Thirst Trap: A photo or video posted which is slightly off-brand with the explicit goal of eliciting compliments about your appearance.
In high school the absolute worst thing someone could say about you is, “She’s conceited”, “She’s stuck up” or “She’s full of herself”
Especially as women, most of us (of a certain age) have been conditioned to dismiss all compliments, and look into the mirror, but only to find fault and basically the way to be more likable was to see and highlight your flaws.
And then we wonder why we struggle to accept our bodies or *gasp* think we look good.
Here’s the deal… times have changed. Permission to acknowledge your greatness!
The reason I mention thirst traps is because they’re actually a great way for women to support women! If you’ve got the right group of women (like those in the Podsquad) I promise you’ll get nothing but love, support, and a ton of genuine compliments.
This is your invitation to post a “thirst trap” or “I’m feeling cute” photo to our Facebook group.
I was so uncertain about posting a bathing suit pick a few years ago after I hit 50. What will people say? Will they say I’m too old? I’m full of myself? Will they think it’s inappropriate?
I thought I looked great (not perfect) so I posted it!
A few recents are included below…. Lol
And guess what— women showered me with compliments.
Call me shallow but every single time I post a pic where I’m feeling cute and confident, positive minded, secure women have the kindest, most uplifting things to say.
Today I have learned to accept those compliments. Surround yourself with the right women and watch what it will do for your body image!!
For most of our lives, we’ve been conditioned to focus on our flaws. All that does is make us feel worse about ourselves.
Personally my body confidence took a real dive during my time in consumer fitness. Since leaving, I’ve worked hard to restore my once positive body image.
I’ve seen the TEDtalks. I’ve watched countless YouTube videos. I’ve seen all the TikToks from body positivity experts.
None of that has ever helped me. Half the time it makes me feel like I’m doing body image positivity wrong or it just feels cheesy.
Many are going to disagree with me on this but I also do not at all find it makes me feel better about my body to do an instagram post highlighting my cellulite, stretch marks or wrinkles with the caption “Vulnerable post here” or “I love these wrinkles”. I mean we all have these things… but do we have to focus on them??
I have plenty of cellulite but you won’t see me posting a photo that highlights it anytime soon. No thank you!
And then there’s the school of thought that if you’re trying to improve something, that must mean you struggle with your body image. It must mean you feel inadequate. Huh??
I just don’t see it that way.
All I know is that I’ve never felt better about my appearance, or my personality, than I do today and I’ve had to find my own quirky ways to do it.
Of course, with age comes wisdom, and in turn, confidence. But I’ve also come up with some of my own strategies that have helped me feel tremendously more confident in my aging body.
My hope is that sharing some of these strategies will help to boost your confidence.
First, let’s quickly look at some of the ways we can develop a negative body image.
Causes of Negative Body Image
- Some people experience body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a mental health condition characterized by an obsessive preoccupation with perceived flaws in their appearance.
- Other mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and eating disorders can significantly impact body image.
- We often have unrealistic expectations about how our bodies should look, influenced by media, social media, and societal pressures.
- Comparing ourselves to edited or curated images of others can lead to feelings of inadequacy and a distorted perception of our own bodies.
- Society’s biases and the stigma surrounding weight have a significant impact on how we view our bodies.
- Unsolicited opinions and judgments from peers and/or family members can deeply affect our self-perception.
- Puberty, pregnancy, aging, and other life transitions can alter our bodies, causing us to feel uncertain or dissatisfied with our new physical appearance.
Seeking support from professionals, practicing self-care, and challenging unrealistic beauty ideals can all help in cultivating a healthier body image.
Beyond some of the more common strategies for maintaining a positive body image, I want to share with you a few unconventional things that work well for me.
Avoid Negative Energy
- Stay away from people who engage in negative self-talk. That kind of negativity is contagious.
- Only go out to places where you feel comfortable and confident.
- Tell opinionated loved ones, “I do not want to hear anything, even if it’s positive, about my appearance – weight, makeup, hair, etc. I love you. If that’s difficult for you, I understand. But please let me know in advance, because I really want to enjoy my visit with you.”
Love Your Style
- Wear clothes, makeup, and hairstyles that make you feel amazing.
- Try different styles to help figure out what feels best on your body.
- Instead of trying to fit into society’s expectations, express who you really are and celebrate your uniqueness.
Believe the Skinny Mirror
- Focus on the aspects of your body that you appreciate.
- When you believe you look better, it can inspire you to maintain healthy habits like exercise, balanced nutrition, and self-care.
- Don’t look for flaws.
- See yourself in a more positive light and shift the focus away from unrealistic ideals.
Accept compliments, positive comments and delete unflattering photos
- Use good lighting! Throw on some makeup and take a cute pic!
- Delete any pics that you just don’t love the way you look. (Blame the photographer – lol)
- Accept compliments when people give them.
- Don’t define yourself by those who are jealous, or stingy with compliments
Hit Your Angles
- Shift your focus from perceived flaws to the things you love about yourself
- Check out some great posts on Pinterest and Youtube that will teach you how to take more flattering photos! I broke it all down in this Instagram video
- Knowing how angles and lighting can totally change how you look helps prove that most beauty expectations are unrealistic.
- Your ability to present yourself in a way that makes you feel good will always improve body image and self-esteem.
Change What You Don’t Like
- If what you have going on isn’t working for you, there’s no shame in changing it so you feel better about it.
- When you take proactive measures to change the things you don’t like about your body, it can make you feel empowered and in control of how you look.
- In some cases, changing certain aspects of your body may be necessary to alleviate discomfort related to body dysmorphia.
Remember, it’s really important to keep a few things in mind when considering serious changes to your appearance. Make sure to set realistic expectations, talk to professionals who know what they’re doing, and be aware of any risks or complications that may come with procedures.
We are born loving ourselves.
It isn’t until we have influences in our lives that we pick up on other people’s insecurities. Once that happens, we often unlock our own insecurities.
Ultimately, you’ve got to change out the tape that’s playing in your head.
Don’t believe the negative things that you say to yourself.
Compliment yourself out loud. Focus on what you love about yourself.
Most importantly, ignore the hate.
When I wrote my book PUSH, I made one massive mistake. I read all the negative reviews. Oof. Listen to episode #1000 of The Chalene Show to hear my (livid) gut reaction to some of those comments.
Here’s why you want to listen to episode #1000 – Body Image Positivity…
- How Bret encourages a positive body image
- Why I decided to get breast implants
Check out the following links for more information on maintaining a positive body image…