At the risk of sounding like a super old, super lame person:
Social Media is the worst thing that has happened to us
There, its on the table. And you know what? You know it too. Every time you scroll through the same three apps and see the same type of “beautiful” body crammed down your throat. Every time you open an app and there is a highly curated, highly unattainable level of perfection being reached by someone who will make more money than you will ever see, trying to sell you their 13 step skincare routine to make them richer and you feel worse about yourself.
Social media has sucked us into this vortex of western, male gaze beauty that we all know how to combat—log out. Go outside. Literally, without any ounce of irony, go touch grass. The only way we can step back into our power and gain back our self confidence is to get back in touch with nature, and have a closer connection to the earth and our natural world.
I am totally aware of how kooky and new age weird this sounds, but you know what is weirder? Allowing people on the internet make you doubt yourself, or think less of yourself because you don’t live up to their standard of beauty. Building confidence is all about building an appreciation for natural beauty, because everything about YOU is natural. YOU are a part of the natural world, part of nature; once you can see the beauty in nature, you can begin to see the inherent beauty in yourself.
There are all sorts of different flowers, and all sizes and shapes of mountain ranges, and all sorts of dramatic, emotive landscapes that make your heart soar and your soul sing; this, too, is the type of beauty inside you. It is an unspeakable yet unshakeable beauty that deserves to be seen by the one who owns it, but you are the only one who can unlock that knowledge. Anyone can call you beautiful; you can post a thousand pictures of your body online, from a thousand different angles, and get the validation of strangers for years; this is not sustainable. At the end of the day, YOU need to be able to love yourself, and see yourself for the wonder that you are.
Nature does not have perfection; It has patterns, yes, and reasons for those patterns, but this isn’t the same as perfection. There is a reason for your wrinkles, for your love handles, for the way your hair curls and your arms jiggle—You are a human with a spark of life inside of them.
Take some notes from nature. Live as if you were a flower, a mountain range, a forest canopy. Appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds us everyday, and realize that that same beauty lies in you, abundant and waiting to be noticed. Let yourself laugh, long and loud, and smile with crooked teeth, and dance with jiggling stomach. Replace comparison with compassion, and realize that life is not a beauty contest between you and others, nor is the goal of life to see who can stay thin and young looking the longest. Life is about the joy of experiencing your moment on this earth, feeling the sun on your face and the earth beneath your feet.