Self-confidence is a vital tool to the joie de vivre of our thinking, feelings, behaviour, and our body's general wellbeing. It is also pivotal to our decision-making abilities and when it is low or non-existent, you are unlikely to feel empowered. This guide is undoubtedly not exhaustive nor a solution for everyone, but New African Woman can't resist sharing a good tip.
(1.) Be a role model
Every culture and every generation has its own rules and expectations for women. It is never easy to go against the grain, but there have always been women who took risks to grow and learn and succeed. And, there always will be. Many inspirational women have broken moulds, set new standards, and blazed trails. Wouldn't you like to break a mould or two?
Make a list of women you admire
How often is a woman's appearance a reason that you admire her? What do you think are the most important attributes a woman can have? What would you like a young woman to most admire in you? In herself? Does our culture seem to admire the same things in women that you do?
(3.) Get physical for fun
Your body needs EXCERCISE and REAL FOOD. Take walks, dance in your living room, garden, golf... try to get moving for your heart, not to decrease the size of your bottom. You may lose weight and you may not, but your body will be stronger. Your stress will be lower and you'll feel better.
(4.) Stop talking about your weight (especially in front of young girls)
Young girls listen to the way women talk about themselves and each other and learn the language of womanhood. Young women can only learn to love or even accept their bodies if they see women who love and accept their own. Every discussion we have about weight, or fat, or being too this or that, leaves an impression on the people around us. We are encouraging a wrong quest for perfection.
(5.) Concentrate on things you do well
Do you look in the mirror one day and think you look great and the next day and think you look awful? Your body isn't changing, your perception of it, is. It is true that if you're feeling good about other things in your life, you'll be less critical of how you look. Do things you do well. And if you've had a bad day, stay away from the mirror. When a woman is happy and confident, she may not have a "perfect" body, but she doesn't give a damn!
(6.) Weigh yourself for health reasons
Remember that the emphasis to be thin and beautiful is growing in many of our societies...