We all have one. Admit it, you know you do. Let’s talk about the one body part that you wish you could alter in some fashion. Each of us has an Achilles heel we want to firm, tone, or shrink, but what if we could learn to love it instead?
Here are some ways to make peace with your own "undesirables", that just might help you overcome any "Barbie Syndrome" that might be lingering in your own psyche.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Growing up in Southern California, I always felt the pressure to be impossibly thin. I compared myself to surrounding women considered “aesthetically amazing”, and felt empty as a result. It never occurred to me that most of these “Genetic Lottery” winners lived in Hollywood and pursued the Silver Screen because they were the exception, not the rule. No one explained to me that not all women are genetic anomalies, built a size zero and as thin as the Melrose Place sign pole.
I felt inferior because my body didn’t mirror the models that walked off photo shoots and down my local footpaths. My athletic build was lean and toned, but never twiggy. I longed for endless pencil-thin legs and nonexistent hips. If only I had the waify body of Kate Moss that was all the rage of my teenage years. I desperately wanted to be a graceful paper doll, infinite limbs carelessly traipsing on the wind. I never understood that as women, we really do come in all shapes and sizes, and that try as I might, I was never going to have the pipe cleaner arms of the girls I envied.
Try to Stop Obsessing Over One Feature
You are a beautiful whole entity. Instead of spending time wishing your backside was firmer/flatter/fuller/smaller, get into the gym and work within your genetic possibilities. Don’t think of any basic part of the whole as a “limitation”, because the only thing limiting your success is a negative attitude toward your “lacking” body part. Your bum is probably the envy of someone else.
Dress for Optimal Body Image Success
If you are feeling blue about your (you fill in the blank), work your impressive assets. I have a friend who thinks she is “hippy”, but she knows how to draw attention away from her lower half by wearing great sleeveless tops to accentuating her amazing arms and delicate neckline. Love your body by wearing great clothes that compliment your favourite features; choosing the right wardrobe will help increase your body confidence. Wish your legs were longer? Stay away from cropped pants and three-quarter length skirts. Opt for longer bottoms to elongate your figure and feel fabulous.
Try to Ignore Unrealistic Images and Imagine Total Body Acceptance
This one is tough, but it is a key point for finding contentment with what you wish you could change. Someone else always looks more attractive than we might feel. The media wants to flood our minds with their conjecture of “perfectly proportioned people”, but try to remember their financial motivation for cultivating and perpetuating these ideas. Focus less on what various companies are trying to sell you, and more on what is realistic for your individual body type. You will nurture acceptance and create happiness.
Celebrate Your Individual, Healthy Body
Your body is an amazing machine. It functions in fine form, regardless of “imperfections”, for all of the tasks you require of it, from hoisting kids to slugging laundry up and down the stairs, not to mention growing and birthing babies in the first place. So, while most of us may not be as thin as Heidi Klum appears to be a day after delivery, we might ask ourselves if she should really be the yardstick by which we are measuring. There is a reason she is in front of the camera providing for her children while the rest of us common folk are working quietly behind the scenes raising ours. I’m content with my normality, what about you?