When you look in the mirror, do you see your beauty? Or do you focus on the things you wish were different with your body?
As girlfriends we see each others beauty and all the amazing qualities our friends possess. But, turn the mirror our way, we often struggle with self-love and self-acceptance. Add to that the body image issues that we face due to media focus on perfect bodies and Photoshop’d faces.
Too bad we don’t see ourselves through the eyes of our friends, through eyes of love and acceptance.
Our guest for this FRIDAY’s BlogTalkRadio/Girlfriendology show is out to change the way we see ourselves through her brand new book, “Beautiful You – A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance.” (Friday, 2-2:30pm ET / 11-11:30am PT)
Author ROSIE MOLINARY has joined us previously for her book ‘Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image, and Growing Up Latina.’ She now explores, in her insightful, productive way of looking at women and our body images. Following is a guest blog that Rosie shares – how many of these self-acceptance, self-esteem ‘traps’ do we fall into with our girlfriends? Listen in on Friday as we explore this important topic for women and daughters.
We’ve all been there. A girlfriend complains about her thighs, and we just can’t help but bring up our stomach. Then it becomes a body-hatred free-for-all. In fact, a study published in the June 2007 issue of Body Image: An International Journal of Research revealed that if someone criticizes herself, women around her tend to add their own negative self-impressions to the conversation- even if they had just described their body image as positive or high. Women might do this to build camaraderie or to be polite, but those statements can still have a significant negative impact on one’s self-perception. But there are concrete things we can do as girlfriends to help one another boost their self-esteem and self-awareness instead. Here are some suggestions from her book, Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance (Seal Press, October 2010):
- Ditch the Fat Chat. When a woman criticizes herself in front of you, don’t join in. Instead, celebrate what you love about her and tell her just how wrong she is.
- Never ask “Have You Lost Weight?” When you ask someone this question out of the blue, you leave her wondering what you think of her and why. By banishing weight-loss commentary, you keep yourself from perpetuating that someone’s weight and body are fair game for discussion and up for both grabs and judgment.
- Offer sincere compliments on a regular basis. We all need to know that our talents, values, skills, and personality are valued.
- Remind each other how subjective beauty is. Have a conversation about all of your favorites: movies, songs, books, television shows, actors, foods. Observe your friend’s passion for their answers and how your answers differ from their’s. Relish in the recognition that people don’t perceive things in the same way, then embrace the idea that there is no one perfect book, movie, song, show, food, actor, or look. It is impossible to please all people with just one aesthetic or sensibility so we should not try to make ourselves over into someone else’s version of ideal.
- Create a place to share anxieties. We all have them, but we often pretend we don’t. By creating an environment with our girlfriends where we can openly share our anxieties while receiving support, we move past insecurity and towards self-acceptance and self-assurance.
Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance by Rosie Molinary is a practical and inspirational tool for realizing a healthy self-image through championing one’s own emotional and physical well-being. Drawing on self-awareness, creativity, mind-body, and practical techniques, Beautiful You is an action plan to give women what they need to champion and fully live their own lives, coaching them into the most extraordinary- and necessary- habit of treating their whole selves well. The book’s user-friendly format allows each reader to decide her journey and it includes daily essays or reflections and a daily tip or exercise for enhancing one’s self awareness.