An invisible yet tangible pressure is often placed on women concerning their bodies as well as how they and others perceive them. Women are bombarded with idealistic beauty standards from an early age, and as they grow older, these pressures persist. Plenty of women struggle to achieve body acceptance as they try to meet the demands of society, adhere to the unrealistic portrayals of the media, and listen to harsh criticism from themselves.
Loving one’s body is difficult to achieve. It is an elusive goal women can never really obtain because something always seems wrong with their appearance: their thighs are too thick, their arms are too flabby, and their stomach is too big. It is an endless cycle of self-criticism that bubbles into life-long insecurities and doubts. If this cycle is not broken, it can even lead to significant emotional distress and mental health issues.
The road to attaining body acceptance is long and arduous, bringing many challenges and obstacles you must deal with yourself. It’s a good thing, then, that you can do plenty of things to make this journey more manageable, such as dabbling in fashion. Styling yourself with fun outfits and entering a world of accessories allows you to reclaim your body and redefine your self-worth.
In this article, you’ll see how fashion is not simply a means of escape from the confines of your mind that have led you to believe your body is anything less than perfect.Rather, fashion is meant to help you embrace your physical appearance without shame.
Understand Your Body Type
Body acceptance is a healing journey, and every journey starts with the need to understand. In this case, you must understand that various body shapes exist, and each type has its own strong points. Long dresses may look better on someone with a triangle-shaped figure, while tights compliment women with hourglass proportions. Try to identify your body type first and then make fashion choices based on it to highlight the curves of your body and embrace your unique beauty. Dressing in alignment with one’s body type is not about fitting into a mold but breaking free from it.
Wear What You Want to Wear
Accepting yourself entails being comfortable in your skin and making choices that can benefit you. Once you’ve figured out what body type you fall into, try to determine which styles and cuts suit you the most and pick the ones you want to don on your frame and add to your closet. Simply put: you should dress for yourself, not for other people. Your wardrobe should reflect who you are, not what the world expects you to be. Once you start wearing the pieces you want, you’ll be amazed at the boost of self-esteem you get when you look in the mirror.
Experiment with Different Fashion Styles
The bravest thing you can do for yourself as you grapple with the difficulties of body acceptance is step out of your comfort zone. This is a giant leap forward, one you can take by simply trying new styles or colors you previously shied away from, perhaps due to doubts or insecurities. It’s time to set those negative thoughts aside and allow yourself to breathe. Do not be afraid to explore different fashion styles and see what looks best on you. Each unique style you try becomes an affirmation, saying, “I am more than what I or society have boxed me into.” Experiment with clothes to celebrate your body and reshape the traditional narratives around body image.
Recite Positive Affirmations
Speaking of affirmations, research studies found that reciting positive affirmations can help reduce body dissatisfaction. This is an excellent habit to pick up if you’re aiming for body acceptance. On days when you feel like you’re not enough or your clothes look hideous on you, step back, take a deep breath, and repeat positive mantras: “I am beautiful in every attire. My body is perfect as it is.” These simple yet compelling words can shift your internal narrative and self-perceptions.
Picture yourself donning an outfit you love and standing in front of the mirror. While the outfit makes you look stunning, the inner voice reaffirms your beauty and worth, adding a glow that no outfit can provide by itself. Fashion becomes a medium to amplify that inner voice of body positivity.
Ditch the Numbers, They’re Not You
Size tags in clothing can sometimes become sources of stress and unnecessary comparisons. But here’s a fact: these numbers lack consistency across brands and don’t truly represent the diverse range of women’s bodies. Therefore, do not be bound by these numbers because you are more than that. Focus instead on how an outfit makes you feel and how it helps you embrace your body’s unique shape and size.
Use Accessories as Another Way to Love Your Body
Aside from clothes, fashion is also about choosing the right accessories. A statement necklace or a bejeweled watch are gorgeous pieces to flaunt, but did you know you can use these to facilitate body positivity? For instance, if there’s a part of your body you’ve been insecure about, adorning it with an accessory can shift your perspective and help you see its beauty anew. Over time, these small fashion choices can positively impact your relationship with your body, teaching you to cherish each part for its distinctive beauty.
Place Comfort First
While it’s easy to lose yourself chasing the latest trends, remember to prioritize your comfort in whatever you wear. When you choose comfort, you are listening to your body’s needs. Those sky-high heels may look stylish, but can you handle walking in those things for an hour straight? There is no need to push yourself or your body. There are other more comfortable alternatives to stiletto heels, which do not compromise your fashion sense. These small choices in clothing signify that you prioritize your well-being over fleeting trends, a hallmark of genuine body positivity.
Find Inspiration from Others Like You
One important thing to remember as you’re trying to heal your relationship with your body is this: you are not alone. There are body-positive influencers you can learn from as they talk openly about their struggles with body acceptance and teach you how to overcome your own insecurities. These role models are testaments that body acceptance is achievable, and their confidence can inspire you to embrace your body wholeheartedly.
Time to Embrace Your Beauty with Fashion
It’s easy to feel less than enough when society constantly shoves rigid beauty standards down your throat, but remember that you can drown their opinions out and focus on what makes you happy with yourself. Your body is a masterpiece in its own right. You don’t have to force yourself to fit into the mold that society created since you can always carve out your own space. Do not let society dictate what you can or cannot wear. Use fashion to express yourself unabashedly, without restraints or restrictions. Wear your clothes proudly and embrace the beauty of your own body.