“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” — Plato
I want women to be happier with their bodies. I want every gal to look in the mirror and feel pleased. I want every lady to smile when she looks at photos of herself. But I don’t have control over that.
Instead I’m going to focus on what I can do to help women feel better about their bodies. I can be a body image role model. And the main thing I can do is this: not criticize mine. I cannot control what happens in anyone else’s heads, but I can control what comes out of my mouth and the conversations I have with other girls.
Women are impacted by other women, even the ones we don’t know well. There are a lot of girls I really admire and try to emulate, even if I only really hear about them through other people or via Facebook status updates.
By the same logic, many girls I know, and even girls I don’t know, are watching me. They are in the fitting room next to mine, they are working out at the gym next to me, they sit in the cubicle at work next to me. And they can hear the negative comments I make. “Ew, I look fat today.” “Wow, I need to lose weight.” “I will never be as beautiful as her.” I will carry myself with care, as many more women than I realize are watching. I will be careful with my words.
We worry so much about media influences on body image and the negative messages girls absorb. But what about the negative messages they absorb from real people in their life? Let’s be positive body image role models – for ourselves and for each other.
You may never know what issues others are facing, and many people struggle with body image distortions. By keeping your own comments about your body positive, you are both reminding and reinforcing to yourself what a beautiful person you are, and serving as a body image role model to those who may be silently struggling to see their own beauty.
Molly Ford is a guest blogger from Smart Pretty & Awkward. In exchange for sharing this content, the Allstate Community has compensated her via cash payment.