DEPENDING ON whom you ask, you’ll hear that Compliment Your Mirror Day falls on either July 3rd, 4th, or 5th. You might also hear something along the lines of “That’s not a real holiday!” but you can ignore those naysayers. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
Compliment Your Mirror Day is all about being as kind to yourself — particularly with regard to your appearance — as you are to others. We wouldn’t dare say such negative things to another person’s face, but we heap criticism upon ourselves as if our own feelings don’t matter. You know your feelings matter; that’s why you’ve learned to stand up for yourself against the noxious bastards who try to grind you down.
It’s far too easy to get trapped in cycles of negative self-talk. What starts as one minor criticism of your silhouette ends with your whole evening turned sour. Compliment Your Mirror Day is a great opportunity to break these cycles and start your summer with a fresh outlook. So in honor of this admirable holiday, here are five great strategies to help you work through your negative self-talk and let a little body positivity into your life.
Compliment Your Mirror
Hey, this is what the holiday is named for, right? But what does complimenting your mirror really look like?
Well, for starters, it doesn’t have to be a huge event. It’s as simple as going into the bathroom, smiling at yourself, and paying yourself a genuine compliment. That’s it. That’s all you have to do.
And although you’re more than welcome to strip naked and vogue it out in your bathroom to celebrate your curves, ribs, hips, rolls, and wrinkles, you absolutely, 100% do not have to if that will cause you pain and impede your progress. While I certainly encourage anyone with scars, stretch marks, or other “blemishes” to love them, the fact is that you might not be ready to celebrate those parts of yourself they way they deserve to be celebrated, and that’s okay. This is a journey, not a dive.
Dance It Out
Even if you aren’t comfortable voguing-while-naked, that’s no reason not to dance! Look, I’m a fat white girl with absolutely zero spacial awareness. I can’t dance, at least not in the kind of way that you’d expect to see in a club or Millennial social gathering. But I can do silly little dances in my kitchen that make me feel good and get a few shared laughs from my loved ones.
So throw on your favorite K-pop song and dance like no one’s watching. Dust off your old PlayStation 2 and load up a fun tune on DanceDanceRevolution. If you’ve never twerked before, try to learn how. Revive an older dance, like the Macarena or the Electric Slide, and have fun following the moves. Whatever it takes to get you in the groove, do it!
Wear Something New
For those of us with body-image issues, clothes shopping can be a nightmare. I don’t know about you, but it always seems that the tops, bottoms, and dresses I like the most are only available in whatever sizes I don’t wear. With big feet, I even have trouble finding shoes that fit.
If you find a fabulous new article of clothing, feel free to flaunt it, but this strategy for body positivity is not about blouses and skirts. Rather, it’s about finding a great new accessory or trend to try on. Whether it’s bright lipstick, designer sunglasses, or a funky haircut, find what works for you and werk it!
People of all sizes are used to being judged on what they eat, from fatshaming message boards to You Did Not Eat That campaigns on social media. Don’t listen to the haters. Eat the damn cheesecake. Or the celery. Or the steak. Whatever you’ve been guilting yourself out of eating: eat it and enjoy it. If someone throws you shade, enjoy it even more. You aren’t “too thin” for salad, and you aren’t “too fat” for a doughnut.
Do you ever notice how people seem so much more attractive on the days when you aren’t feeling your look? It’s easy to let jealousy seep in and corrupt your self-image, but by paying other people compliments — even silently — you’ll find you have something nice to say about almost everyone you meet. And because positivity is infectious, you’ll soon be paying yourself more compliments in return. Finding the beauty in everyone else makes it easier to see how amazing you are. When you start to notice that people of your size and shape look wonderful, you’ll realize that you look just as great.
Ultimately, the message is this: be nice to yourself. It’s hard to be happy when someone’s mean to you all the time.