Are you really in love with yourself?
As a woman who has worked in the professional lingerie business for six years, I have had my fair share of women enter my door and reveal their most intimate insecurities.
I have seen the skin of many body types, hearing many voices, and endless stories about what lead up to them making the decision to walk into my establishment.
I am utterly amazed at the cultural stigma is placed around women that aren’t a certain body size.
I learned that that working in this business many women have envy and show resentment to another women’s self-image.
I have consistently heard:
“Well, I have had three kids, so that’s why my stomach looks this way.”
And they proceed to grab themselves and shake it. I will almost always get a once over, a raised eyebrow, and a snippy remark like “But you wouldn’t know anything about that.”
Let me tell you, I was quite shocked when I first heard a woman lash out for my appearance when all I was there for was to assist her in the fitting room. I never realized up until recently that it affected me either. Women are always trying to point out their own flaws and point out how perfect someone else, instead of loving their own bodies.
Since I am surrounded by women all day, I decided I needed to help make a change.
I have become very aware that women are driven by an image or visual of something. So I decided to take action some years ago, to help change the perception of the perfect body to a woman and this is where you can help too.
There are numerous mirrors throughout my store. Little ones you can hold up a garment to yourself to see if you like the color on you, to full length standing mirrors all throughout the fitting room. My clients will become sheepish to get undressed in front of me, as if I am some model agent who is going to scorn their every inch, but I quickly resort to humor to deflate the situation.
Flash forward, we are in the fitting room together, and the guest is standing with her arms crossed over herself, in a way you can tell she is trying to hide herself from the world. She begins talking, telling me of how she used to look.
We get to the actual garment after they get off their chest what haunts them when they sleep. I am telling you, it is a powerful moment what comes next.
I tell the women in my store to turn around and face the mirror, as she does still crossing her arms, we work together for her to feel comfortable has she drops her arms we both look into the mirror at the beautiful person facing us.
I find myself saying every time that someone looks beautiful; not because it is my job but because the glow that comes across her when she accepts that someone else with a different body type is telling her that she is beautiful and truly means it is revolutionary.
I then become real with her and share my own insecurities about my body with her. She almost always laughs at me, slowly realizing how silly it looks when someone who appears to have it all together is concerned about the extra skin on her arm as she works to tone them up herself.
My advice to you, not only as a woman, but as a general human being is this:
I love myself.
I don’t say this lightly, but repeat after me, “I love myself.”
Go stand in front of that mirror and really see yourself. Look over every inch of your skin, your hair, your eyes. Get in close. What secondary color is in your iris? Do you even know? I am still learning how to just ‘shut it off’ at the end of the day, so I’m right there with you. I have been taking the time to really see myself in the mirror. Look at my legs, usually covered in bruises from bumping into a fixture at work, or my two dogs jumping all over the place. I am paler than a ghost and the right cheek on my face always breaks out with a fever around my period. (And it’s only the one side too and it emotionally wrecks me.) I feel like a hideous monster from the deep for that entire week and a half. But I am learning that it too shall pass. It is only a phase. It will heal up and my skin will be back to normal. My arms, with proper weight training will tone up to a point I don’t see that small pudge. If I don’t fill my eyebrows for the day, I will survive. They will still do their job on my face. They are still there whether I like it or not.
Everybody has their flaws. It is only a matter of your perception on them. How are you handling dealing with yourself and furthermore, how you are projecting yourself onto others. It is a wild ride, but it is also a one-step-at-a-time-ride. It will be hard, but just know that I am here with you and we’ve got this! You are a strong, beautiful soul. You have survived many things that most people couldn’t even imagine. You have seen birth, excitement, growth, and death. You have loved hard and you have lost with the best of them. You are a divine creature of God and you need to let that feeling pour all over you all day, every day, even when it hurts.