I was a fortune child, fortunate to be the youngest of three siblings and therefore pampered. My parents adored me, my sisters dotted on me, I was good in studies and hence the favorite of my teachers as well. I had delicate features and was petite, dainty and thin. I loved my life. But every story has a twist and so did mine. As I entered my teens, the very same petite frame suddenly became a bone of contention for me, especially when I compared myself to my more endowed friends who had well defined bosoms, a swing in their hips and a feminine structure. I remained dainty and petite, so much so that my friends (so called) made fun of me.
It started with an occasional snicker, then a giggle every time I passed by to a full-blown laugh riot with finger pointing and more.
I started feeling insecure, increasingly aware of my body or the lack of it, my grades started dropping and I started feeling low . My sisters were away pursuing their education and I was alone at home with my parents and so I guess I was unable to speak about it to anyone. My teachers started worrying about my falling grades and my mother sensed something amiss in my behavior. My insecurity had grown so much that one fine day I refused to get out of bed and got to school. My mother thankfully didn’t pressurize me and instead agreed that it was a good idea to stay at home and spend quality time together. We spent a fabulous day talking, laughing, playing indoor games and just chilling. During the course of our conversations my mom slowly got me to talk about what was bothering me. My lovely understanding mother didn’t shout or judge or chide me for my behavior.
She calmly prescribed a couple of tablets and a powder with instructions on how to have them for a month. Since she was an Ayurvedic Doctor and also my mother I trusted her and followed her instructions. In the month that followed I would check myself in the mirror everyday to see any changes and surprisingly I saw myself evolving and blossoming.
A month later I hugged my mom with joy and told her that her medicines worked. She calmly smiled and explained that all she had given me was a combination of calcium, vitamin and tons of self-belief. What had changed over the month was my opinion of myself. I had changed in my own eyes. I had started to look at myself differently and that had made a massive difference to my confidence.
My body had not changed, but the body image in my mind had changed and that was what was important.
Now years later, as a Child Psychologist and a Behavioral Coach I understand what my mother did. She built up my confidence by getting me to look at myself through my eyes and not of those judging me. I was able to see the good in me, work on what I lacked and build on what I had.
Now when I consult teenagers (especially girls) I give them the same advice. Look within, LOVE yourself and then look outside for affirmations. You are your best adviser, critique and fan, all rolled into one.
LOVE YOURSELF and Let others be.