The beauty. You’ve seen her. All over social media.
Dewey skin, rose petal cheeks, no-makeup, and a glow that comes from the inside out because she drinks green juice and Ayurvedic herbs and has cleared her home of toxins.
It’s the new “skinny”. These days we celebrate “real girls” and applaud brands that don’t airbrush their models in an attempt to relieve the pressure put on women and girls to look a certain way.
Natural is in. Embracing your body is in. But sometimes doesn’t that feel like pressure too? Now, not only do we have to look good—we have to look like we don’t try at all to do that. It might be “okay” that my size is different than the girl featured in the campaign, but it still better be appealing and I still better rock it.
When it comes to appearance, in some way, the pressure will always be on. Especially now. We are lucky enough to have our basic needs met—food and shelter are taken care of—and so our mind wanders. We judge. We compare. We have the luxury to do so.
Almost every woman I know, at one time or another, on different scales, has struggled with her appearance or body image. Even in a trend that works toward acceptance of everyone, we are always going to feel the push and pull of wanting to feel desired and accepted.
So how do we deal?
Well of course, there’s a whole of work to do around self-love. There’s positive affirmations and healing old wounds. There are acceptance practices. There is growing up, (that usually seems to help if even just a little bit). And there is learning to love yourself in your own way.
When you take a meditative approach (to this and just about anything else), you are taught that nothing has definition. Nothing can be good, nor can it be bad because those labels are just a creation of language that we’ve learned to accept as truth.
With this thought process, to see something as beautiful, means to see something as ugly. Since nothing is beautiful nor ugly, everything is one—without hierarchy, definition, or attachment to either.
Apply this to real life
The above is all well and good. Nothing is ugly—which means nothing is pretty. Non-attachment and non-definition for us modern living folk is also kind of of non-realistic. We are living in a modern world where definitions do exist.
Not only that, but it’s fun to celebrate the good and it’s expansive to experience the bad. To see things as good, pretty or enjoyable is to see love. Though non-attachment is an admirable goal, attachment in some ways makes us human. It teaches us compassion and understanding. It teaches us loss which takes us deeper on the journey of the human experience.
Deep?! I know. But stay with me.
When it comes to body image, we can work on practicing non-attachment. But we can also remember that non-attachment might never happen.
Be light. Take your perfect body goals and instead of throwing them out with the trash, put them over in a corner to the left. You still may see them, but they aren’t as important. Focus on feeling good; on feeding yourself from the inside out. And in those moments when your outer shell is still giving you grief and you wish for something else, that’s when you can remind yourself that nothing is good, because nothing is bad. Au naturale or a full face of makeup, it just is and that is enough.
It just is.
And that’s enough.
Have a happy & healthy week.
*This post only scratches the surface of body image and is not meant to give advice regarding disorders or disease.