Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Our 300th Post: Self-Acceptance

This is the 300th paNASH Style blog post. As you can see in the right hand column under the "Categories of Topics" section, we've covered many things related to image development over the past several years, everything from wardrobe styling suggestions to tips for interviews and even some inspirational and motivational topics.

While I've tried to remain consistent in putting out content through this blog on a weekly basis, lately I have not been able to post every week due to several factors, one including some time of reflection on what the next steps are for paNASH Style. I'm looking forward to spending the end of 2014 in planning mode for 2015 and seeing what paNASH Style will look like in the upcoming year. In the meantime, my goal is to get back to posting every week with both fresh content and a mix of some of our most popular past posts (it's always good to be reminded of things we've previously learned so we can apply them to the new things we learn, right?).

For our 300th blog entry, I'm going to post something under the inspirational/motivational category since I could personally use some inspiration and motivation as we start to approach the end of another year. I hope you will find it inspiring and motivating as well, as I know it did for me when I read the following devotional at the beginning of this week:
Studies show that many of us don’t like ourselves. A poll of college students confirmed that over 50 percent suffered from low self-acceptance, with the majority citing their looks as the source of their unhappiness. "My nose is too long. My eyes are too small. I’m too fat here—too thin there. I’m too short—too tall. I’ve got freckles.” And the beauty industry is more than willing to darken it, lighten it, accentuate it, lift it, tuck it, and cover it up in an attempt to sell us a self-image we can accept. A little improvement might indeed be beneficial, but not as a basis for self-worth. Here’s how God sees the issue: "Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?’” (Isa 45:9 NLT). You are God’s personal creation. And He makes no mistakes, overlooks no details, and leaves nothing unfinished. You need to accept yourself because He created, redeemed, and accepts you. In an age of media run amok we’re bombarded by images of perfect-looking people, with the inference that we need to look like them if we hope to amount to anything. But Paul says: "We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise” (2Co 10:12 NIV). The God Who made you who you are has a plan for perfecting you. You’re perfectly acceptable, if not yet acceptably perfect. You’re "predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son.” So you’re a work in progress!
Where do I start in dissecting this beautiful statement? I can honestly say that not only do I often hear from clients when working on their wardrobe all the things they don't like about their bodies, I find myself saying some of the same things about my own body - "My nose is too big, my chest is too flat, my stomach isn't what it used to be when I was in my 20s." I definitely need to follow my own advice to my clients and focus less on my figure flaws and more on not just my physical assets but also my inner beauty and God's love for me.

And boy did the above devotional hit the nail on the head about how the beauty industry and the media lies to us and tries to convince us that drastic changes to ourselves through expensive products and unnecessary surgeries will make us happy. Let me just say this: clients who had previously had any kind of plastic surgery prior to my working with them were always less happy with their bodies than those clients who had never had any plastic surgery. 

I once had someone refer a client to me, telling me I needed to suggest to the client a certain cosmetic surgical procedure. This is not my job. My job is help people make beneficial improvements in their image while at the same time helping them understand that their looks are not the basis for their self-worth. My goals are a.) to help the client see himself or herself in the same light that God sees them, b.) to bring continuity to their talents and their appearance, and c.) to polish the gem they already are on the inside so they shine even brighter to the world. Not only does true beauty come from within, but so does self-acceptance when we understand that God is perfecting us on a much deeper level.

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