Hi. I’m Samantha Leith, and welcome to my show. This month is all about body confidence. How you feel in this thing that we have. We’re going to go through some boosters, some tips, some tricks, and hopefully have you coming out at the end feeling like your most confident self, no matter what’s going on here.
Body confidence is a loaded topic. As women, we’re constantly being told what to wear, how to look, how to act, and ultimately what beauty is. Unfortunately, though, every single person has a different opinion of what makes beauty, so it becomes tricky for anyone to try and embody a common standard. Sure the media will have trends. Models of the moment who are usually waifish and slender with impossibly clear skin and so-called perfect proportions. But we also have social media showing us gorgeous fashionistas of all sizes who have endless wardrobes to style, every single current trend. We have cultural beauty standards. What our parents think, what our partners say, and what that guy on Tinder had on his profile as his ideal woman.
Trying to navigate this world of complicated and convoluted beauty standards is an impossible task. So it’s no wonder that we’re often wondering how to gain body confidence in this world of so many contrasting opinions. So what is body confidence? That elusive thing we seek. The answer is simple, really. Body confidence is being comfortable in your own skin. It’s presenting yourself in a way that makes you feel good, which is authentic to who you are as an individual. It’s also about balancing that with the willingness to show who you are to the world. I’m probably more confident in my body now than I’ve ever been and it has nothing to do with my weight, nothing to do with wearing current trends or dressing for anyone else other than myself.
It also has nothing to do with what anyone says is beautiful or how anyone else thinks of a woman my age, size, status, occupation, et cetera, should dress. It does have everything to do with only wearing clothes I feel comfortable and confident in, doing my makeup because it makes me feel good, wearing my hair in a way that makes me happy and showing the world who I am.
So how do I improve my body confidence? How do you improve your body confidence? It can be a long and difficult road for some people, depending on past experiences. My advice is to start with simple things you can control. What feels good? Ask yourself what feels good when you wear it. It might be all about textures for you. It might be a style, a cut, a color of fabric. Whatever it is, wear it and embrace it without judgment or worry about what others may say.
When my daughter Elodie asks me if I’m going out, I often tell her I need to put my face on first, to which she jokingly tells me that I already have a face. We always laugh but the simple fact is, I like wearing makeup and I tell her so. I don’t mind if people see me without it, but it gives me a certain extra poof of confidence and it feels bloody good to have it on. I certainly don’t need it, but if it makes me feel good, then why not?
I recommend going through your wardrobe, take note of the things that you feel really, really great in and pull everything else. If you have anything else in there that makes you feel less than your most confident and comfortable self, get rid of it. If it knocks you down a peg, if it doesn’t sit right, you don’t like the color or the fit or the style anymore, gonsky.
Letting go of what others think
Can you let go of what others think? This is definitely a harder task than going through your wardrobe, but it’s really, really important. Body confidence is letting your personality shine and having the best of you come through, regardless of what anyone else thinks. It can be a process, but it is one which is worth embarking on. A pinky promise. Body confidence is owning what you put out into the world. There will always be people who want to change you, with opinions on how you look, how you act, speak, and so on. Some of these people have your best interest at heart and others, not so much. The most important part of improving your body confidence, though, is letting go of those opinions, because they don’t matter.
A friend of mine recently told me not to be too booby at a lunch we were both going to. Hello? I’m always booby. I like being booby. It’s just me. It’s not about having people look at my cleavage. It’s just my style that I’ve cultivated over years of working out what looks good on me, and I like it. My friend didn’t mean to be rude and she certainly didn’t mean to hurt my feelings, and she didn’t. She’s someone who dresses differently to me, which is fine. But I had to remind myself of that today, otherwise her words could have made me a little self-conscious and I couldn’t let her opinion affect what makes me feel great.
Of course, it is a balancing act. If your heart desires to be dressed head-to-toe in bright purple sparkles, but you don’t think you could take the looks of other people, then start small. Today make your shoes purple and sparkly. Tomorrow it’s your top and your eyeshadow. Slowly you’ll get to the point where you can be your bright, purple, sparkly self and won’t care what the world around you thinks. If it makes you feel good, then it’s what you should do.
And can we stop judging others? You do it. I do it. We all do. We so often feel the reflections of what we put into the world. If you are someone who judges others harshly, especially for their body, then you will assume that others judge you. This perceived or real judgment will impact your confidence. Anyone who loses a little confidence will shrink a little. They’ll stop wearing what they like, stop doing things, stop enjoying themselves, and they’re the only ones who suffer. They’ll stop putting themselves out into the world as much. The moment we all stop judging others is the moment we actually set ourselves free. So next time you see someone wearing something or doing something you would consider outrageous or even just a little bit different, try and catch yourself before you judge. Instead, you can send a little hope into the universe that that person in front of you feels great, that they’re feeling confident, living their best lives and being true to themselves. Being extraordinary as only they can be.
Back to that fun thing. I am about to fill my fun cup and go on a date. And you know what? It doesn’t matter if my date’s with someone else tonight, whether my dates with my daughter, whether my dates by myself. Having something to go out and do you know what, nine times out of 10 will actually make you feel good will make you feel more. Now I’m not saying go out every single night, but sometimes having that in your day is great. But whatever you do, still have that time for dinner in your day.
You are more than a number. If I could have a dollar or a minute back for every day that was ruined after standing on that set of scales and letting that number dictate whether I had a good day or a bad day, whether I felt good, whether I felt like crap, whether I … Sometimes it even affected my sense of purpose. The number does not have that power over you. Whether it’s your scales, the number on the back of the size of your dress. I have clothes in probably 10 different sizes just because I feel good in that outfit, not because of the number.
You are not your age. You are not the percentage on a dexa scan. I got really obsessed with them for a while. I’m done. No. I am not a number. You are not a number. Do not let it control you. Do you feel good? Are you healthy? That’s all that matters.
You have a bikini body. Yep. We’ve all heard the saying, and you do. Put on the bikini, walk to the pool, walk to the beach, walk around the house if you want. That’s all you need for a bikini body is buying a bikini and putting it on your body. Look, for me, I’ve got four and a half meters of scars on my body after my surgeries. Is that going to stop me putting on a bikini and enjoying my life if I want to wear the god damn bikini? No. Again, do what you want to do. It’s not about fashion. It’s not about what you look like. It’s about being comfortable in that. Just like those amazing women I saw in Sicily years ago, all ages, all shapes and sizes, rocking whatever they were wearing on the beach. Be that person.
Shopping for Confidence
How do you shop and stay confident? When you go into those shops and you look in the mirror and you’re like, ah, I can’t buy this thing. Just know what suits you. Buy what suits you from the shops that you like shopping at, from the people that make you feel like you’re worth something in those shops. Don’t follow the trends. And if you really want to follow a trend, buy a pair of earrings or something that can add to something that already makes you feel spectacular. And if in doubt, get something tailored. It’s not that expensive and it will make you feel a million bucks.
Thank you for watching this week’s episode all about body confidence. Hopefully you’re going to have a little more zing in your step tonight, and please do the exercises. If you need some more information or you want to download the PDFs for them, head over to samanthaleith.com/freebies, where you will find everything at your fingertips. See you next week.
Produced by Rebecca Saunders and Pyrmont Studios
What a Feeling
Songwriters: Antonio Lamar Dixon / Colbie Caillat / Kenny Edmonds Babyface / Jason Bradford Reeves
© Reservoir Media Music, Sony/atv Tunes Llc, Universal Music Corp., Sony/atv Songs Llc, Cocomarie Music, Faze 2 Music
Produced by Samantha Leith / Michael Allen
Vocals by Samantha Leith
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