This guest post comes to us via Sally McGraw of Already Pretty fame. She writes about style, body image, and self-love every single day.
In a culture that encourages women to engage in trash talk about their own bodies, in which body confidence is an act of bravery, it can be daunting to consider broadcasting pride in your own physical form.
But you CAN do it, even in the face of an oppressive environment, reluctant peers, and your own hesitation. I swear! It’s true!
Broadcasting body confidence doesn’t have to mean wearing an “I Love My Body” tee shirt or responding to every compliment by say, “Oh, I know.” There are a million tiny ways that you can tell the world you love your body, just as it is. Click To Tweet
And in doing so, you may just encourage other women to follow suit.
6 Loving Ways To Broadcast Body Confidence
1. Watch your posture
Posture and pride are visually linked. Walking tall is the simplest, quickest way to show anyone who observes you that you are confident and self-assured.
Of course, good posture can convey pride about any number of personal traits, many of them non-physical. But it stands to reason that being mindful of your body‘s position as a means of expressing self-confidence will be linked, at least in part, with valuing that same body.
Body confidence can certainly be of the fierce, aggressive sort. But my experience leads me to believe that most folks who’ve accumulated some self-love feel serene and grateful. Smiling at others shows them that serenity and gratitude.
Sure, it’s incredibly indirect and the vast majority of onlookers won’t immediately think, “That woman must be smiling because she loves her body!” And yet those who are locked in constant battle with self-loathing seldom smile directly at others and may feel less inclined to smile overall.
Some days suck and some people piss us off, so I’m not advocating big, fake smiles 24/7. Just consider the powerful messages of calm confidence that are broadcast in a simple smile.
3. Give compliments
What now? You’re asking how telling OTHERS that they look fabulous will prove that you feel fabulous yourself? Yes. Jealousy is often borne of a fear of shortage. You envy what someone else has because hey, if they’ve got it, how could there possibly be enough to go around?
By showing your lack of jealousy, you exude self-confidence. Indirectly, you’re saying, “I’m genuinely happy for you! Also, not threatened because I’m aware of my own self-worth!” Giving compliments not only spreads good karma and boosts the self-confidence of others, but it shows observers that your generosity of spirit stems from personal pride.
4. Accept – and append – compliments
When someone compliments you, do NOT deflect. At the very least, respond with a heartfelt, “Thanks!” And once you’re feeling a bit bolder, try appending your responses. If a friend tells you she likes your dress, say, “Thanks! I just adore how it makes my legs look.”
If a peer tells you she loves your shoes, say, “Oh thanks, lady! I feel so gorgeous and powerful in these … like I could take over the world!” If a friend tells you your hair looks amazing, say, “You are so sweet! I feel like my hair is one of my best features. Thanks for noticing!”
5. Don’t engage in body bashing
We women spend a lot of time and energy talking about how much we wish our acne would clear up, our upper arms would get firmer, our wrinkles would vanish. In fact, we often we do it without thinking. Those thoughts, emotions, and words flow forth from us like breaths the moment we’re among friendly comrades. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
One of the best ways to curb trash talk is to have some sit-down talks with your closest friends and tell them you’re trying to stop. It may be most effective to couch it all in terms of your own feelings: “I worry about how it affects us.” Or “I feel like this kind of talk erodes my self-confidence.” Or “I’m just exhausted by going over these issues so constantly.” Start issuing moratoriums on body bashing when you gather with your besties.
And, perhaps most importantly, don’t take the bait. As difficult as it will be, do not cave and bash your own body when you get verbally set up to do so. You know the drill. Your girlfriend says, “Ugh, I feel so fat and gross. If only I had thin calves like yours.”
And you’re supposed to say, “No way! I hate my calves. I wish I had your gorgeous hair …” Yes, there are some compliments floating around in there, but they’re encased in sentiments of self-loathing and jealousy. When your buddy starts the ball rolling, be blunt. Say, “Stop. We’re both gorgeous, luminous, worthy women. Just look at us!” And move the conversation onward and upward.
6. Dress confidently
This will mean something different to each of you, but regardless of how it manifests it is definitely a best practice. As always, this is no mandate: Some days require hide-inside clothes, comfy clothes, or no clothes at all.
But as often as you can, dress in clothing that makes you feel amazing. Colors that bring out the highlights in your hair. Choose styles that highlight what YOU love best about your figure. Wear shoes that make you walk proudly and confidently. The clothing we wear can be a powerful tool for broadcasting body confidence.
We probably won’t love our bodies every single day. We probably won’t have the confidence and energy to engage all of these tactics every single day.
But if we can try them out even a few times a week, they will make a difference. They will build upon themselves and help us nurture that vital seed of body confidence into a gorgeous bloom, and they will subtly show our peers that self-worth isn’t threatening or conceited or abnormal.
Let’s do what we can to broadcast body confidence. We’ll be helping ourselves while helping others – the best kind of goodwill you can possibly spread.
But I want to hear from you! How do you broadcast confidence and love in your body? I spend the extra $$$ to get perfectly-fitting bras and buy jeans that make my butt look AMAZING. (FYI, these are my go-to jeans)