To start: should you focus on your image?
Answer: Yes, maybe. Definitely, if it makes you happy. Wear makeup; don’t wear makeup; shave your hair; grow it out long; wear dresses, suits, sweatpants, cowboy boots, heels, or sneakers.
Helpful hint: In the best way possible, no one else cares. So be creative, be expressive, and do what makes you feel happy and comfortable. Just remember that you are so much more than your image. You are funny, kind, smart, talented, strong, gorgeous, deserving of everything that you receive. Yes, I do mean you. And I know it can be hard to remember your accomplishments sometimes. So here are five steps to remembering your weight beyond the scale:
Don’t compare yourself to others
We all come from different backgrounds. You have done so much to get where you are, and you deserve it all. The world could use a little more empathy and love, and a little less negative competition.
What will make you happy today? Set a goal, and get it done. What do you want to get done this week? This month? In the next five years? Set goals, and hold yourself accountable. Setting goals is a good way to stay on a track. Maybe you want to be the second woman ever to win a Medal of Honor. Maybe you want to finish fifty television shows by the time you turn twenty. Maybe you want to graduate college, get married, or travel the world. Maybe your goal is to find your passions. Write it down and get it done.
Helpful hint: Everytime you accomplish a goal, find a way to celebrate! Eat some cake, have a dance party, you deserve it!
Take it All with a Grain of Salt
Where’d you get all that confidence from? Maybe don’t have that second slice of cake. That looks too heavy for you, let me carry it.
The amount of biting comments you get can wear you down. So many people telling you what to do, and a lot of the advice is contradictory. Breathe. If it hurts, let it. Acknowledge how it makes you feel or how you can learn from it, and form your own course of action from there. Peel yourself off of that floor and move on. Not everyone’s advice will work for you. Not everyone is trying to hurt you. They might have their own burdens too, and you can grow together.
When you’re in college, get involved in as many things as humanly possible. Find your passions. Push yourself outside your comfort zone. Clubs, sports, service, greek life, a job. When you’re busy, your mind doesn’t have time to focus on anything negative. Then you can look back at all your accomplishments and take pride in what you’ve done.
Take Care of Yourself
You can exercise to stay in shape. You can also exercise to keep those endorphins flowing and to know that you’re being healthy. Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep so you can be more productive tomorrow. Eat your vegetables. Eat that slice of cake. Drink half your weight in fluid ounces of water every day (e.g., if you weighed 10 pounds, you would drink 5 ounces of water and even more if you exercise). Forgive yourself if you can’t fit everything into your schedule. Stay healthy, stay happy.
Finally, celebrate everything you have done to get you here. You should be proud! You are uniquely, beautifully you.
As women, we are frequently objectified or only recognized for our looks. When the media constantly bombards us with one-dimensional women who are only valued for their appearance, it dehumanizes us and belittles our accomplishments. We are not someone’s property. We are complex and powerful people.
The truth is, we weigh so much more than that number on the scale.
*Inspired by the “I Weigh” Movement