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Shannon Bindler Headshot

I'm Not Afraid to Say I Think I'm Beautiful

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I'm much more comfortable behind a camera than in front of one. For a decade I've been an editor at various publications, working with top models and celebrities. So when many of my readers asked me to highlight more of my personal style, I cringed. No, my goal was simply to showcase the clothing (especially the shoes) that brought me joy, made me feel powerful, sexy, or more at peace.

Or was that really what was going on? I think something more complicated was brewing. I'm at ease with not being model-thin and appreciate my classical features and sense of style. But, in the fashion industry, wearing a size 6 is considered "fat" and being over 30 is absolutely "old." Frankly, no chic chick wants to be labeled as either.

Call me fat, call me old (or too thin and young), but I'm not afraid to tell the world that I think I'm beautiful. Yup, I said it. And no, I'm not a self-obsessed narcissist. I am sick and tired of advertisers, corporations and beauty products telling me I need to fix myself. I like who I am and the way I look. Yes, I have a bit of a belly and wrinkles around my eyes, but I am comfortable about that. I want all people, especially my young daughter, to understand that not only is it okay to feel beautiful, but self-love is one of the most important and empowering things a person can feel (and practice). I am fit. I am healthy. I am just right, stretch marks and all. (I'll tell you a secret: I've dressed a lot of models and most of them aren't flawless, either.)

I feel beautiful; I hope you feel that you are, too.

If you don't, I want to encourage you to take a long look in the mirror and focus on the things you like about your appearance. Then try it again, this time focusing on all of the places you despise (we all have them). Instead of hating, send each of those areas love. Practice this every morning, as you get ready. Just like working out, it may feel uncomfortable in the beginning but it gets easier the more you practice. There is scientific evidence that proves that repeating a thought (or affirmation) actually creates new neural pathways in the brain. This simple exercise has changed my entire outlook on my physique. It's quick and free, and there is no product in the world that can give you the kind of confidence that comes from loving yourself. "I am beautiful," is a mantra I hope every person, man or woman, chants inwardly everyday. Join me by posting a photo of yourself on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #soleprescription

Because you are beautiful, just the way you are.