Appearance matters. It matters in the way we normally think of it – in how people perceive you – but I’ll address that in a future blog post. Right now, in honor of Valentine’s Day, the “celebration of love” day that some of us enjoy and some of us despise, I’m going to talk about how appearance relates to loving yourself.
No matter what your romantic situation, and no matter how you feel about Valentine’s Day, YOU are the one you are with, all the time. And you deserve to be loved – by you. And that includes how you look.
How you feel about your external self directly impacts how you feel about your internal self, and vice versa. This doesn’t mean that you have to have a certain body type or should dress in a certain way. To me, this means embracing your current self and dressing in a way that helps you feel great. Feeling like you look your best really does help you to feel your best.
Some of us may not put a lot of thought into what we wear because we are busy with other things, or feel like it might be considered vain. Or we might be trying to hide what we consider to be flaws or ugly. I have worked with many women, and no matter their weight, size, or body type, every single one has expressed dislike for some aspect of her body. I, too, am on a journey of loving my body, and sometimes I still struggle to achieve this.
We are so powerfully enculturated to believe that we have to look a certain way to be beautiful, or even acceptable, that we can’t see our whole selves – the amazing person gets lost. I believe that clothes are not meant to hide flaws, or to force anyone to comply with a certain fashion. Clothes are a way to express your true self, and to show yourself that you deserve to feel great. A nice side benefit is that when you feel great about yourself and how you look, it rubs off – other people see that too.
Taking that step can be hard and feel scary. It’s actually saying, “I love myself. I want to feel great about how I look, because I deserve to feel that way.” When you give yourself permission to say that, boy does it feel GOOD. And it allows you to take steps toward doing something about it.
It does mean putting thought into it. It means taking time for yourself – time to think about your personal style, determining what you like and don’t like, and learning about what works for your body. That’s what I help my clients do. I support them in finding their personal style and show them how to manifest it in their clothing choices. I show them how cuts and colors work together and how what is best suited for their body types works together with their personal style goals. And throughout the process, we have an open conversation about the practice of self-care and working toward self-love.
Clothes that are well suited for your body type – whatever it may be – help that to happen. When you look at yourself in the mirror and see colors that work with your skin tone and see balanced lines created by proper fit and cuts, that can help you feel great. When you see clothing that feels contemporary and fresh, that can help you feel great. And when you see yourself in something that you are actually excited to wear because it reflects who you are, that can help you feel really great.
This year for Valentine’s Day, take some time to give yourself a little love. You are the one you are with – every day. You deserve that love.