Girls today have a lot of pressure from society to look, act, think and behave a certain way. Trying to measure up to photoshopped and airbrushed images will only leave girls, and women, feeling inadequate.
A video circulating on social media sites features Colbie Caillat and several other women sharing the message that we don't need to please everyone else. We just need to like ourselves. We shouldn't try so hard to match up with the world's ideals. Rather, we should embrace our unique beauty. We are good enough.
Make-up, hair extensions, plastic surgery and other ways to alter our appearance are not who we are inside.
While trying to live up to unrealistic expectations, girls and women are willing to go to great lengths to make themselves look "perfect." This is an unhealthy obsession. We need to teach ourselves and our daughters that we are beautiful just the way we are. Our beauty comes from within. Being beautiful inside — caring, generous, full of love and integrity — is what makes us who we are. We are enough just the way we are. Who we are is beautiful.
Live a healthy lifestyle
Exercise, the way we eat and how we take care of our bodies affect how we think, our mood and our health. It's OK to have desserts in moderation and to chill on the couch sometimes. Enjoy life, but also make sure you eat foods that give your body the nutrition it needs. Each person has a different body type and different needs. Exercises are adaptable for all body types. Exercise can elevate moods and help you feel good. Proper hygiene and sleep are also important. Taking care of your body helps it function the way it needs to. Don't compare your body to another. If you're healthy and feel good, you're respecting yourself and your body.
Dress for you
Some girls and women think that you have to dress a certain way to be accepted by others or to be attractive to males. Instead, seek to dress how you're comfortable. Make sure you show respect for yourself in your dress. Wearing clothes that are too revealing, too tight, don't fit properly or that make you feel uncomfortable or like you're compromising your standards are examples of dressing for others instead of yourself. Find clothing that makes you feel good, confident, comfortable and enhances your natural beauty.
Embrace your unique identity and attributes
People come in all shapes, sizes, abilities and physical appearances. Height, weight, hair length and color, complexion, athletic ability, talents, strengths, weaknesses and likes and dislikes make up who we are. We are meant to be unique and different from each other. That is what makes us beautiful as individuals. We should embrace these unique qualities in ourselves and in others. Learn to recognize your own skills and unique beauty. Avoid putting yourself, or others, down and remember the beauty of each individual and what they, and you, have to offer the world.
It's easy to become discouraged by seeing the looks or achievements of others and thinking you don't measure up. Each person has strengths and weaknesses, but we often tend to compare our weaknesses to another's strengths instead of recognizing our unique abilities or looks. Strive to look for the good regardless of what the world may try to tell you about your appearance or talents. Don't try to please the world. You are good enough. You are beautiful. You are unique. You are YOU.
Wendy Jessen is a regular contributor for familyshare.com and frequently does media reviews. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.