No Self Body-Shaming!

Speaking as one who has been critical of her body for years, I can tell you this: self body shaming does NOTHING for you except to make you feel bad. I’ve mentioned before the sneaky but effective way to help break through self-loathing: each and every time you look at yourself in the mirror (or in fact any shiny surface), say out loud (and the “out loud” part is very important!) “*hello, beautiful!”

That’s it. How does that help? Easy—hearing yourself say something positive about yourself causes a new “script” in your head. It may happen after saying “hello, beautiful!” a hundred times, or even ten times—but if you do this each time you see your reflection, your brain changes—-what used to be a put-down slowly but surely becomes a positive message.

Here’s what will happen, sooner or later. If you keep on saying something positive about yourself each and every time you look in the mirror, it becomes a new habit. That new habit, thinking and saying out loud that you are beautiful will gradually push out the self body-shaming.

Words are powerful; bad ones can make you feel awful. Good ones will lift you up. Try it’ it works. And FYI, someone who says mean and snarky things about you is NOT a friend. Be a friend to yourself and keep positive, beautiful!

*This is a technique from the classes given by the fabulous Noreen McDonald, my teacher. Check her out at http://www.noreenmcdonald.com.

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It’s Not Your Body, It’s the Clothes!

Is there anything more soul-sucking than trying on clothes you bring so hopefully to the dressing room—and none of them look good? It’s so discouraging, and you walk out of there feeling terrible about yourself. It’s too easy to blame your body, saying you are:

  1. Too fat
  2. Too thin
  3. Too old
  4. Too muscle-y
  5. Too flabby
  6. Too wrinkled
  7. Too soft

…and the list goes on.

Well, guess what—the problem isn’t you; it’s the clothes; really, it is. As time consuming as it can be, just take the time to try on different kind of clothes. Don’t let yourself get upset by sizes (after all, who knows but you?); just keep trying on different clothing lines. You WILL find what works for you.

Do not make the mistake of buying clothes in the size you want to be; buy clothes that fit you right now. If you start feeling discouraged, walk away. You can shop another day. But keep at it until you find what works for you.

Also, if you find something you love but it’s too short/too long/too loose/too tight/whatever, find yourself a good tailor. It’s well worth it. I have one in town that I love, and she does a great job.

Funny story: the last time I was there, we got talking and I wasn’t paying attention. The end result was that one of the tops I wanted shortened came out too short; not her fault.

So I took the top to a fabric store, and found a spool of gorgeous white lace that was about an inch and a half in width. The top itself is royal blue and white, and I’m in the process of sewing that lace on the bottom of it. So not only will it be the right length, but now it’s unique and looks great!

It took me years to find my own style; I made the classic mistake of following fashion trends. Some just did NOT work for me and I looked ridiculous. Once I stopped caring what other people thought and stopped chasing the current fashions, I found what worked for me, and best of all, what I liked.

In my 40s, I stopped wearing shorts and sleeveless tops. First of all, I felt they no longer looked good on me, and secondly, I didn’t want to look as if I thought I was 20 again. I found that capri and ankle-length jeans and slacks worked well for me, and short sleeve tops were cool and comfortable, and did not expose any wobbly bits.

Also, please don’t ever feel you are “too old” to wear nice clothes. Again, I recommend reading up on my own fashion icon, Iris Apfel (below). She is 95 years old, and she wears what she loves and what looks great on her.

So, please, don’t give up on yourself. Believe it or not, there are the perfect clothes for you out there. Just take the time to look and try things on; it’s well worth it.

YOU are worth it.