1. A positive body image is about having a healthy body AND a healthy mind.
Note that we said "healthy body," not "skinny," not "thin," not "curvy," not "voluptuous." A healthy body has a lot to do with your systems functioning well on their own. That means you can have a healthy body but have a body shape that's different from others (which is usually the case). And you need a healthy body for you to think well of it, of course. The healthy mind has to do with not making yourself hate or dislike yourself for whatever reason, and essentially having the right attitude for different situations.
2. You'll never feel like you're thin enough or sexy enough if you keep checking the scale and comparing yourself to other girls.
Because someone will always be skinnier or fatter than you, shorter and taller, with less or more sex appeal. And knowing you've gained a pound isn't going to make your body feel lighter, right? Drop the numbers and the comparisons. Why not try being sexy and loving your body in your own way? Once you've found out how to do that good for yourself, you'll feel comfortable, beautiful, and secure.
3. You'll never have full control of your body, and that's okay.
In fact, that's life for the most part. You don't control your heartbeat. You don't control your hair growth, or your stomach to digest food. And you know what? Good thing you don't because you wouldn't have much time to do other things! Point is, don't focus ALL your attention on your body and try to fix everything you don't like about it. You'll certainly miss out important things.
4. Your body is going to change as you age, and that's normal too.
You have to accept that no matter how much lotion you put on your skin every single day you're still going to have wrinkles one day. You have to accept that what you look like now in your 20s isn't the only way you'll look like in your whole life. So you'll do yourself good by not being so attached to it, by not equating your looks to your complete identity. If you want to be romantic about it, think of it this way: Your body changing means you're alive! It could even mean you're living your life to the fullest!
5. You don't need pretty or flattering clothes to be beautiful.
You already are in your own way. But if it will help you have confidence, go ahead and dress up. Just know that the confidence lies in you, not in the clothes.
6. Lose weight the healthy way.
Starving yourself or taking unprescribed diet pills will put your LIFE at risk. So much for enjoying it because you only live once.
7. Do thorough research about diet trends.
A lot of them are just out to get your money (it's a whole industry!), and they do this by marketing. Marketing that isn't even clever because you'll easily bust those myths they say when you click the first few links you see on Google and spend around 15 minutes reading.
8. If you really want to be rid of all the body shaming going on, don't ever say "No, you're not fat" when someone fat says she's fat.
Saying that already implies you believe being fat is a bad thing. Say "So what?" The conversation that might follow can lead that person to realize that she's beautiful just as she is. Being fat or skinny is only bad if one's health is put at risk. Everything else is perception. And guess what, that's not set in stone.
9. You can't please everybody with the way you look.
You've been taught this. Now BELIEVE it and stop trying. Channel all that determination somewhere else that'll actually give you benefits. Fact: The bodies people find beautiful change over time and are different across cultures. Westerners used to value plumpness, and now it's skinniness. But other cultures or groups of people don't find thin bodies ideal! That said, you're better off finding out what's beautiful for YOU. If you just go with the flow of what society dictates, you'll lose your mind.
10. Looks aren't everything.
Looks are important, especially since that's the first thing people see. But that's it. No one is going to stay with you just because you look beautiful, and no one in the right mind is going to dump you just because you let yourself go. You'll be devastated if looks were EVERYTHING to you, not only because not everyone will be attracted to you, but also because you let go of everything else about you that make you a good person. Haven't you heard that what's essential is invisible to the eye?
11. The models you see may look "perfect" in the photos but remember that there's such a thing as Photoshop and other similar apps that edit the photos.
"And yes, they are used. We're not discrediting the models here. We're telling you to take what you see with a grain of salt because they've been altered in some way.
12. Remember also that it's the models' job to look a certain way and they devote so much time and money to it. It's part of their work. Imagine spending a good chunk of every day working out, going to the salon to get your hair done, your body hair waxed, and so on. That's them. That's not you, and who's expecting you to look beautiful like those models? We're pretty sure someone does, so we're just going to say that you're better off without that person around. And who says that that's the only beautiful face or body? And what makes you think they're right? They're not right; they're just making you think so for their benefit.
13. Learning to be comfortable with your own body, so long as it's healthy, will be one of the best things you can do for yourself.
You'll be much happier. You won't doubt your partner if he says he loves every part and inch of you. You won't let anybody or anything put you against yourself. More importantly you let yourself focus on other things that might not even be centered on you. Isn't that a life well lived? And isn't your body supposed to let you do that?
This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.
PHOTO: Pixabay; GIFS: Giphy