Yesterday I posted about Jubilee Project, an organization who uses the film medium to bring awareness and inspire change.

Today I want to bring to your attention their video, Comfortable.  It is one of their short films where they ask 50 people 1 question.  This one asks “if you can change one thing about your body what would it be?”

Watch video Here:

The answers given is telling.  The younger we are the more comfortable we are in our skin.  Somewhere in the middle of our time we let the voices and opinions of others color our perception of our beauty, whether it be classmates, friends, family, or media.

But when we are young we want superpowers, we are happy with who we are, until the outside voices drill their way in.  The people who wanted to change themselves weren’t because they came up with this “issue” with their bodies on their own.  It was because others had with their words and actions given them a complex about it.

We should be careful of our words.  They have a lasting effect.  Especially if they’re negative.  It is our nature as humans to take to heart a hurtful, negative comment and ignore or forget the complimentary and positive comments. We should teach our children and OURSELVES to only speak kindness and positive.  Compliment don’t criticize.  Raise others up don’t tear them down.

It is sad to think that we could ask these same kids in the video in ten to twenty years the same question and their answers would be drastically different.

The older we are, we begin to accept our bodies and all it’s “flaws”.  We embrace that which makes us who we are.  I, myself, am learning to do this.  It is just something that seems to be falling into place. I am not where the older lady is yet but I believe I will get there.  I sure hope I will.

I hope you take away the lesson here that you should be comfortable in your own skin.  I hope you heed the lesson to be kind and teach kindness.  Mostly I hope the world can learn to compliment and not criticize.  However, until then, try to counter the criticism someone may hear with a compliment.  That woman you see in the elevator that has a nice outfit on, compliment her.  That man you see walking down the hall with the nice outfit on, compliment him.  The waitress or waiter who brings you your food, the bank teller, whoever you run across compliment them.  You just may make their day.  And yes in the process you’ll make your own better.

Find your joy and laissez les bons temps rouler!



Embracing Compliments

Often compliments are countered with a self-deprecating comment.

“You’re pretty.”
“Thanks but my hair wouldn’t fix right and my eyes are puffy.”

“That thing you made is great!”
“Well I could’ve done this and that to make it better.”

Compliments make us self-conscious.  We cringe inside and feel uncomfortable when someone offers us a simple compliment. Instantly we list our perceived faults.  Even if we are proud of it we cannot just say thank you because then it may seem vain or prideful.

Vain: adj. 1.excessively proud of or concerned about one’s own appearance, qualities, achievements, etc.; conceited.
There is nothing wrong with being proud of an accomplishment.  Something you worked hard for.  Something that did and it turned out well.  Or just feeling pretty because for some reason that day your makeup went on right, your hair fixed perfectly, or whatever.  It is not vanity to be proud of yourself.  It’s good to have some pride.  So unless you’re conceited and excessive about it then you’re good.

The words “Thank you” are not boastful.  They are a simple acceptance.  An acknowledging that the compliment was received and appreciated.  The detractive statement does not do any good.  It does what any detractive statement is meant to do, it detracts.  It devalues the compliment.  It belittles whatever was complimented. It diminishes your confidence both perceived and real.

Women tend to do this more than men.  While I’m sure there are men out there that feel the same, for women it is unconsciously taught to us, ingrained in us.  Again there are exceptions to the rule I am speaking in relative terms.

Teaching little girls to be demure when given a compliment must stop.  We start by stop doing it ourselves.  Appreciate the compliments.  This undervaluing ourselves needs to stop.   We are worthy of compliments.  We are valuable. What we do is valuable.

Whoever you are, no matter what gender you are, you are are deserving of some accolades.  Embrace them.

Find your joy and laissez les bons temps rouler!