January is an interesting month. It’s full of hope, possibilities and fresh starts. We set good intentions, establish goals, and visualise our future selves. After all, if we don’t make plans, it’s difficult to take steps towards success and that beach body. But what about the here and now?
We’re bombarded with adverts on weight loss, surgery, holidays, gyms and quick diet-fixesthis time of year which can be a quite pressurising for some people. For example we never think about those with eating disorders at this time of year – they must be having a rough time of it. But what about how we look, think, and feel right on this day, right this second? We may not have the body of our dreams yet, we may not have lost our holiday weight, and, indeed, we may not want to. But what do we do right now to look and feel our best in our own skin?
To me, accepting our looks and bodies seems to be the holy grail. Imagine if we could all achieve this and the time, effort, and soul searching it would save? After a lifetime’s exposure to media views on women’s bodies, and a steady diet of glossy magazines and airbrushed models, this is not something that can happen overnight. But there are baby steps we can take towards this.
- Celebrate your body for everything it is. It holds you up every day, breathes, walks, runs, dances, laughs, and keeps you safe. Take a moment to recognize that. Your legs may not have the upper thigh gap, but they have just walked a mile in three-inch heels.
- Instead of making a list of all the things you want to change about yourself, make a list of the things you like. You might surprise yourself.
- When you look in the mirror, consider the whole person. You’re a human being, not a collection of flaws and things to be perfected.
- Quieten down your inner critic and be kind to yourself.
- Do something nice for yourself. Spend an hour reading, going for a walk, taking a bubble bath, getting a massage, etc. Make it something to look forward to.
Looking Good, Feeling Great
In my opinion most people think around the same things you do when they look at themselves in the mirror. A sad fact of the world we live in! But if you exude confidence and seem happy and self-assured, it transforms your appearance:
1. Get familiar with your body. If you haven’t done so already, figure out what styles will work for you. Start by thinking about your body type and carrying out some research on what suits your shape (handyl link here). Go to your favourite shop and try on some clothes that are meant to suit your body shape. Sometimes I like to try on things I wouldn’t usually try on, and have found some gems in the past!
2. Buy the right underwear. Your underwear is like your primer. It supports, protects, and creates a silhouette so you need to find garments that are comfortable and fit properly. If you’ve never been measured for a bra, do this now. We all have that one bra that digs in to every imaginable place – get rid! As well as form and function, underwear can give you a boost and make you feel more confident. Find pretty styles that you’ll love to wear, like Tutti Rouge and other brands HOF, even a cheap set from H&M or Primark will give you a boost if you’re strapped for cash.
3. Establish some basics for your wardrobe. These are fallback items that can be dressed up or down and will see through many different occasions. This should include a pair of good trousers, jeans, LBD, white shirt, and blazer.
Looking good doesn’t mean being a size 8, having legs like Swifty, or whatever your ideal is. It means embracing everything that you are, flaws and all, and presenting your best possible self. It’s about acceptance, confidence and finding your own personal style. I haven’t been on this earth long, but I know that the worst possible thing you can do is compare yourself to others. Above all, it’s about how you feel on the inside and reflecting that in your physical appearance.