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JENNIFER'S GEMS
by Jennifer Brown Banks

Self Esteem
(Why It's Your Most Important "Fashion Statement")

"Think highly of yourself, because the world takes you at your estimate." Anonymous

Seems these days it’s difficult to tune in to a TV station that doesn’t produce or promote some type of beauty makeover show. From the Oprah Show, to Extreme Makeovers, to Tyra Banks, to The Swan; the list is endless (and I’m all for self-improvement-- to a point).

But shows like these keep women (mainly) attached to quick fixes, and unrealistic beauty standards.

 

Many times these makeover candidates express the desire to look like some famous movie star, who ironically had some nip and tuck and cosmetic alteration done to look the way they do!

In an effort to appear like “Baywatch Babes”, a lot of women are subjecting themselves to unhealthy diets and beauty regimens that fail to take their genetic makeup, age, family history, lifestyle, and other factors into consideration.

Ladies - let's get real!

For example, while watching the Dr. Phil show today, one attractive woman (35 years old), confessed to spending $60,000 for nine cosmetic procedures!

I don’t know about you, but I could find a lot more worthwhile things to do with 60,000 bucks! That’s a down payment on another house, a new car, elimination of some credit card debt and college loans, travel money, and a whole lot of Avon!

Today there seems to be this endless obsession for perfection.
Which, in my opinion doesn’t address the prevailing core problem--- lack of self-esteem.

People who feel good about themselves don’t have unrealistic expectations, nor do they base their entire worth on their appearance. They don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. And as a result, they have greater inner peace and self-acceptance.

Truth is, all the surgeries, fancy hair-dos, and designer clothes in the world won’t make you feel as good as a healthy dose of positive self-esteem! It’s your most important fashion statement.

How about you? What do you see when you look in the mirror? And how does it shape your world? Do you have a positive self-image? Here's how to tell:

» People who have a healthy self-image don’t compete or compare. They strive to be the best that they can be within the confines of what life and Mother Nature has given them.

» People with good self-esteem are able to laugh at their own shortcomings.

» They know the importance of saying “no” when a request is in conflict with their schedules or value system.

» They forgive themselves for mistakes of the past

» They stand by their convictions.

» They don’t hold on to relationships that don’t honor who they are.

» They don’t let rejection devastate their egos (though it may cause some temporary bruising).

» They typically have healthy relationships with others.

» They don’t feel superior or inferior to anyone.

» They enjoy their own company.

» They’re not slaves to “fads” or fashion trends. They dress to reflect their unique personality, preference, and body build.

» They are able to grow old gracefully, realizing that aging is a natural process of life.

If you’re struggling with issues of inadequacy, here are a few ways to bolster your self-image:

» Embrace your uniqueness. Appreciate the fact that there is no other human in this massive universe with the exact qualities and make-up as you.

» Forgive yourself for mistakes of the past. Learn the inherent lesson and then move on. Become better, not bitter!

» Surround yourself with people who see the best in you and bring out the best in you. Consider them your own personal cheering squad!

» Make peace with your body image. We can’t all look like Halle Berry or Tom Cruise. Enhance what you can, accept what you can’t.

» Practice positive affirmations. Watch what you tell yourself! “As a man thinketh, so he is.”

» Discover what you do best, hone it and own it!

» Keep a victory journal. Record all your triumphs and successes, regardless of how small. I bet you’ll be surprised at your accomplishments and growth!

The payoff?

The better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to attract a quality mate who adores and respects you, and feels blessed by your presence.



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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.


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