I saw a meme the other day that I will probably add to this post later (I’m at work and the language in it is NSFW – or at least to be saved on my work computer). It says: “Girl, just fucking own it” on it and as soon as I saw it I was like “yes! That’s it!”
One thing that I have been ‘teaching myself’ is to own myself – my body, my thoughts and ideas, my life. Own everything about me and stop seeking validation from ‘the world’. But I also want to help other people learn to ‘own it’ in their life as well. I had a friend message me last night asking for support from some other ladies as well as myself on her journey to having a better body image. She struggles with self-esteem and wanted ideas on what to do to help boost that esteem. This warmed my heart because I want nothing more than to help people. I told her that you have to take care of ‘you’- make yourself happy- and to know that she has people who are there for her to support her and lift her up.
We all struggle with body image, I don’t care how confident you come across. I don’t care if you’re a Victoria’s Secret super model or a housewife or a lawyer or a doctor or a student – we all have things we are unhappy with about ourselves. And that’s okay. It’s okay to have those moments where you look in the mirror and think “ugh!”. What’s no okay is letting that moment own your life. You take that moment, you take a deep breath, and you figure out what to do to counteract that moment. This was something that my therapist taught me. Whenever I would find myself getting down, I wrote it down in a notebook and then I wrote down something I could do to counteract how I was feeling.
Is your hair throwing you off? Try a different hair style. Put it in a ponytail/messy bun if you usually wear it down or vice versa. Do you have some PMS blemishes? Try a new lipstick color. Put your attention elsewhere because we all know PMS blemishes won’t go away. Tired? Do something that will wake you up/perk you up. Listen to that guilty pleasure song you love on the way to work and dance at red lights. Go get a mani/pedi and pamper yourself because you had a long day at work. Take a zumba class so you can get out that annoyance you have for your boss/sibling/whoever. Splurge on that killer dress you’ve been keeping an eye on and then go rock it at dinner with your girlfriends! Do whatever it is that makes you think to yourself “oh yes, I am on my A-game today!”
And yes, I know that some of these things are superficial. “But I thought that body positivity was about embracing yourself just the way that you are. Why are you saying change things?” But for me- and I know this may not be the same for everybody- changing things that make me feel better about myself on the outside improves my outlook of myself on the inside. The key word in that sentence was “me”. I’m not changing my hairstyle because a boy told me it looks better that way, or because my mom made a snippy comment about it, or my coworkers whispered behind my back – I’m changing my hairstyle because I want to. I, me, myself. Like I said in my last post, your mental health is just as important as the rest of your health. If your head isn’t in the right place your heart will never get there.
It’s okay to change as long as you are doing it for yourself and not for other people. Now repeat that.
The picture that I posted of myself at the beginning of this post is my example of this. I dyed my hair black this past weekend- like raven black. I naturally have dark hair so the color isn’t a huge stretch for me but I am also one of those people who has been cursed with grey hairs since I was a teenager. Nobody else really notices them but I do. When I look in the mirror to do my hair – I see grey – and I absolutely hate it. HATE IT. So I dyed my hair to cover them up. It wasn’t a big change, I didn’t go from black to blonde or blonde to bright red, but those damn grey hairs are non-existent right now and I feel fabulous. I have been on a selfie spree – including that picture above – and I look at myself and think “oh yes, you are hot Jenna Jay. Rawr.” Do you know how good that feels?! I did something that made me happy. I covered up my grey hairs because they’re an issue for me and my confidence took a major boost.
Don’t be afraid to change because it’s taboo. Don’t feel guilty about it. Do you. Make yourself happy. Treat the “me” in you. Be selfish. Buy that dress, or that bikini, or take that class, or dye your hair that color, or wear that color lipstick – do “that” which you have been afraid of doing because you’re worried about how it will be accepted even though you know that’s what you want and that’s what will make you do a sassy hair flip when you look in the mirror and say “yes girl. You got this!” Being able to look in the mirror and say that to yourself, in my eyes, is body positivity at it’s finest.
Just fucking own it.