Setting yourself positive goals that encourage you to grow, develop and improve is a fantastic way to get motivated and ensure that you’re always challenging yourself to be the best you can be. And while positive resolutions are an amazing way to start the year, we need to be mindful about the goals we are actually setting so that they are constructive and come from a place of self-love.
Weight-loss always pops up as the number 1 resolution. But why? Aiming to shed some extra weight can be positive if it is done in the right way for the right reasons, but why is the goal ‘weight-loss’ and not to get fitter or healthier?
We talked to Author and Founder of Natural Model Management, Katie Willcox about the ‘beauty ideal’ and focussing on setting yourself positive resolutions.
When we step back and look at what the past year of our lives have included and we think of ways we can better ourselves as human beings in 2018, why is it that weight loss is often our number one goal and resolution.
Don’t get me wrong here, being a healthy weight is an amazing goal and an attainable one at that.
What I want to know is how does losing weight take precedence over other extremely important aspects of our lives and personality traits that could use some attention in 2018?
For example, I am extremely stubborn and have a horrible time saying sorry to my husband when we get into an argument. I don’t know why, even when I know I should say sorry and I am actually thinking in my head, “just say sorry” I can’t make myself do it! That isn’t a good quality. I am aware of it and it is something I am working on to be a better version of myself and partner.
Another thing I have had to work on over the past year has been to not overload myself with too many projects. I have a fifteen-month-old daughter and I can’t do as much work as I was able to before having her. This past year has been a period where I have had to learn how to balance being a new mom and a business woman. I have worked hard to eliminate extra work I was adding to my plate so that my family gets quality time with me too.
These are just two examples of things I am working on but a great question to ask is why would these things be valued less than “looking better” or losing weight?
There is no question that as women, we have grown up in a society that values us based on our bodies and our physical attractiveness above all else. We have been lead to believe that to achieve our dreams, have a loving partner, be happy, successful, respected, and loved; we need to be thin.
I want to help you understand how the beauty ideal works and why it is unattainable so that you can choose health, happiness and self-acceptance as you begin your next chapter.
After World War I, there was a fear of over production in the factories and corporations worked closely with advertising mastermind, Edward Bernays to transform America from a need to a want system. Post war people were not purchasing products they didn’t need and it took Bernays and psychoanalysts little time to begin to test the minds of the American people through advertising agendas.
For example, at that time it was socially unacceptable for women to smoke in public, only men could smoke. The cigarette companies came to Bernays in hopes of changing the public opinion on women smoking and doubling their customer base. After speaking with psychoanalysts to determine what cigarettes symbolized to women, Bernays constructed a media campaign. It was determined that cigarettes where a symbol of male dominance and if Bernays could convince women that by smoking they were challenging male power, they would smoke. Bernays hired beautiful socialites and on cue they were to light up unapologetically and glamorously at New York’s Easter Day Parade. Bernay’s made sure that this moment was photographed and the next day it was not only printed in the New York paper but around the world. “Torches of Freedom” with the headline, “Suffragette’s light up in protest for women’s liberation.”
From that point on the sale of cigarettes began to rise. He had made them acceptable with a single symbolic act.
Similarly, to cigarettes being a symbol of liberation for women, being thin has become a symbol value. The truth is, you don’t need to lose weight to have a wonderful life. You can be happy, successful, respected, loved, and valued as a human being with the body you have right now.
You don’t need to continue to over-spend on products in hopes of being good enough because those beliefs were created by others to manipulate yourself esteem and generate profit.
As you sit and think about what you want to achieve this year and reflect on 2017, I hope you are inspired to let go of any beliefs that cause you to feel inadequate and replace them with gratitude for all the lessons you are learning.
Each year that goes by your soul is evolving and growing and that is a beautiful thing. In case no one has told you, your purpose is not to be beautiful. No matter what you look like you are alive to contribute your talents and gifts with the world if you choose to do so.
So, as you’re setting your sights on your goals for the year ahead, why not prioritise your health, happiness and self-acceptance. And choose goals that help you learn, grow and love you for the wonderful person you are?
What positive goals are you setting for 2018?
After dropping down to a size 10, a healthy size for her 5’9 frame, Katie was no longer considered big enough for plus-size modeling. Instead of quitting the industry, Katie decided she wanted to change it and created Healthy Is The New Skinny (HNS), a thriving social movement challenging the modeling industry and public’s perception of “idealistic beauty” that has been created over time.
Making her debut as an author this year, Katie released her book, Healthy Is The New Skinny: Your Guide to Self-Love In A ‘Picture Perfect’ World, in which she offers a breakthrough approach to healthy body image by exposing the harmful media messaging set in place by the fashion and beauty industries. Katie shares personal stories and experiences as a “plus size” model, girl boss, and overall flawed human being in a perfection-obsessed society.