Over the weekend, my friend and I went with our other friend wedding dress shopping. She looked beautiful in everything. Every time she stepped out in a new gown, we showered her with god's honest words of praise. But when she was done trying them on, my friend and I both jokingly stepped up onto the platform brides-to-be stand on and looked in the mirror. And we both immediately started complaining about ourselves. "Ugh, look at my hair." "I look so tired." "My nail beds suck." (Just kidding. Mean Girls reference.)
It was, in a word, gross. Why were we so critical of ourselves moments after we were showering someone else with genuine compliments? Why is it a knee-jerk reaction to criticize every time we see our reflection? I don't know about you, but I'd like to stop that. Even if for no other reason than it's not a habit I'd like to pass on to my daughter.
Here are 5 tricks to feeling pretty every time you look in the mirror.
1. When you look in the mirror, pretend you're a friend. I recently read this trick to feeling pretty, and it totally makes sense. We are never as critical of others as we are of ourselves. Why are we treating ourselves differently? Also, we probably wouldn't stare as long and hard at other people as we do at ourselves. That would be weird.
2. Every time you look in the mirror, force yourself to say or think one nice thing about yourself. Even when you're feeling extra gross. It could be as simple as "I like my straight teeth" or as confident as "I'm a motha truckin' bombshell!"
3. Don't look in the mirror as much. Pretty simple. And, no, I don't mean to avoid looking at your gorgeous face. I just mean, well, maybe you're over-analyzing things. And over-analyzing is never good. When you go into the bathroom, do whatever you need to do and get out.
4. Smile. Everyone looks better and more friendly when they smile. Think about it: Would you rather see a scowling face staring back at you in the mirror, or a shiny, happy one?
5. Start thinking of your "flaws" with appreciation and acceptance. I often go straight to the bags under my eyes when I look in the mirror and think, "I look old." But instead of dwelling on the fact that I'm getting older and droopier, I can choose to think: "I'm getting older, and that's a privilege." My mother passed away in her early 50s, so I'm well aware of how fleeting life can be. I should focus on how lucky I am to be alive another year, as opposed to my dark circles. Yes, this is a little heady and may be a bit much when you're just trying to wash your face, but trust me, it works. If you have a scar on your face, choose to look at it as a memory of an old injury, as opposed to something that makes you "unpretty". Because you're not unpretty. You're gorgeous.
Do you have any tips for feeling pretty?