Hidden Mentors and Self Esteem

I feel strongly that a women’s unique gifts are never truly realized until she first loves herself.  I also feel that this self-love comes from loving our spirit as well as our external appearance.  I have in the past felt trite when suggesting that improving one’s external appearance could have an impact on deep-rooted self-esteem issues but after years of witnessing transformations, I feel adamantly correct.  I am in no way discounting therapy or demeaning women as vain princesses made happy with a new pair of shoes, but I do feel quite passionately that external appearance is mood alerting for women.  Looking good does not erase past traumas but it can be a tool for rebuilding self-esteem and setting one on the road to self-love.

Genetically, few people are born truly ugly yet our infatuation with the current beauty trend encourages us to judge harshly against unrealistic ideals.  Although there are arguments for how the fashion industry has taught us to dislike our bodies, we are ultimately the masters of our own thoughts.  A vineyard owner is no more responsible for alcoholism than a fashion magazine is responsible for eating disorders.  We are responsible for our own self-esteem and the fashion industry should not be used as a scapegoat for self loathing.  Engaging in self-destructive thought and then blaming it on outside influences is perpetuating a victim mentality that is responsible for a global epidemic of women dissatisfied with their appearance.  We must all take accountability for how we feel about our appearance and then we must strive for a healthy body image.

When one considers the many global crisis that the world is faced with it is easy to dismiss a dissatisfaction with appearance as a vain pursuit.  My mission is to emphasize the importance of self-love and satisfaction with appearance as so much more than a pursuit of vanity.  How a woman feels about her appearance drastically effects self-esteem which directs all other activities in a woman’s life.  A women with low self-esteem interacts cautiously and sometimes not at all with her environment.  A woman who has learnt to love herself shines from within and fully engages with the world around her.  She is a source of inspiration for her family and her community and most importantly she is a mentor to other women.

The world needs a society of women with healthy body images.  Women engaged with fashion for delight, empowered by their visual appeal and ready to engage in society following their life’s purpose.  The world needs these women for mentors.  Your family needs these mentors.  Your husbands, siblings, children, family, neighbours and friends need these mentors.  I know I speak for many women when I say that I never had these mentors growing up.  I only knew women who obsessed about their weight, hair and clothes.  I grew up knowing that I, along with most women, would never quite be good enough because our bodies were not magazine quality.  I grew up with a victim mentality that I have been on a mission to correct ever since.

Before blaming the fashion industry for the low self-esteem of women look in the mirror. Does the reflection you see smile back at you? Do you love the shell that houses your spirit? Are you contributing in a negative or a positive way?  When we dismiss our own bodies as garbage we dismiss our daughters, our nieces, our sisters and our friends.  When we despise ourselves, we despise all women.  We are all hidden mentors and how we feel about our own bodies tells other women how they should feel about their own.  Our self-image has a voice louder than any fashion magazine.  YOU are a hidden mentor whether you like it or not. Be unique, be strong, be the mentor that the world needs.

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