Ever seen a Victoria Secret model and felt…insecure? They are all gorgeous. Could you (or I) look like them? Read on for the REAL secret to looking stunning and flawless…
Highlight of the weekend?
For me: It was spending time with Savannah—the coolest (almost) 10-year-old I know.
Instead of hitting up the crazy South by Southwest festival festivities downtown on Friday night, I instead hit up the Domain mall in Austin with this cool chick—her pick.
The fun began at California Pizza Kitchen, followed by:
- Checking out Cake Pops next door (for her 80/20 treat of the week: salted caramel and mint chocolate, please!)
- A shopping excursion at Forever 21 (Score! She found a fashionable California-inspired tank and lip gloss, all for less than $10!)
- And, the evening concluded with her style assistance in checking out the inventory at Anthropologie (thankfully I walked away with NO damage done).
Even though this girl is 10, I seriously think she is 20-something—so fun and easy to chat with; wise beyond her years.
As we strolled the outdoor shopping mall’s sidewalks, we talked everything: Friends, mean girls, fitness, good food, boys, school and fashion.
And as we walked and talked, I couldn’t help but notice—this girl has got A LOT together (i.e. self-confident in who she is)—a far cry from what I was like at her age (completely awkward and insecure).
And as we walked and talked, I couldn’t help but notice the subliminal messages we, as girls, are often fed—all around us.
Specifically: Victoria Secret fashion models.
Victoria Secret at the Domain is in the midst of a remodel—it’s “Coming Soon”—and to make consumers and shoppers well-aware of this fact, there were more posters around the mall of the store logo and “angels” (models) than typical—something I don’t think Savannah even really noticed (self-confidence at its core!).
You and I are influxed with ‘subliminal’ messages on the daily—be it billboards, advertisements, social media, radio commercials, magazine covers in the grocery store check out line, our newsfeeds…
Specifically, for women, many of these messages are targeted at beauty.
Victoria Secret’s beautiful women ads being one of them.
Man! Those girls are pretty.
I wish I looked like that has entered my mind a time or two.
However, if there is one thing I’ve learned over my years of a first-hand education in Body Image 101, it is:
There is often more than meets the eye (or ears).
This applies to many different examples:
- You know this when it comes to the “healthy” advertising campaigns for cereals like Cocoa Puffs and Frosted Flakes (“a part of a healthy breakfast!”).
- You second-guess this when a telemarketer calls you and tells you, “Congratulations! You’ve just won an all-paid vacation to the Bahamas!”
- You think something must be fishy when you get a ring from your “bank”, informing you that your card has been compromised and that in order to place a hold on it, the automated voice on the other end needs your account number and social security number.
You’re a smart cookie. You know what you see (or hear) is NOT always what you get.
So when it comes to catching a glimpse of a supermodel on a glossy Victoria Secret advertisement…why do you fall for it?!
Why do you fall for the lie that the pic you are seeing is reality.
I wish I looked like her…
If I only had boobs like that and a waist like that…
These thoughts go through your head, and without second guessing them one bit, you find yourself…discontent.
It sucks being me.
Forever trapped or ‘stricken’ with the struggles you had for years around your own image: Too tall. Too thin. Too heavyset. Too thick. Too short. Too gangly. Too…. (you fill in the blank).
Listen up girl…what you see is NOT what you get 99% of the time.
I’m talking airbrushing, or photoshopping.The original photoshop scandal! This is actually an illustration that looks much like photo, where Oprah’s head was drawn onto actress and singer Ann-Margret’s body for a 1989 TV Guide cover.
I’m talking major airbrushing—like this video:
Excessive photo-shopping and retouching is what makes the images we see on billboards, magazines and Victoria Secret ads flawlessly beautiful—essentially setting us all up to compare ourselves with models who don’t even really exist (heck, models are comparing their own photoshopped images with themselves!) .Faith Hill’s arm is missing in the left…and added in the right
Kelly Clarkson was airbrushed almost beyond recognition on Self’s September 2009 cover. Ironically, the issue she appeared on was called “The Body Confidence Issue” and featured an interview inside where she explained how comfortable she felt with her body.
Wrinkle-free 46-year-old Sarah Jessica Parker on the left looks a little different from the still beautiful Parker on the right.
Demi Moore’s real body? Or not…
Tennis hottie Andy Roddick on the May 2007 Men’s Fitness. He later admitted: “I’m not as fit as the Men’s Fitness cover suggests…little did I know I have 22 inch guns and a disappearing birth mark on my right arm.”
As you can SEE…
REMEMBER this fact the next time you walk by that Victoria Secret poster at the mall and think: “If only I looked like her…”
What we see is NOT reality 99% of the time.
As for that 1%?
Check this out:
Over the past couple years, Aerie (American Eagle’s sister store) started their own real-beauty campaign a couple years ago—taking a stance against photoshopping.
It’s called the #aerieREAL campaign, and in it, they show real pics of real young women.
Taking their mantra of embracing beauty inside and out one step further, aerie (American Eagle’s sister line of intimates, swimwear and apparel) unveiled this morning their Spring 2014 “aerie Real” campaign, challenging supermodel standards by featuring unretouched models in their latest collection of bras, undies and apparel. The #aerieReal movement gives women of all shapes and sizes the chance to discover intimates styles that work best for their body types, by showcasing natural models both in the campaign and in the brand’s innovative bra guide, which launched today on the site. The brand also activated today their “Real Girl Talk” hotline, offering experts available to answer product and fit questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
I have no idea how I never heard about this (until now!), but ladies, this is the type of beauty we need to embrace for ourselves—unphotoshopped, authentic beauty—the type that you and I embody on the daily.
Stop comparing yourself to girls who don’t exist.
Want the REAL secret to “looking” like a super model?
Nourishing yourself—mind, body and soul.
Not just eating good foods for you (duh that’s part of it—beautiful skin, hair, nails, healthy body)…but also NOURISHING your spirit and brain through self-care activities on the daily.
When we choose to nourish ourselves (invest in ourselves; build into our own well-being), we discover more peace, contentment and fulfillment in our days.
Do AT least one thing that nourishes you EACH DAY.
Need some inspiration?
Check out some of my faves:
90 Nourishing (Self-Care) Activities for Looking Like a REAL Super Model (Inside & Out):
- Purge your clothes taking up space in your closet
- Listen to a song or create a playlist that inspires you
- Taking a warm bubble bath
- Green face masks or a hair mask
- Reading a book, listening to a podcast or watching a TV show for pleasure and enjoyment
- Pick ONE thing you need to get done and check it off your list (get it out of your mind)
- Write a gratitude list-things you’ve got going for you in your life
- Smile at a stranger
- Perform a random act of kindness
- Speak up for yourself
- Treat yourself to a manicure, pedicure, eyebrow wax or haircut
- Take a walk outside on a pretty day
- Take a break from work
- Fuel your body with real eats
- Try a nutrient-filled new recipe
- Share a snack or meal with a homeless person
- Intentionally schedule “me” time into your daily planner
- Call your mom, dad, family friend or other special person just to say hi
- Turn off your phone and computer for an hour-step away
- Create a poem, painting, drawing, collage, song, essay—just cuz
- Lay on the floor, on your back, with your eyes closed
- Check in with yourself to process your emotions.
- Leave a FUNNY voicemail for a friend or family member.
- Do something fun and crazy with your hair, outfit or makeup for the day.
- Turn up the music—and just dance.
- Make paleo-muffins or brownies to give away.
- Take yourself to see a movie or show (concert)
- Swing on a swing at a park
- Visit the library and resolve to learn something new from a book
- Go to the bookstore (Or library) and leave sticky note positive messages in the books
- When you wake up in the morning, get in the habit of making your first thought a positive one: “Bring on a new adventure today.” “Today is a new opportunity.” “I will do something that matters today.”
- Spend an hour over your weekend at a homeless food kitchen or other volunteer opportunity.
- Watch clouds (like you did as a kid)
- Ask for help when you need it.
- Edit your social media feeds and take out negative people.
- Move over Microsoft Word! Try journaling if you’ve never tried it before.
- “Candle down” 30 minutes before bed—read a book instead of catching up on social media on your computer or phone.
- Tell your cat or dog your darkest, most secretive of all secrets
- Spend time with a younger girl—a neighbor, a friend’s kiddo, a mentorship program (like Big Brother’s Big Sisters)
- Go to a yoga class and strrrreeettttccccchhhhh
- Find a new coffee shop you haven’t tried before.
- Learn a “skill” you’ve been meaning to learn (i.e. Photoshop, Excel, how to podcast, how to bake spaghetti squash, or some other skill). YouTube how—there are many online tutorials.
- Make yourself an updated healthy food you loved in your childhood—PB&J (almond butter and sliced strawberries on a Mikey’s Muffin), grilled cheese (raw, grass-fed cheddar on Amazing Bunz by Foxhill Kitchen), spaghetti (meatballs and tomato sauce over spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles), etc.
- Gather your friends together for a ‘show and tell.’ Share dorky pics of yourselves from middle school and a story of an awkward or funny moment you recall.
- Instead of doing your ‘same ol’ fitness routine’ today; close your eyes and ask your body what feels good (a walk? Yoga? Paddleboarding? Weight lifting? Spinning? Buck the norm)
- Send snail mail to someone far away.
- Kill your commute! Listen to a podcast or start a book on Amazon’s Audible book (you’ll look forward to your commute forevermore)
- Be a photographer. Go to a hopping street in town or outdoor spot and capture pictures with your iPhone—just for fun.
- Build something spectacular with Legos.
- Take a vacation day from work—and have an Adventure Day for yourself.
- Make a “Things that make me happy” list.
- Have a Harry Potter, Friends, Gilmore Girls, Full House, re-runs OR other TV/movie marathon of an old-time favorite
- Color in a coloring book.
- Spend the day in your PJs.
- Call a friend you’ve been meaning to call.
- Write a story about the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you.
- Take a power nap (20-30 minutes)
- Go to a Farmer’s Market and connect with a farmer around a veggie or meat you buy.
- Say an affirmation aloud (I am strong, confident and beautiful—just as I am!)
- Post something positive and heart-felt on Instagram or social media
- Listen to a band or singer you loved as a kid (a la Nysnc?!)
- Write something encouraging on a post-it and put it where you will see it every day! Or write directly on your mirror: “I am beautiful and brave.”
- Paint your nails a fun (or funky) color.
- Say NO to something you really don’t want to do.
- Sleep in.
- Revisit an old hobby or interest.
- Drink herbal tea in lieu of coffee. (Reduce the caffeine—yes even decaf has some caffeine in it)
- Make a to-do list if you’ve been feeling overwhelmed.
- Trash e-mail messages you don’t read (and unsubscribe to newsletters you don’t read)
- Hire a housekeeper
- Walk a dog (if you don’t have one, borrow one or go to play with one at the humane society)
- Make a bucket list
- Schedule your annual doctor’s appointments (dentist, gyno, etc.)
- Walk on your lunch break
- Don’t live on Facebook or Instagram.
- Read or listen to a book that expands your mind (the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up for simplifying your life)
- Treat yo’ self to one fun new piece to add to your wardrobe.
- Scrapbook or collage some of those pics taking up space on your phone.
- Finish this sentence: “I love myself because I ______________.” Do this once per day, with a new ending each time.
- Walk around nakedly (at home)—improve your relationship with your bod!
- Create a vision board.
- Make yourself a refreshing green smoothie.
- Try a new veggie.
- Get lost in completing a puzzle.
- Take a break from self-improvement—just be.
- Be of service to others—think about others.
- Sit down to sip your tea or eat your meal. Taste your food.
- Work with professionals, personal trainers, nutritionists or therapists who support you in your health and goals.If you are interested in a comprehensive, whole-person approach, check out Thrive Wellness & Recovery today. My Thrive Life program includes customized therapy, coaching, nutrition and/or fitness (all in one), empowering you to lead the ABUNDANT life you deserve.
Got any more ideas? Share your favorite self-care activities to comments!!