In an increasingly digital world, it is impossible to escape the omnipresent media portrayal of beauty: ads everywhere consistently portray women who are way below the average healthy body weight; female protagonists in mainstream films are almost exclusively made up of thin, flawless women; and the average woman’s war with excessive, misleading airbrushing has finally come to the attention of the public.

 

It is nearly impossible to watch television, ride the subway, or even check your Facebook without being inundated with ten advertisements for miracle weight loss pills and the same standard media message about beauty: that you must be rail thin and have perfectly symmetrical and flawless features, or else you inevitably fall short.

 

As women of this digital age, we must learn to somehow overcome the pitfall of determining our own self-worth by how closely we resemble some artificially manufactured fantasy. Here are some tips on how to rock your unique body and feel comfortable in your own skin:

 

1. Don’t compare yourself to others. This is the most important step towards accepting your own body. Try to remember that no one has a monopoly on beauty. There are many different definitions and manifestations of beauty and beyond that, everyone is self conscious about something. No one is perfect, and we all experience doubt in ourselves from time to time. Try to focus on the things you like about yourself instead of dwelling on things out of your control.

 

2. Know your styles. Trends come and go, but certain styles in mainstream fashion only look good on the runway. Stick to the styles that you know work for you. When you are shopping, avoid reaching for the dress that you know looks two sizes too small. Not all trends are worth following, so stay true to your own sense of style and know what works for your own body type. When in doubt, consult a good friend!

 

 3. Do not look in the mirror 24/7. It can be tempting to check your reflection every time you pass hallway mirrors, car windows, or even phone screens, but try not to worry about what you look like 24 hours a day. Nobody looks perfect 100 percent of the time. If your hair is doing something funky or there is food stuck in your teeth, trust that a friend will have your back. It can be hard to ignore the persistent itch to check if you look presentable every time you get the chance, but try to remember that you just look like you, and you are beautiful!

 

4. Treat yourself! Everyone has those days when you just do not feel so hot. That is totally normal. On those days, seek the company of your best gal pals, curl up in your comfiest sweatpants, turn on Netflix, and treat yourself! Whether that means allowing yourself to watch an extra hour of your favorite show, bringing out the Ben & Jerry’s, or buying yourself something pretty, know that it is OK to splurge a little for your own sake.

 

5. Get some sun and get moving! Sometimes it can be hard to motivate yourself to exercise, especially when it just feels like a chore. Try to find ways to shake things up and make it fun! If you do, you will definitely feel the benefits; you will look and feel great. Not only does getting exercise boost your metabolism and make you feel stronger and more toned, it releases beneficial natural endorphins. Try exercising outside in the sun if you can; the fresh air will give you a boost, and the sun’s rays are proven to improve your mood and encourage the production of vitamin D. As long as you make sure you protect yourself from the sun’s harmful UV rays by wearing sunscreen, a little bit of sun can go a long way!

 

What do you think about this topic? Let me know by posting in the comments below or shoot me a tweet @JenksUOhMeASoda