Have you ever taken a good look at the cover of women's fitness- or beauty-oriented magazines? In many cases, the models are thin but they aren't "fit" and they have bodies that the average woman can't possibly achieve. Shouldn't the cover of a woman's magazine show a real woman and not just another "perfect" body? Unfortunately, our society is very "outer oriented" and it is the media's job to sell the myth of perfection. We are buying into the myth.
We are also punishing ourselves for not having perfect bodies. It's our body's fault that we aren't happy -- with our relationships, our jobs, and our lives. Therefore, we deny our bodies desserts, new clothes, and even love. Sadly, a lot of us hate our bodies (or certain parts) and this negative body image poisons the rest of our self-image. If you don't love all of you, how can you really be happy?
How do you protect your self-esteem from the dangerous promise of perfection offered by the media? Be honest with yourself and practice self-acceptance. Due to genetics and body types, all of us can't be thin but we can all be healthy. Instead of comparing yourself to a model you see in a magazine or online, look in the mirror to find your own standard of beauty. Ask yourself if you are feeding your body nutritious foods and exercising regularly. Ask yourself if you are at a healthy weight -- for you.
In addition, self-acceptance means that you choose to feel good about yourself and to take care of yourself, regardless of society's standards. If you love yourself, love handles and all, your feelings about your body will not be influenced by media images.
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