Summer is here and I’ve been thinking about self-confidence, cellulite and stretch marks. I’ve been thinking about all the creams, massages, treatments, magic pills and powders they’ve been trying to sell us (especially at this time of the year): cellulite creams, creams for stretch marks, self tanners, tonifying creams and weight loss creams, body foundation, anti-cellulite massages, fast cosmetic procedures etc. Everything to be prettier, fitter (without any work put into it), to get closer to some unattainable beauty ideals that are forever changing and are impossible to obtain without photoshop.
I remember how as a teenager I thought I had to be perfect. I thought less about myself because I had: a scar on my leg that no one noticed, a too big butt (for that era), I was too tall, too muscular, not enough toned, too fat, not enough fat… basically I believed everything someone once said to me.
I earned some insecurities by comparing to the girls from magazines or my perfect friends. Some insecurities appeared when someone made a snarky remark about my pelvis shape (hip dips), or a little bit of fat on my belly, a kg too much or too little, or even about my lack of femininity (whatever that means). But the fact is that no matter what they said, no comment would stick, if I had a healthy self-confidence. While I was growing up this was very hard to achieve, but I feel like today it could be even harder because of all the polished pictures on social media. Still, there are more positive sources about self-confidence online than ever and you can help yourself to grow your own self-confidence or at least find some help.
The life of teenagers is always hard. Hormones are raging, drama is all over the place, everything is a matter of life or death and as such they take comments about their body and looks. They take to heart every well-wishing comment and even more an ill-wishing one. As a teenager that was true for me as well. I was focusing on every little impossible detail on myself and wondering how can women after thirty be so confident? How? But they have wrinkles, cellulite, stretch marks and not a perfect figure (compared to photoshopped models)? How? And all these women have something about them. Something that makes them extremely magnetic.
When I finally reached my thirties, I discovered their secret: cellulite, stretch marks, spider veins, wrinkles, hyperpigmentations, occasional pimples and rashes are all normal conditions of the human skin.
Also women in their thirties usually tend to care less (or not at all) about what other people think about them. They embrace themselves with all their insecurities and imperfections, because every day becomes precious and worth living. The obsession with looks fades as it’s smarter to use this energy elsewhere. Every moment becomes cherished.
After the thirtieth birthday time starts moving differently. It’s faster. Days pass by extremely fast, weeks fly by and before you know it, a year has gone by. Who has the time to put the energy in such little things as is cellulite, when every moment is unrepeatable and is better used? You’d rather go for a walk with your dog, go workout, go for a coffee with friends, to the beach or mountains, read a good book, listen to a quirky podcast, learn and work on yourself?
When you’ve reached this point you start appreciating other things and you’re not so obsessed with your own body. The body will age no matter what you do and it will not fit the impossible beauty standards sooner or later. Of course, if you take care of yourself (I believe in mens sana in corpore sano) you will age slowly and more gracefully while feeling better in your body. But the fact is, that there is no magic anti-aging powder, no massage that would nullify cellulite and no cream to lose those extra 3 cm in your waist. So we’ll all age, while obsessing about it or not.
You accept your cellulite, as it is a secondary sign of sexual maturity in women. You accept your stretch marks, because every tiger needs its stripes. You accept your scars as battle trophies. You accept every little imperfection, as nobody is perfect and some things cannot be changed, so you can just accept it and love yourself a little bit more.
The thing with self-confidence is that you need to work for it. Grow it and take care of it. A healthy self-confidence takes work (like everything in life). If you grew up without any good role models, you have to work even harder for it. We have to accept us for who we are and be aware that everyone is beautiful in their own special way. Everyone has got something unique and interesting. The goal is not to be all the same. The goal is to be yourself and to accept it.
To finish this string of words, here is a lovely exercise that I once found somewhere. I believe it fits right in.
Imagine a row of plain vases. There are hundreds of them in rows. Each one of them is the same as the other. Not one stands out. Now imagine a different one. This has dots, lines, texture and some color. It’s already more interesting, right? These vases are like our skin and body. Why would we want to be the same plain vase? Boring. The colorful one is prettier and more interesting. Don’t you think? It’s got creases from wrinkles, shiny lines from stretch marks, dips from cellulite, maybe a hyperpigmentation, a scar, a freckle… This one is definitely more beautiful and fun, right? Every line, every little piece of it is so special and unique. This way there are not two vases the same and that’s how we love it. Isn’t is beautiful to discover such little adorable spots on the body of a loved one? To discover stories behind every freckle, wrinkle, shiny line? To discover a person behind the surface? Delightful.
Are you feeling any better?
Till next time,