Anna Schultz-Running Into Ocean Arms Outstretched Inspirational

A guide to loving yourself as taught by Iskra Lawrence

I don’t think we’ll ever be able to fully comprehend just how big of a role the media plays in our perception of beauty. For the past decade, the majority of images used to advertise featured people that had been photoshopped beyond recognition. These actions severely distorted society’s beauty ideals. 

We are being told by these ads that we are at our most beautiful with our stretch marks wiped away, our freckles erased, our stomach rolls smoothed out. They are saying that the things that make us human, unique and ourselves are ugly.  I spent a lot of time growing up hating myself because I believed I would never be good enough compared to the women on the cover of a magazine. 

But times are changing and society’s damaged view of beauty has been challenged. We are finally starting to realize that it is what was once deemed imperfect that is actually what makes us beautiful. Models like Iskra Lawrence are changing the way fashion and beauty are portrayed in the media. 

Lawrence has been one of many pioneering this self-love movement. Throughout her years of modeling, she struggled with eating disorders and body dysmorphia. Now, she is an ambassador for the National Eating Disorder Association. 

Still, I know that self-love is easier said than done. 

Iskra Lawrence gave a Ted Talk a few years back that addresses some of the hurdles people face when trying to attain self-love. Here are some highlights I pulled from her Ted Talk and YouTube channel to help you take a leap and discover how to fall in love with yourself.

  1. 1. Take care of yourself:

    Eat healthy, get active, and stay positive. Get in the habit of fueling yourself with veggies, water, runs, and affirmations! Or whatever combo works best for you. At the end of the day, if you are doing what you need to do to be healthy for yourself, you should be so proud of yourself in your own skin.

  2. 2. Success does not depend on our attractiveness:

    Success is determined by your work ethic and determination, not the shape of your body or the dimples on your cheeks.

  3. 3. Recognize that social media is dangerous:

    Even though apps like Instagram and Twitter are fun, we shouldn’t allow them to give us unrealistic expectations about life. Recognize that social media is more of a celebration of the best parts of our lives rather than an everyday reality. 

  4. 4. Focus on what you love about yourself:

    There’s so much about you that is amazing. Get to know your body. Find your strengths and your favorite parts and be grateful for them!

  5. 5. Do the Mirror Challenge:

    Whenever you are feeling less than, stand in front of the mirror. I know this is one of the last things you want to do, but trust me, it works. See your insecurities. Now, change the way you think about them. In her Ted Talk, Iskra tells a story about a group of women that stood in front of a mirror and changed the way they saw what they were insecure about. One woman said, "My stretch marks enabled me to give birth to my children." Another said, "I love my strong legs, I love running and it makes me happy." Change your mindset!

  6. 6. Gratitude List:

    List five things you love about life. Whether they be health related, appearance related, or life related, recognize them and celebrate!

  7. 7. Spread your love to others:

    When you feel really ready, go out there and tell others about how they can attain self-love too.

There is something so incredible and sexy about loving the skin you’re in: the skin that has freckles from the sun, stretch marks from growth, muscles from running, healthy little rolls on your stomach. It’s these things that show that we have lived and cared and been alive. 

Love yourself no matter where your body is. You’ve got this.

 

Link to her Ted Talk:

watch

 

Link to her Youtube channel:

Iskralawrence