Every woman says things that we might all take as harmless statements- comments that they want us to think were meant light-heartedly or jokingly. But when they say them, do they REALLY mean them in that manner? I don’t think so.  Let’s take a look at how body image statements can be harming women more than they realize, and how to choose uplifting words instead.

  1. If I looked like (insert a celebrity)…. 

Aka:  IF only I looked like a certain person,  all of my problems would be solved and my wildest dreams would come true.

Let me be honest with each of you. (This is something that has taken me a long time to truly accept.)

The truth is.. it’s never going to happen!

  • You are never going to look like that model gracing the covers of Sports Illustrated.
  • You are never going to look like that one girl that you saw walking across the street or your friend or sister or ANYONE ELSE.
  • You are never going to look like the “you” of the past, or the “you” of the future

Why? Because THEY don’t even look like that!!  Because we were all created to be unique. We were all created perfectly in the image of a higher more powerful being. We are given one body to honor and accept.

Why not just work on being the happiest, healthiest YOU?

Society and the media try to set these ‘standards’ in our heads at a young age telling us that being beautiful means one thing. That just simply is not the truth. Beauty is all around us and is in many different forms (By the way.. that girl with the body you so admire still has problems even with her ‘perfect’ body).

  1. “Hahaha could you imagine ME in this?! Would never happen”

You are with your girlfriends shopping and you see an outfit you love…but you don’t feel as though you have the right body for it. So you use humor to cover up your feeling.  Why do you do this?

This ‘issue’ is something that is probably on our minds every second of every day and affecting decisions like ‘should I eat that?’ to ‘could I wear that?’ Joking about it does no one any good at all. It changes nothing.

I guarantee you that so many other women are thinking and feeling the same way that you are feeling at this very second. Why not talk about it? We need to learn to accept ourselves as we are.  Maybe try that outfit you are dying to try! Because guess what? It could be great!

  1. That infamous statement “Well of course you can wear that!” 

Working at a boutique I hear women say this about me and my co-workers constantly. All of the women that work here are varying sizes and shapes! We all have our issues and we all have those things that we don’t like about our bodies. And guess what? We DO have things in the shop that simply do not work on us. It’s no big secret.

I am happy to let you know what wouldn’t work on me in the shop, and so will all of the other girls.

We do watch our words in this regard.  We say things as a statement like, ‘I can’t wear that skirt because it cuts me off in the wrong spot,’ or ‘that actually doesn’t work for me because it’s too tight around the tush.’ These are matter-of-fact statements. What works for one person simply won’t work for everyone… we all have different sizes and shapes. It has nothing to do with having an “ideal” body, even if you believe there is such a thing.

  1. “I’ll come back and buy that once I’ve lost (insert # of pounds).”

Um what? But you JUST had it on. It looked great!

Dress to reflect what you feel about yourself on the inside. Don’t dress to be the girl on that magazine cover.  Or the friend you envy because “she eats whatever she wants and doesn’t gain an ounce”

Why not just vow to make choices in all areas of your life to make you healthy?

Soon you won’t be saying you will come back once you lose those 5-25 pounds.. you will just buy the outfit! Why? Because you know that you are beautiful and that THIS very outfit helps to express how you are feeling on the inside. THIS outfit is a glimpse of your beautiful spirit that you are able to share with everyone around you. So buy it and forget the rest.

  1. “I can’t wear this because of my (arms/legs/knees/stomach/etc this list is endless).”

As Stylists at the shop,  we are able to work with a vast variety of women each day.  It became apparent to us that there is a trend:  Self-criticism is generational. What one generation of women focus in on is different than the next, on average.

Honestly, if that isn’t proof that the media has influenced the way that women think about their own bodies over the years, then I honestly don’t know what is.

The media is always changing its standards to decide what is beautiful.

Maybe for one decade it’s super athletic looking bodies, maybe it’s curvy, maybe it’s small busted…who knows what will be next.

Here is what we have noticed:

  • Women in their 70’s focus on their height.
  • Women in their 60’s focus on their arms.
  • Women in their 50’s focus on their knees.
  • Women of their 40’s focus on their butt.
  • Women of their 30’s focus on mid-section.
  • Women in their 20’s are doing whatever it takes to get those washboard abs.

We go to endless lengths to cover up the things about ourselves that we don’t like. In the meantime we are covering up our true character.

Ultimately, it is about mindset.  It is about adapting the mentality that nobody defines me but me.  It is about acceptance and stepping out boldly, shoulders back, head up, living out a style that is all mine.  Who’s with me?!