Do you ever get yourself all dressed up to go out and check yourself out in the mirror, only to be deeply dissatisfied and feel like staying home? Perhaps crippling feelings of inadequacy have meant that you have avoided going out or maybe you just get mad drunk so that you can feel comfortable in your own skin.
How much do we treat ourselves as objects every day? The sexual objectification of women is so insidious and pervasive that I objectify myself daily and I am not even aware I am doing it! I do it when I’m applying my makeup, because I don’t feel like a good enough object without it. I do it when I compare myself against the airbrushed beauties of the media, but even they don’t live up to their digitally enhanced images. I do it when I catch my boyfriend looking at the parts I deem imperfect. “Arggh stop looking at me! I’m hideous!”
Sometimes, I call myself fat and my daughter is watching. No doubt, she is learning to objectify herself and I am playing a huge part in delivering that message. How do we go against this conditioning? When the objectification of women saturates the media, how do we break free and change the pattern for our daughters? Well, I’m glad you asked, we’ve compiled a list!
Catch your negative self-talk
Next time you look inward and say, “I’m not good enough”, interrupt your automatic response and say, “My word, Tracy, you are an amaaaazzinnng woman and your body is awesome!” Obviously, if your name isn’t Tracy, then just change it to whatever your name is, or whatever you want your name to be! If you always call yourself “fat”, with only one vowel change you could say “fit.” Catch yourself in the exact moment when you are not being kind to yourself and change your habit.
Thank your body for all it has given you and how lucky you are to have it
If you are rocking some badass warrior stripes from pregnancy, feel good of them! Your body has done something wonderful and you must be proud of yourself for it. You can decide the meaning your so-called imperfections carry. Be kind to yourself and say out loud why you are grateful for your face and body, the beautiful vessel you reside in. In a sea of negativity, you need to drop in some raindrops of kindness for yourself and remember perfection doesn’t exist.
Remind yourself you do not exist for others
You are not here for the viewing pleasure of others. You are a person, a subject in your own story, the protagonist, the hero. Be brave. Book yourself some adventures. If there is anything you have really wanted to do but didn’t feel good enough, do it now! Get social and make connections. Set yourself some challenges: If you struggle to accept your natural face, leave the house without makeup. If you have trouble fulfilling your social engagements, make sure you go out.
You must commit to saying them regularly and believe them. You want to feel these affirmations on a subconscious level. Remember, your negative self-talk has been repeated many times, it might take a bit of effort for you to tip the scales. If you are an emotional overeater, you may get trapped in a vicious cycle of overeating followed by negative self-talk. You could start by saying the affirmation, “I am enough.” Spend some time working in your journal on what you would like to say to yourself. Be your own best friend.
Give a little love
Get involved with the community or start volunteering. Studies show that giving something to community can greatly improve your wellbeing. When you make a difference in the lives of others it can significantly raise your self-esteem and you will definitely not be thinking about how you look.
If you are too busy looking inward, not only will you miss out on opportunities, but you will sabotage your self- esteem. Stop objectifying yourself and start living!