Defining yourself in a society that tries to decide for you
by Megan Holmes •
In today’s society, everyone is promoting self-love. The message is that you should embrace yourself and walk confidently in your skin, no matter what others think or say. However, that is far easier said than done.
Why? Because what people do is different from what they say.
Just consider social media. It has grown to be one of the biggest critics of our time. Social media encourages constant competition with those around us. As humans, we naturally want to be part of the “in crowd.” Knowing that, social media publishes things that make us want to be what society says we should be. Many of the images on social media (and on TV, movies, and other media) showcase individuals who are ageless, petite, muscular, or of a certain popularity.
You are not the person in the commercials, the girls on Instagram, the guys on Twitter. You are YOU, and that is more than enough!
Unfortunately, this fosters a negative body image in young people and even in adults. After all, many people do not have the body types, characteristics, or social status held up by society. When what they see in the mirror does not match what they see on social media, many young people feel “abnormal” and find it hard to accept and love themselves.
How can a young person overcome the pressures around them? That young person should remember who created them and how their Creator sees them. When God does something, it is good. Therefore, when God created you—with your every “flaw” and imperfection—He did a good thing! Just because someone doesn’t see what the Artist saw when He created you doesn’t mean that there’s a decrease in your beauty and value!
You are not the person in the commercials, the girls on Instagram, the guys on Twitter. You are YOU, and that is more than enough! Every freckle, beauty mark, and hair has been strategically placed, and that makes you your own kind of beautiful!
I read something once that said, “Although beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the feeling of being beautiful exists solely in the mind of the beheld.” This simply means that your beauty has already been determined—not by others, but by YOU! You influence how people see you based on how you see yourself, so begin to reshape your perception of you based on what God says and what He sees.
You are the company you keep. Begin to recreate your environment by embracing the love, encouragement, and support given to you by those around you. When you do, you will begin to see yourself change. You will begin to see the world and your place in it differently.
YOU define how beautiful you are, not those around you. You may not see the beauty the Creator sees just yet, and that’s okay. Begin to surround yourself with people who are supportive of you being you. Having comfort in who you are is the greatest asset you can have and the best confidence you could ever display.
Don’t be afraid of living! The world says one thing, but you don’t have to let society define and shape your reality. DEFINE LIFE FOR YOURSELF BY YOUR OWN THOUGHTS OF YOU! Take your first step to living unapologetically. It’s a little uncomfortable at first, but it gets easier!
Megan Holmes, a foster care alumna, is Lead Special Projects Coordinator for SaySo (Strong Able Youth Speaking Out).