How do you see yourself? Do you see beauty? Laughter and light? Do you see the way your eyes sparkle when you laugh? Or do you see a crooked nose? A weak chin? Crows feet around those eyes? Dove recently conducted a compelling social experiment which I found super interesting.
I’ll let you watch the video, but the gist of it is this: women were asked to describe themselves to a FBI trained portrait artist. You know the guy. He draws suspects from people’s descriptions of them. They were then asked to describe another woman they had met earlier in the day. The comparisons were shockingly different.
We are so harsh on ourselves. Our body image, our idea of beauty, it’s never quite right (just ask Jonathan how many times I’ve broken down in angry tears over something only I could see about my appearance). Why? Why are we our worst critics?
Day in and day out I see myself in the mirror. I see the pimple hiding under my chin or the circles forming under my eyes. I see a little extra bloat one day and sunken cheeks another day. I see my hair on it’s best days and on it’s worst days. And I am critical. But why?
Is it because I see myself every day so I see the little differences? Is it my perfectionism that points out all the crazy new growth at the crown of my head? Is it the way I was raised? The role models in my life never being content with their outside?
Whatever it is, it’s crazy. We need to stop being our worst enemies. We need to start seeing the sparkle in our laughing eyes, not the crows feet in the corners. We need to believe it when people tell us how beautiful we are. And sincerely thank them. We need to stop this self doubt, self distaste now. We need to stop comparing. Why? We need to stop robbing ourselves of our happiness and love. For us. For our self esteem. We need to love us.
And if you can’t do that for you, think about the next generation. Think about your daughters and sons when you complain about that extra fat on the inside of your leg that is stubbornly sticking around. Think about the example we are setting. There is nothing better than the pride, the happiness, the excitement consuming Harry’s entire body when he sees himself in the mirror. His face breaks into a grin. His whole body shakes. I never want him to stop seeing himself like that. I never want my son to think he is inadequate. To think he is not the beautiful human he is. I think that would just break my heart.
Let’s start right now. Tell me something beautiful about you. About your outside. I’ll go first. I have a big, bright smile that reaches to my eyes every time. And I love that smile because it can make Harry break out into his own stunning grin. And it can make my husband fall in love just a little more every time.