Everyone has days where they feel terrible about their bodies.
Whether it's prompted by a careless comment, a glimpse in the mirror, or just waking up feeling like crap, we've all been there. And body image issues can impact almost every part of your life. They can make your sex life less enjoyable, increase stress and anxiety and of course affect how and what you are eating.
Luckily, sometimes all it takes it a dose of reality or some kind words to snap you out of your body-hating downward spiral. Here are seven things to look at when you're unhappy in your own skin:
1. Illustrator Colleen Clark's amazing body image comic, which reminds us that our bodies don't define us.
Check out the rest of the comic here.
2. This picture of what Barbie would look like if she were based on the average 19-year-old woman. Artist Nickolay Lamm used 3D printing technology and information from the CDC to create a "normal" Barbie -- and the comparison to the doll is truly startling. This comparison proves that the beauty ideals we're exposed to at a very young age are, for the most part, completely unrealistic.
3. The "You're Not Pretty Enough" project. After Jennifer Tress' first husband cheated on her because she wasn't "pretty enough," Tress shared her story on the website YoureNotPrettyEnough.com. Visitors to Tress' site alerted her to a larger problem with women's self-esteem and insecurity, and she now runs programs at colleges to help young women with their body image. Her site is an excellent reminder of how powerful we can be when we start talking about these issues.
4. "Same Love" singer Mary Lambert's body-positive message on Facebook:
5. One woman's open letter apologizing to all her former weight-loss clients. In An August 2013 blog post, Iris Higgins revealed that in her position as a weight-loss consultant she often encouraged clients to undereat and criticized their bodies. She wrote:
I am sorry because many of you walked in healthy and walked out with disordered eating, disordered body image, and the feeling that you were a "failure." None of you ever failed. Ever. I failed you. The weight loss company failed you. Our society is failing you.
Her words reminds us how deeply flawed the weight-loss industry is and expose the marketing ploys that exist purely to shame women into purchasing diet food, workout plans and fad supplements. Remembering the mechanics of such a money-making venture make it easier to ignore the industry altogether.
6. This woman, who is able to say "I absolutely adore my body." Body acceptance blogger Liz Casey appeared on July 2013 HuffPost Live segment where she shared her inspirational attitude towards her body and her desire to help others get to a point where they love themselves. Check out the video here.
7. These girls' statements about their bodies. The July 2013 issue of Interrupt Mag featured statements from children celebrating what they loved about their bodies. Some of the responses from girls were particularly awesome:
Lola, 5: "I like my body because it’s magic."
Remember when you, too, believed your body was "magic" -- and try to bring yourself back to that feeling.
What do you read, look at or think about when you're feeling bad about your body? Comment below, or join the conversation on Twitter @HuffPostWomen.
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