We’ve all had those days, am I right, ladies?
Days when you just feel insecure about yourself. You roll out of bed with one boob hanging out of your tank top, you go to the bathroom and take an enormous dump, you wolf down some leftover P.F. Chang’s for breakfast, and then you look in the mirror. “I look like shit on toast,” you think to yourself.
On those days, I find I need a little pick-me-up, something to remind me that I am a flawless, independent woman, or, you know, something like that. Something to make me feel confident. Here are a few of my go-to tips for engaging in some serious Body Love, as told by 19th century paintings!
1) Be Naked.
When was the last time you stripped down to brass tacks and had a long, hard look at yourself in the mirror – while completely nude? Most of us are slightly repelled by the idea. Look at myself nekkid? Why in sweet mercy would I want to do THAT? I don’t want to see all the folds and wrinkles and lumps that tend to rear their ugly heads when I ooze out of my jeans!
The first few times are difficult. But then you start to get used to seeing yourself naked. Seeing your body. And that is an important thing. Many of us don’t even know the back of our hand like the back of our hand. We spend our lives avoiding a glimpse of our buttcheeks, our love handles, our weird elbows, that mole on the back of our neck. But that is only because we don’t come into contact with our flesh often enough. Getting used to the intricacies and awkwardnesses of our bodies can open up a new level of understanding an acceptance for ourselves. It desensitizes us to the concerns that how we look may not be “normal” or “okay.”
Look at your slightly lopsided boobs. Look at the way your thighs spread out when you sit down. Look at that one rogue white hair growing at the back of your head. It’s not “weird.” You’re not weird. You’re just not Photoshopped.
Once you’ve gotten past the initial shock, this can also do wonders for your confidence during bikini season. So what if everyone sees your cellulite? You see your cellulite every day! You’re intimate with your cellulite! It’s been there with you through thick and thin. You’ve come to know it like an old friend. Now everyone on the beach can know it, too, or else fuck ’em.
2) Make Yourself Feel Beautiful.
Magazines and TV shows love to tell women what they should think. Blue eyeshadow is SO 1994, but a BB cream is a must-have. High-waisted skinny jeans are no good on “bigger” girls, but a nice peplum is always flattering. That short haircut you’ve been wanting won’t really suit your face shape, you should definitely go with a softer look. Blah blah blah.
Instead of subscribing to all that steaming bullshit, do whatever makes you feel your best. Maybe your boyfriend thinks you would look better without makeup on, but you love the way a little bronzer highlights your awesome cheekbones. Sorry, boyfriend, but makeup was never for him. It’s for you, because it makes you feel sexy! If you want to slap on a little bronzer in the mornings, do it up.
Or maybe your friends all think big tattoos are super trashy. (Even though the tiny dreamcatcher that Karen got on her foot over Spring Break was fine with them, for some fucking reason. God.) But you have always wanted an old-school pinup-themed sleeve. Go for it! (As long as you’ve given it serious thought, of course!) Just because tattoo sleeves are not mainstream accessories for women doesn’t mean you can’t rock one and feel great about it.
Essentially, what you wear and do is YOUR business, not anybody else’s. You deserve to feel good, so fuck those haters who glorify your precariously large boobs and get that breast reduction you’ve always wanted! Only you know what is right for you.
3) Get Out The To-Do List.
Any time I’m feeling a little down on myself, nothing takes my mind off it like getting shit done. But more than just distracting me from that zit on my forehead, staying busy can serve as major personal motivation to be more beautiful on the inside, not just the outside.
Accomplishing goals really is the best way to gain confidence. Days when I have just finished cleaning the house and am wearing dust-covered, hole-filled yoga pants make me feel way happier than days when I sat around on Jezebel all day and then tarted myself up. (No offense, Jezzie.)
And remember, looks are ephemeral – you’ll look different in twenty years than you do now, but you’ll still be the same person. So don’t be an asshole!