The ideals of beauty for women that are out there are pretty much meaningless. There are ever changing fashions in body shape, facial features, hairstyles, etc. that are not going to be attainable for us. For example, in the 1960s women were striving to be stick thin like Twiggy, the 1980s brought the aerobic body which was athletic and toned and then again in the 1990s extremely thin bodies were fashionable again. How could we possibly keep up? It really is a ridiculous concept if you think about it.
Historically we have really only been given one tool to help us reach these ideals around body type and this is The Diet. The story goes that if we want to meet these certain rigid ideals of the ideal body then we’d better show some willpower and follow a rigid eating plan to get there. The truth is that dieting just sets most people up for failure and often a cycle of yoyo dieting and body dissatisfaction that is super destructive to health and happiness.
As a result of so much media pressure, plastic surgery procedures have increased massively over the last decade as people try to get to that perfect place and feel that they measure up to the ideals.
The truth is that these ideals are really just sticks with which we can beat ourselves and serve to make us feel less than adequate if we choose to buy into them. We are each born with a certain body type, particular facial features etc. and our true path to beauty is to keep ourselves as healthy and vibrant as we can. When we are healthy on the inside that health shows on the outside and we cannot help but be beautiful. That’s where nutrition can come in in a positive way, instead of as part of the problem.
What we put in our mouth, our food choices, are the raw materials that our body uses as fuel for energy and also to maintain all of the complex systems within us. We need not only a certain number of calories but vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, phytochemicals etc. that are part of the complicated chemistry that runs our body. When our body is functioning well that will show in so many ways. On the outside that might show as clearer and firmer skin, shinier hair, strong nails and a healthy weight, all traditional beauty ideals, but there’s so much more. What about our moods? To me, happy, confident people are certainly beautiful. I know I never felt beautiful at times in my life when I was depressed. Our moods are influenced by our body’s production of neurotransmitters (mood chemicals) and those are made from nutrients. Our sex hormones impact our drive and energy, our libido and our moods too. Guess how we make these – yes, from nutrients! These are just examples but you get the picture. When we feel good, we shine more in the world.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments about what beauty means to you and as always if you’d like help reaching the Optimal You then please get in touch.