The perfect body, partner, career – as women, we are constantly pressured into being perfect. But what does “perfect” actually mean? Does it mean that we all have to look and be the same and correspond to an ideal the media have established? Is it not our imperfections and our personality that make us special? Let’s discuss some insecurities you might have and I will show you that they are not “flaws” but perfectly normal.
Body Shape and Breast Size
Too thin, too curvy – when we ask our friends what they think about their body shape, unfortunately, we rarely hear “I love the way I am”. A lot of women are not only insecure about their body shape in general but also about the size of their breasts. Some consider them too small, others feel insecure because their big bust size might undermine their competence in their professional life. Whichever body shape you have, you are wonderful. The most important thing is that you look at yourself and love what you see.
We all know these pictures – 3 weeks after giving birth, supermodels are back in shape and look as if they had never given birth. The pressure on women to look perfect after pregnancy is enormous. I was really relieved when celebrities started to show us a different picture – Anne Hathaway recently said she wanted to embrace that she had just given birth and that there is no shame in gaining weight during pregnancy. Women go through an intense time with their body and mind when expecting a baby and I think it is far more important to spend the first weeks with your little one than obsessing about your bikini body.
Blemishes, Scars, Stretch Marks, Breakouts, Wrinkles
Climate changes from one city to another, air pollution or hormones all affect our skin and might lead to breakouts even after puberty. A lot of us women have stretch marks from growing during puberty or after pregnancy. Some of you might have visible scars and we are all not immune to wrinkles. Everyone of us knows some or all of these “flaws”. So, if so many of us have these, are they really flaws or are they not something that should be considered normal? Let’s forget these photoshopped pictures in the media or on Instagram and move on!
A lot of women were probably relieved when Canadian fitness blogger Kenzie Brenna shared a picture of her orange peel to encourage other women. Cellulite is something very common and very often, even if you exercise regularly or a lot (like Kenzie), it is something that you just cannot do much about it.
“You have just turned 30?! Wow, now you are getting old.” Turning 30 last year was obviously a bigger deal for other people than it was for myself. I think you are only as old as you feel. Unfortunately, being young is still idealized as “the” beauty ideal, pressuring a lot of women into buying anti-aging cremes, treatments or eating certain food that might benefit their skin. It makes me really angry when big brands advertise their products with models who look (or still are) children. However, I am so happy about role models like Iris Apfel, the beautiful 95-year-old fashion icon or Lyn Slater who, aged 63, empowers so many women with her blog “The Accidental Icon”.
“Does he still love me?” “Do I still look good enough for him?” Ladies, please stop questioning the love of your partner and therefore yourself. These insecurities will only lead to tension and fights. I hope that you have found a partner who loves you for more than just your looks (and if he is only with you for your looks, you might have to question that relationship…).
I recently talked to my goddaughter (a teenager) that there is this new trend on Instagram: popular bloggers not only look like models but they also seem to have the perfect relationship. She said that a lot of her friends feel pressured into finding the “perfect guy” and that you are not complete if you are single. I was single for quite some time because I chose to and I really enjoyed it. Whichever you choose – being single or in a relationship – enjoy the time and stop obsessing what other people think about you as a single girl or about your partner.
We constantly ask ourselves if we haven chosen the right career, if we are good mothers if we also work full-time, or, if we have given up on our dreams for staying at home with the kids for some time. I do not have a universal answer here for you but the most important thing is that YOU have to be happy with YOUR choice. Forget about what other people might think about you. There will always be people who talk but in the end, it is YOU who has to live with your decisions.
I hope this list showed you that most of the insecurities often sold to us as “flaws” are actually normal. We are all in the same boat. Stop believing unrealistic images of women (about their body and life) and stop living someone else’s life. It is all about YOU. Never forget that!