Loving the Skin You’re In


Ask any woman about her looks and I guarantee she will have A LOT to say.

We’ve all been there. We’ve tested out the “7 Day Diet” or some similar fad. We’ve examined each and every one of our flaws in the mirror. We’ve asked the infamous question, “Does this make me look fat?” The question is “why?”

For the past 55 years, Barbie dolls have represented female perfection to young girls. But it’s an unobtainable and dangerously unrealistic standard of beauty. A student at Hamilton College in New York recently created a life-sized Barbie to show the reality of the doll’s unproportioned body.

Dove has promoted self confidence with its various ad campaigns that highlight "real" women's body types.

Dove has promoted self confidence with its various ad campaigns that highlight “real” women’s body types.

Standing nearly 6 feet tall, the Barbie has a 39-inch bust, 18-inch waist, and 33-inch hips. She weighs 110 pounds with a body-mass index of 16.24, meaning she would be severely anorexic. This “perfect” young lady would have to crawl of all fours to get around because of her body proportions!

As we get older, popular standards of “beauty” are determined through computerized advertisements, plastic surgeries and the cosmetic budgets of A-list celebrities. For the average person, however, these looks are unrealistic and unattainable. No matter how much make-up, dietary supplements or Spanx you buy, there seems to be no way to achieve the perfect big butt, firm boobs, tall and leggy look many women so desire.

So I suggest a revolutionary idea: Embrace yourself. Enjoy the things that make you stand out. Love you for you. Yes, it’s OK to change up your diet—as long as you’re going about it correctly and for your health. Yes, it’s OK to want to lose weight—as long as you’re going about it correctly and for your health. Are you sensing a pattern here?

In an article on the lifestyle and pop culture website, senior editor Heather Hogan calls on women to be proud of their imperfections. “Why do we want to cover up the things that make us us?” she writes. “Our ‘imperfections’ tell our stories. If our bodies aren’t flawless, it’s because we’ve lived.”

Learning to love yourself is easier than you might think, and it only takes a few steps.

Starting tomorrow, Valentine’s Day, commit to no longer picking yourself apart. Take care of your body in a safe and healthy way. And know that there are a million different kinds of beautiful. Be your own standard.

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