International Women’s Day: Appreciating Your Beauty
We can be so critical in how we see ourselves. Too fat, too skinny, bad skin, bad hair… every person has one aspect of their bodies that they do not like or wish they could change. Add in chronic illness, scars or an ostomy; these insecurities amplify. beauty
If I ask you to name all the things you love in the world, how long will it take you to say yourself?
My guess is that it would be last on your list. Many of us neglect self-love. This is because being a woman in a society that revolves around the typical beauty standards is difficult. With media platforms playing on our insecurities, it’s hard not to compare yourself to others.
It took me a long time to learn how to love myself. I had my ostomy at the age of 13 so growing up and trying to fit in was a hard task. For a while I hated the way I looked, I hated that I couldn’t dress the same as my friends, I hated that I had scars and an ostomy. It took me over 5 years to finally realise that having scars is the norm for many people.
If you’re struggling with body image and loving yourself, then here are some of my tips on how you can start to love yourself again:
Appreciate your physical beauty
Take care of yourself and your physical appearance on a regular basis, soon enough, this will become a habit. It’s amazing what a bath and a face mask will do to your mood.
Don’t compare yourself to others
When we compare ourselves to others, we always look at those who are perceived to be doing better than us. Try and follow more positive people that are on the same journey as you. I unfollowed individuals such as Kim Kardashian and started following inspiring ostomates and that really made a big difference.
Celebrate your achievements
Celebrate the fact that your alive, and are able to do things that your illness didn’t allow you to do. For me, it was the fact that I didn’t have to run to the toilet every 10 minutes.
Fake it till you make it
Even if you don’t feel confident about how you look, try to have a positive outlook. When you’re getting ready for the day, tell yourself you look good, even if you don’t believe it. Replace a critical thought with a positive affirmation: “I look great today!”. Post pictures of your insecurity, show people what you’ve overcome and how much you’re rocking your scar/ostomy. By posting pictures you’re not only raising awareness but you’re also educating others on what you’ve been through.
‘Don’t let socially constructed ideas about beauty lower your self-esteem. There are no rules to beauty. Accept and love yourself as you are. Embrace your flaws and get comfortable in your own skin. Wear your imperfections like they don’t need a reason to be fashionable.’
– Vex King
Through these steps, I learnt how to love myself again. All that positive energy has encouraged me to raise more awareness for ostomates and bring my two passions of fashion and helping others together to create Aura Clothing. It’s been an incredible journey so far and I owe it all to the amazing women that I have connected with over the last 9 months.
Currently, my life is pretty hectic. I solely run Aura Clothing and I am a full-time university student. Sometimes it’s hard to balance everything and find time to look after myself.
However, all that hard work is worth it when I receive messages from inspiring women telling me how confident my clothing has made them.
‘When women support each other, incredible things happen.’
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wake up every day feeling positive and happy. I still get bad days, I still get days where I don’t feel as confident. And that’s fine, because at the end of the day I’m only human.
Thank you for reading.