body I really like and I try to emphasise it in my outfit;
2. I listen to feel-good music while I'm getting ready
3. I smile: one of my friends a long time ago told me that a smile is the best accessory a girl could wear. So far, it has never proved me wrong.
4. I try to put my physical appearance into the biggest context of my life. First of all, I look at the reasons why my body shape is like it is. In my case I put a lot of it down to my running, which gives me a fairly thin face but chunky legs and a bum. Do I care? Sometimes. But then I remember how much I love running and I stop caring. For me, this is the most effective one, because it shifts the focus from something I feel I'm lacking to the big positives in my life and the activities I enjoy doing. Oh, by the way, it often transfers to other dissatisfactions of life: a bad time in a race, a low score in a test/exam...always look at the big picture!

If there's something I don't really like, I try to change it. Without stressing about it. I take it as a challenge, as a way to always improve and push my boundaries. Which I find utterly exciting and horribly terrifying at the same time.

So here's are my little tricks. They work for me, they may work for you. Or they may not. You may find them absolutely rubbish or very clever. You may take some inspiration to devise your own.  

Sharing time!! Do you ever find yourself dissatisfied with your looks? What are your tricks to make peace with your image in the mirror?

No comments:

Post a Comment