Have you ever been bullied? I have. I guess school years were really tough for many of us. Kids tend to pick on each other without the awareness of how the seemingly innocent remarks can impact us later on in life. The real problem starts when the bullying continues onto our teenage years; by then we are old enough to know better that making fun of someone because of how they look, how they are, where they live or anything related to their families is simply unacceptable. I was bullied as a kid because I had a gap between my front teeth, I also had a sizable mole in the left corner of my lips and I was extremally shy and sensitive; perfect material for the jokes, right? I still remember all this and I feel truly sorry for that little girl that had to hear all the nasty comments. These days the issue of bullying is much more serious with the social media; the ease and the depth of getting to someone and turning their life into hell is much easier! I am sort of glad that I was a kid back in the 80s!
Now, what often happens and what we may not realise is that we continue the bullying game ourselves on ourselves. This may be shocking to you but I want you to actually check if you are your own bully. The following statements summarise what we tend to say to ourselves also without realising the detrimental effect of our own thoughts on our self-esteem, confidence levels and overall wellbeing; the negative, offensive inner dialogue, the inner critique acts exactly the same way as those mean kids at school!
Read each of the statement and choose Often, Sometimes, Never next to each of them:
I hate how I look
I am so stupid
I can't stand my (legs, belly, hips, upper arms etc)
I wish I did not look like this
I look awful
I can't look at myself
I will never be able to.....
Nothing can fix me
If only I looked like (.....) or if I had (legs, hips, bust etc) like her, I would be so much happier
There are no clothes for people like me
Look, we all have days when we may feel a bit meeh about ourselves and that is absolutely normal. What is not ok though, is to allow that inner bully take over and put us down by picking on everything that is not "perfect". It is pure waste of time and energy! We should we our own best friends and cheerleaders!
In Style Coaching, we have the concept of useful thinking; instead of wasting our energy on criticising and complaining about something we are not happy with, we focus on the way to resolve it. It is as simple as that; bullying yourself leads nowhere and it's a pure waste of time!
Instead, we encourage to do the following:
make an effort to understand your body; the shape, the proportions so that you know how to dress in a way that accentuates your most attractive aspects and skilfully camouflages anything that creates the imbalance of the silhouette.
Just to give you an example; I have always hated my legs and criticised how big they are. What was happening though was that I was unconsciously accentuating the fact that I am slightly bottom heavier by the way I was dressing! I am size 8 in both pictures; however; on the left you can see that because of the lighter shade of the skinny jeans with fading right on my thighs, wrong length & fit of the stripy top as well as proportionately wrong shoes, I was accentuating this imbalance!
get rid of the clothes that make you look and feel unconfident and that do not flatter you; even if you spend a considerable amount on something, if it does not look great on you, ditch it!
identify and focus on what you love about your look; it can be your eyes, your smile, your hair, your legs. I am 100% sure that you can find at least 3 things that are nice and that make you feel great! Next, learn how to accentuate them!
connect with your inner beauty; remember there is more to you than flat chest, wobbly thighs or wide hips (or whatever bothers you!). You are a person with personality, passions and talents; you are unique and this is what you should be also seeing in the reflection of the mirror. Check this article on the Importance of Inner Beauty.
If you would like to explore this subject and learn more on how to be good to yourself while dressing in a way that brings you joy and confidence; come and join me for a free Masterclass on "How to make peace with your body and dress it in a balanced way" on Saturday 20th of Feb at 3pm.
Hope to see you there!
Your Style Coach,