In recent years, beauty standards have been changing and evolving. Gone are the days when people would impose unrealistic beauty rules on everyone, especially on women. Well, not completely gone. But we can hope that we are headed toward a future where feeling othered because of our natural body would be a thing of the past.
For this future to happen though, we need to educate ourselves about issues that have been prevalent but not readily addressed. Educating ourselves and the next generation will help shape the kind of beliefs we have, and hopefully, it’s for the better. First, let’s confront the issues we are facing and what we are doing to change the status quo.
Be Comfortable in Your Own Skin
Let’s talk about skin color. It’s always been deemed that fair skin is the way to go. That to have darker skin is less desirable. Now though, people are becoming more aware of the beauty of diversity. We are all becoming prouder of wearing our own skin, and prouder of our ethnicity. What is more advocated now is to take care of your skin and to wear it proud.
There are wide varieties of skincare products in the market now. What’s pleasantly surprising about it is the availability of products that address different skin types and conditions. This is great because it gives us access to products for our specific needs, and we are becoming more educated on which ones to use, and how to use them. From body scrubs with papaya extracts to moisturizers and sunscreens, these are now advertised for all skin types, with advocacies for diversity and inclusion.
Take Care of Your Health
Body positivity starts with being able to accept your body and taking care of it. Eating healthy and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle are the two major factors that affect your body in a good way. If you’re healthy, it will show. Start by eating right, it might sound difficult but it’s the first steps that are important. Begin by introducing vegetables in your diet- there is no need to suddenly go cold turkey and eat vegan. Slowly integrate vegetables and proper portioning into your diet and the transition will be much easier.
It’s a good idea to start living fit as well, and this is something that can be achieved through little tweaks in your life. Choose to walk instead of using a car, choose to jog while walking your dog, or start doing simple exercises you can find on the internet. Again, this is something best slowly introduced to your life, and with consistency, you’ll find that your health will take care of you as well.
Your Mental Health Matters
It couldn’t be stated more: your mental health matters. It’s not just ‘all in your head’, it is that and something more. Mental health discussions have progressed greatly over the years, but many people are still in the dark about what it really is. Simply put, your mental health is your emotional and psychological well-being. Your happiness with your own self. While that on its own is a large topic, one of its subtopics is stress management.
Yes, stress. Because stress affects us on a deeper level than we think. It triggers our body negatively, making us prone to sickness and disease. That’s why stress management is important. Realize what it is that stresses you out, and make an effort to either avoid it or find a solution for it. Of course, managing your stress is a lot harder to achieve, but the awareness and understanding that it’s not ‘just in your head’ is important.
Don’t Let Other People Dictate Who You are
The prevalence of fitness on social media can put on quite the pressure on many of us. Not everyone can be super athletes, with ripped abs and huge muscles. That’s the first step to loving yourself- not letting other people pressure you or tell you what and who you are.
Avoid pushing yourself to other people’s standards. Don’t believe fitness influencers that tell you to “go hard or go home”. As a matter of fact, do the opposite- do what feels good for you. After all, exercising and fitness aren’t just about what your body looks like. It’s about being comfortable in your own skin, being comfortable with the movement, and being generally healthy.
Dress the Way You Like
Fashion is another aspect of popular culture that forces many of us. Trends tell us to wear this, wear that, even if such clothing does not make us feel happy or beautiful. And you don’t have to follow. Dress the way you like, dress for yourself. Loving yourself is what’s important, and if dressing a certain way will help that, then, by all means, do it.