Real Images of Beauty

Yesterday was day two of the Keep It Real Challenge in which bloggers were asked to post on why it is important to see real images of beauty in magazines. In true Angela fashion, I didn’t find the time to blog in the midst of working out, helping my husband make a hillbilly air conditioner (don’t ask!), and soaking up some sun in a lazy river. However, like I said before, I think that this challenge is amazing, and I think it’s vital that we start seeing real images of beauty in magazines!

During high school I had a subscription to Fitness Magazine. I remember my mom always asking me why I had these magazines when almost each one of them highlighted how to lose ten pounds fast or how to tone up your problem areas. She always, always told me that I was beautiful just the way I was and that I didn’t need to change anything about myself, but for some crazy reason I believed the magazines over her.

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However, whenever she’d ask me those questions I would respond, “These magazines are meant to make you healthier! See, right here, it says what foods are good for you to eat…and right here, it tells you how to maintain a positive attitude!” Looking back, I do feel confident that these magazines had some good messages and good literature, however, next to a relevant column stating how to feel your best there is a photo of a gorgeous woman…fit, slender, tall, and tan. Then I would become more entwined in how I could make myself more like her, and I didn’t pay attention to the information the article.

That model was very beautiful, I’m sure, but she was not real…as are the models in all the photos today. They are photoshopped, what they portray is unattainable, and I wanted to be like them.

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Key word…wanted (past tense).

Now, after years of turmoil turned to growth, I do believe that real is beautiful. But I don’t want another person to put themselves down after having looked at a magazine that is supposed to promote mind, body, and spirit. I don’t want another person to see a photoshopped model and want to look like that. I don’t want another girl to leaf through a magazine and feel depressed, guilty, and shameful.

If magazines would start putting photos of real models, real people, real girls in their magazines, then what message would that put out? That it’s okay to be yourself. That you don’t need to change yourself, you just need to be your best self.

And most importantly, that real is beautiful. (And YOU are beautiful! –had to slip in a little Friday Affirmation!)

When that day comes…that’s when I’ll renew my subscription!

ang

P.S. On this last day of the Keep It Real Challenge, we are asked to share photos of real beauty through instagram. DO IT! (And use hashtag #KeepItRealChallenge)

Change Your Thoughts…Change the World

I’ve been thinking a lot lately. I haven’t been posting my Friday Affirmations very regularly, and I am missing that. Sometimes it is a challenge to come up with an affirmation every week, but it is a good way to dig down deep and figure out the things I love about myself. The things that we all love about ourselves.

But I’ve been thinking about how these affirmations, or any affirmation, compliment, or kind words can impact a person. Does it really make a difference? If a person looks in the mirror and tells themselves they are beautiful, does that mean they will believe it? Do I believe it?

One thing I do know is that the more a person tells themselves that they are ugly or fat or unworthy, the more they will believe it. So shouldn’t it work the other way around?

I have a challenge for you (and myself). Let’s change our thoughts to positive thoughts, and let’s send a message to the world. It’s okay to love ourselves. It’s okay to think we are beautiful just the way we are.

1. Change your thoughts. Look in the mirror each day and tell yourself one things that you absolutely love about yourself. It doesn’t have to be something big. It could be that you love that little freckle on your nose. It doesn’t have to be something physical. It could be that you love that you have a caring heart. No matter what it is, tell yourself something new you love everyday.

2. Change the world. Tell someone else that you think they are beautiful…and tell them why. Let someone know how important they are to you. Give a complete stranger a compliment. However you want to do it, make an impact on someone else…everyday.

The more we are able to share the beauty of this world…the beauty that is you and me…the more the world will start believing it.

ang

The Day My Dress Pants Didn’t Fit Very Well…

…happened to be yesterday.

Don’t you despise those mornings when you pull out the pair of pants that have been sitting in your closet for forever, put them on, and then cringe as you button them. I know, me too.

It was kind of a strange moment for me. The pants fit fine, they just did not very comfortably. Funny how a pair of pants can make a girl feel so many emotions at once. I was confused at first. I know I have been pretty much the same size for, let me think…the past eight or so years! The last time I wore these pants was probably a little more than one year ago. Same size. Huh. Conclusion? The pants shrunk in the wash the last time they were washed over a year ago. Sure. That seems reasonable.

Then I felt kind of sad. Why don’t my pants fit? Sad face. (Or more like pouty face.)

Then I felt ugly. Yes. Ugly. If my pants aren’t comfortable then my hair doesn’t need to look good either. And who cares what my shirt looks like, because I’m sure everyone will just be looking at my hips and gooloo squeezed in here. (Overdramatic, yes. And definitely not reasonable.)

It was definitely a reality check. It reminded me that I need to mindfully play an active role in maintaining a positive body image. Those negative voices can creep in at any time and try to make me falter. My voice is louder.

Then I remember who I was, and I remembered that clothes don’t make or break me. So what they weren’t the most comfortable things in the world, I still looked good so I should feel good. I’m still a confident person. I still love myself just the way I am.

And, of course, I still think I’m beautiful.

🙂

I just want to say thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of me all my life and as of lately. I can’t tell you how much your encouraging comments on my blog about balancing school and everything else helps me to keep going. The e-mails I receive asking me how things are going in my life always cheer me up a little…and oddly enough, they always arrive when they are most needed. Every little text, word, smile, hug makes my heart all warm and fuzzy…I’m truly a blessed gal. Thank you.

ang