by Center for Change
Women anywhere from their teens, up to their 40’s have likely opened up a favorite magazine to find a “scandal” of a celebrity’s before and after photo-shopped picture. Whether these are a popularity stunt, or actual leaked photos, there is one reality, nearly all models and celebrities shown on magazines and television are either photo-shopped or altered in some way.
Photoshop is a photo editing program that can brush out extra weight, wrinkles, skin flaws, even the color of someone’s eyes can be changed. On-screen, camera lenses can be adjusted, people are wearing various forms of body cinchers and tighteners, and makeup contouring can fool any lens into making someone appear thinner, their nose appears smaller, and their muscles to look more defined.
It’s important that women of today are aware that what they see is not reality. We are comparing ourselves to an unrealistic ideal of beauty that is highly toxic and for some, incredibly dangerous. Teens are not the only group affected. An article by Rehabs.com titled “Dying to be Barbie,” highlights that four out of five 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat and 42% of girls in the first through third grades wish that they were thinner.
Possible reasons for this are that the dolls and images young children are being exposed to are highly unrealistic. Some of the first image ideals we have in life only sets us up for the exposure to thousands of unrealistic photo-shopped images and contoured bodies we’ll see in the media for years to come. What we see in the media affects us throughout our entire lives. We are constantly trying to attain something that cannot be attained.
The great news is that now we know what we are up against. Now we know that what we are seeing isn’t reality. Many celebrities who have been photo-shopped so severely have even spoken out against it. In reality, there is so much to love about who we are and what we really look like.
Fstoppers wrote an article featuring a video that was created by Buzzfeed showing four women who were given the opportunity to have a makeover, have their photos taken, then were photo-shopped just like in the magazines. They were expected to love the results, but in the end, they actually liked the way they really looked better. Their natural beauty and their inner beauty were enough.
These women, who may or may not have had some self-confidence to begin with, were shown a new reality. The fact is, most of us are not going to be photo-shopped into thinking how much better we look in real life, so we can find other ways to discover how beautiful we really are.
- Be grateful – We can all start on the path to feeling beautiful by being grateful. Wake up each morning and remind yourself of what you are grateful for. Be grateful for your great freckles that make you so unique. Be thankful for the stretch marks that came from having that beautiful child. And then, go deeper. Be grateful for another day to be alive. Appreciate the sound of the rain against the window or the gorgeous blue sky. Find something and write it down as a reminder for the day that you have something to be grateful for.
- Find things to love in others – It’s just a simple fact that when we are focused on the good in others, we focus less on what we may dislike about ourselves. Look beyond the physical though, and see the true good. Notice the young boy opening the door for his classmates, or the girl buying coffee for the person behind her in line. Notice the joy someone emits when they smile or their contagious laugh. Look for the good all around you, and you will instantly feel happiness.
- Love yourself – The fact is, you are you, and there are so many things to love. Others see it, and you deserve to as well. When you are going about your day, think of at least one thing you love about yourself. It can be your smile, your awesomely painted toes, the color of your eyes, or your funny personality. You can love that you are shy and quiet, because some people find that endearing, and you can even love how hard you worked to pass your last test. The things you can love about yourself are endless. Keep a list and look at it to remind yourself how incredible you are.
- Let your inner beauty shine – When there is so much to love about the world and about yourself, you can’t help but have something to appreciate. Use that for good and show the people around you how beautiful you are, from the inside. Give someone a smile who looks like they need one, compliment someone you don’t normally talk to, and simply be you.
The truth is, you are amazing just the way you are. Follow these steps each day to get the boost that you need and get on the path to being confident in who you are in a world that is so full of false ideals of beauty. The beauty that really matters comes from within.