Repairing Your Self Image

As I sat lazing away on my couch scrolling through my Instagram feed, I couldn’t help but feel inadequate. With the gyms closed and social distancing in effect, I became unproductive, just snacking time away and it had been weeks since I last glammed up. Just then, my sister exclaimed as she watched the actresses on TV, “How are they so perfect! Their hair, skin, body and just absolutely everything?” 

“Exactly my thoughts,” I nodded in agreement. I can’t even eat clean without binging on ice cream for three days. So much for being in shape and looking put-together.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I didn’t realize how this implicit, unattainable standard of beauty was affecting me. As I’d get ready in the morning, I’d feel uneasy looking at myself in the mirror. I need a little concealer to cover up those dark circles, I’d think to myself. Still not enough, my skin is so uneven. My thighs are ginormous. I’m not enough. And my mind would continue to self-sabotage, comparing the unfiltered version of myself to what I saw on the screen.

When I was thinner, I was told I should gain some weight. When I gained some weight, I was told I looked better before. I wasn’t ever good enough. And through it all, I wasn’t ever comfortable in my own skin. 

What was I really trying to attain? And why was I comparing myself? What is even real anymore in the online world? On social media, even our sunsets are not real because we’ve edited the colors using Lightroom. Every other person uses FaceTune to blur any imperfections. Where do we draw the line between creativity and distortion of reality? With the trends of lip fillers, botox, implants, and so on – when will we be satisfied with ourselves?

Every few years, what society thinks is beautiful changes. Sixteen years ago when watching, “Mean Girls,” it was atrocious for Regina George to have a big behind. Nowadays, being thick is in. Around the world, you’ll find this obsession with light-colored skin with skin bleaching products being the norm. Does that mean we keep conforming? Feeling uncomfortable in how we look because we don’t match up to what society thinks is beautiful today? 

No. Absolutely not. Just because you may not meet today’s societal trends does not mean that you are not beautiful. And you know why? Because there’s just simply no such thing as ugly. When you call someone ugly or even think of yourself so lowly, it’s because you’re looking through the glass handed to you by the media, by society, by others. It’s just a mere projection of what society has taught you to believe to be beautiful or rather not. So, stop the comparison in your mind and stop engaging in conversations of body dissatisfaction. 

The Perfect Lord who created all the planets, this earth with its magnificent wonders, waterfalls, mountains, rainbows, majestic sunsets and stars – made no mistake in creating YOU. And that is enough to understand why you are in fact beautiful. You are perfect. You are unique down to the prints on your fingertips. You are complete regardless of what this world tells you. Think about what your body can DO. Think of how intricate the mind is. Think about the depth of our hearts and our capacity to love. Accept yourself how you are. Dispel those negative thoughts and replace them with positive words. And remember before you criticize yourself again, when Allah swt says,

“We have indeed created humankind in the best of molds.” Quran [95:4]

So how can we deny the word of our Lord?

2 comments

This is refreshing to hear! I love it

Huda May 06, 2020

This is refreshing to hear! I love it

Huda May 06, 2020

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published