Do I know you? Are you feeling safe with me? When was the last time we had a chat together?
Those are some serious questions you should ask your body frequently. But, When was the last time you had a conversation with your body? It's not a surprise if your answer is never. From a very young age, especially us women; we've been taught that our bodies should look a certain way but we were never taught to love our bodies as they are. Never taught to speak and listen to it. Listening to your body is the first step in actually knowing it: does it really need this salad or that burger, should I run that extra mile or do I just relax. We usually tend to listen to external voices like beauty standards, society opinions, and the way others look at us; even though if we take a look internally at ourselves and our bodies we'll know what we actually need; whether it pleases others or not.
How you feel about your body reflects on your behavior and mental health. Your relationship with your body is one of the most dangerous and complicated relationships ever. If you feel negative about your body image this leads to many risks like depression, eating disorders, anxiety, lack of self-esteem, and many more. Speaking to your body helps you accept it. So, how can I speak to my body? Ask questions like am I taking care of my body, do I give it enough rest, am I hurting it by any means. Try to have a weekly Q&A session with your own body and through time you will notice the impact.
For years, the media has shown us the perfect body form; from waist size to zero body hair. Messages we've been receiving directly and indirectly. They all lead to actions we consider a must nowadays. Shave frequently, hide pads because you're not allowed to say that you're on your period out loud, be size zero, don't wear much makeup but wear much makeup and most importantly smile even if you don't feel like it even if you're going through the darkest phases of your life, SMILE that's what makes you beautiful, girl. Sadly, breaking those taboos won't happen in a blink of an eye. It'll take time and confidence in your potential and in yourself. Keep in mind that the first step of change is acceptance. You can't change anything without accepting it first. This applies to your body too. You have to be fully aware that you are worthy of love and affirmation because when you accept your body here's where the magic happens.
Beauty standards! they change frequently and yet we still feel the need to follow them blindly. In fact, what you need to be is yourself, no matter how many times they change. Always remember that your body is your forever friend who'll never give up on you, so don't mistreat it by bad eating habits, negative thoughts, and/or self-harm then expect it to lose weight or look beautiful as the external glow starts within. Healthy body image can be a big part of knowing your own worth and it also aids your mental health condition. Be aware that your body shape doesn't define who you are or how respect-worthy you are. Praising yourself is not a selfish thing to do but important and healthy. You don't need society to do it for you.