She recently read that 97% of women think at least one negative thought about their body a day. 97%!!
We all often fall into the trap of thinking negatively about our bodies but reading a stat like that really highlights just how common it is. Why do we think like this? Why can't we embrace the skin we're in? At Her Wardrobe, we strive to help every single woman who comes through our doors find an outfit that makes them feel confident and happy in their body. In this blog post, She looks at why we often feel negative about our bodies and how we can try and shake it.
WHY? SOCIETY TELLS US TO
Whether scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, watching a tv show or out and about on the street, we are regularly exposed to images of the 'ideal' woman. Things are definitely changing with more diverse people appearing across advertising, but it's still hard to look past the perfect models living their perfect lives right in front of us. Plus, we are often exposed to them from the moment we're born - studies have shown that women and girls are much more likely to be praised for their looks rather than their thoughts or actions. Then as we get older, we often find ourselves inundated with tips for losing weight or anti-aging miracles.
Some of us do try and embrace who we are and what we look like, attempting to shake the labels and standards that are set for us. Ultimately, however, there is no escape from the world we live in, no matter what we do or what we wear.
SOCIETY'S CHANGING NATURE OF BEAUTY STANDARDS
What is so crazy about this is that society's beauty standards can be changed, because they have in the past. Beauty standards differ across different cultures and historical periods. According to Science of People, in Victorian England (c. 1837-1901) beautiful women were those who were "plump and full-figured with a cinched waist". Then, in the roaring twenties (c. 1920s) women were encouraged to follow a more androgynous look - "flat-chested, a down played waist and short, boyish hair". The sixties (c. 1960s) demanded a "willowy, thin and adolescent-like physique".
Fast forward to post-modern beauty (2000s onwards) and standards demand a "flat stomach but only 'healthy skinny', whilst simultaneously a large butt and breasts". With all these changes (and many, many more) throughout history, you'd think we'd be at the beauty standard of "anything and everything" with an emphasis on "let me be me", but alas, we're not there yet.
CHANGING THE NARRATIVE
Facing so many labels and standards is daunting. And She's gotta be honest here, we can't change society overnight to recognise that there is no such thing as one standard of beauty. But, what we can do is try and fight back with our own mindsets. There are some great role models for us to look at. It only takes a google search to read about Taylor Swift's struggles with her body and eating disorders to meet the standards her critiques demanded. Lizzo reminds us all that the conversation should not be about her 'bravery' regarding her body, it needs to be about her music. End of story.
A great way to shift our mindsets is to stop following social media accounts that make us think about what we're not and instead find some more positive engaging accounts to follow. Some of her favourites are @glimpseofwisdom @dangerousfemales @theblowaustralia @jameelajamilofficial @thebeaustudio and @deb.rey_
Another great way to work on our mindsets is to try and catch yourself before you think something negative. If you start to think something negative, stop and think "would I say this aloud to my friend?" You can also leave yourself little notes around your house with positive reminders like "you've got this", "what positive thing will you find today?", "you've got a killer mind and attitude" and "I love you the way you are". Whilst it sounds easy and almost silly, the positive reminders act much like all that unhelpful advertising you see - subconscious messages for you brain. Except these ones are helpful!
DRESSING FOR YOU
Positive self-talk is a great way to begin the journey towards shifting your mindset. Another good thing to do is find clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident. A refreshed wardrobe or just a couple of killer outfits is a surefire way to ensure your exterior matches how you feel mentally. Plus, sometimes when we have a bad day, putting on a gorgeous outfit works wonders. You don't need to do anything drastic, just a little Marie Kondo-ing on your wardrobe with "does this make me feel good?" as your question works really well. You never know, you might even find something you'd forgotten about or see something in a new light.
If you do want to add something new to your wardrobe, why not have a look at Her website for a pre-loved dress? With Her entire ex-rental collection now available for sale, it's the perfect time to grab a designer dress for a fraction of the price. She stocks a wide variety of dresses in all different sizes, colours, shapes and fabrics. With sizing from 6-16, She has something in her collection for almost everyone and Her stylists are always happy to advise on the fit of the garments and recommend new and different styles for you to try. Her stylists pride themselves on helping everyone find something they feel confident and happy in and have hundreds of reviews to show for it.
Whilst there are many ways we can work on changing our attitudes, it is important to remember that it is ok to have bad body image days. You're not a failure for struggling or needing help. No matter what we do to change our mindsets, society is still behind and we're not completely immune to advertising. What we can do is try our absolute best and work towards encouraging our fellow women to do the same.
You can find out more about body positivity and get help from Body Positive Australia and ReachOut. Cover image sourced here.
Her entire ex-rental collection is now available to buy online. Make the most of Free Standard Shipping on any order over $100. Or, if you need help styling your look while the store is closed, feel free to send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
WRITTEN BY REBECCA ARANDALL, HER WARDROBE STYLIST