Every body is beautiful.
In Asian culture, it’s almost impossible to go to a dinner or family gathering without someone commenting on how you look. If it’s not “you’re too skinny,” then it’s “you’re too fat,” or “why don’t you eat enough/maybe you should eat less?” Sadly, I’m not exaggerating whatsoever. Whether it’s from societal expectations, social media, or even our own family, the notion of appearance is ingrained within our minds. At 5’7” and 125 pounds, I’d be wearing a size XL and be considered overweight by Chinese standards.
For the longest time I’ve always had the hardest time accepting my body. A lot of it has to do with growing up in a society that places so much emphasis on looks, especially in this current age of social media where it’s near impossible to ignore an advertisement featuring a perfect 5’10” model with the ideal beach body. It struck me as ironic when people would compliment my body when all I could do was notice the faults‒like the softness around my belly and arms (which I self-depracatingly call baby fat) and my somewhat saggy mom boobs.
In order for me to love my body more I had to understand a few things. Firstly, everyone’s perspective is different. In order to see yourself in a new light you have to look beyond your own standards and what society dictates. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. So rather than focusing on what I don’t love about my body, I’m focusing on what I do love about my body. I often receive compliments on my legs, with which I agree as they’ve remained a constant through my various weight fluctuations. I also appreciate my wider hips and curves.
But if I were to get deeper I love my body because it gave me two wonderful children. Some people aren’t so lucky. My breasts sag because I was able to breastfeed both of them, one for eight months and the other for sixteen months. Again, this seemingly natural process is something that we can take for granted when you hear about mothers who have difficulty producing milk or their children not latching. I’m thankful for my body for bearing the challenges of parenthood.
So here are some tips for loving your own body:
- It’s easy to compare yourself to someone else but the bottom line is simple: your body is yours. If you keep focusing on people’s expectations you will never meet your own and you’re here to make yourself happy, not anybody else.
Focus on your inner-self.
- It may seem oversimplified but when you feel good inside, you also feel good outside. Confidence radiates its own beauty. How we feel about ourselves affects how we present ourselves outwardly. Challenge your concept of perfection.
Talk to yourself.
- Okay, so this one might sound a little crazy, but talk to yourself as if you’re someone else. We often our own worst enemy, so try being your own cheerleader for once. When you look at yourself in the mirror, be affirmative and imagine you’re giving advice to a friend. Be your own coach because if you’re not cheering for yourself then no one else is going to cheer for you.
- Get the clothes that are really you. In an ideal world everyone wants to be a size small and wear whatever they want. But our bodies are diverse. A dress may fit my curves to perfection but look plain on a narrower frame. Knowing what clothes and styles match your shape can enhance your beauty. Also don’t focus on sizes. I can range from an XS to XL depending on where I shop. It doesn’t matter in the end. If it looks good and it makes you feel good, own it.
Surround yourself with positive people.
- It’s so easy to fall into the trap of listening to other opinions so if you do need a second ear let it be to be someone who will support you and give you reinforcing critique. Feedback is often mistaken as something bad, but when it’s given thoughtfully and with the intent to improve, it’s invaluable. Even the not so great feedback (e.g., the kind that resembles nitpicking more than actual advice) can also provide some information that you can use for your betterment.
When I was asked to participate in the Flaunt Your Shape campaign with Coco Reef Swim and LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™ fiber a few months ago, I actually had to think about it. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to be vulnerable and put myself out there. Then I realized literally everyone has issues with their bodies, whether it’s someone who never goes to the gym because they’re too afraid of failing or someone who constantly works out and never feels good enough. So with a little hesitation, I said yes because I wanted to make a statement. That even though I’m all over social media wearing funky fashion-forward items, that confidence still hides a well of insecurities.
A common challenge for me is when I do a shoot where I have to wear a swimsuit. There’s really no hiding your body in this scenario. But when I put on Coco Reef Swimwear with LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™ fiber it actually felt like the swimsuit was made for me. It’s rare for swimwear to make me feel comfortable and proud to strut my stuff. These suits are also resistant to fiber breakage caused by UV, pool water, chlorine and sunscreen. That means they have the longevity for plenty of beach and pool trips.
In the end, I have a body which soldiers on after two pregnancies, a car accident, and all the obstacles life throws at you. I’m still able to keep up with a city that never sleeps and spend time with two energetic kids who also are a part of me. For that alone, I love my body and wouldn’t ask for more.
This post is in collaboration with Coco Reef Swim and LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™ fiber.
Every body is beautiful.
Learn more about this campaign and yours truly here!
Until next time my loves,
TALK TO MEEE! Let’s be friends!!
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