Karina Chronicles

#ThrowbackThursday – How to Survive A Self-Esteem Crisis

Expert in all things web, social media and business related, Sarah Von Bargen is the creator and writer of Yes and Yes – a blog that addresses many aspects of modern life but is ultimately about saying ‘yes’ to the things that make you happy. Follow Sarah on Twitter and Facebook or visit her blog and website!

Friends, yesterday I was not a pretty sight. I misplaced my contacts and spent the day rocking some glasses circa 1998, a rather greasy ponytail and a shirt that I thrifted and belatedly discovered was not so much empire-waisted as it was maternity-waisted. My jeans gave me muffin top, my cuff bracelet vacuum sealed itself onto my forearm, and there maaaaay have been a freshly picked spot on my chin. Good lord, the hotness? It was overwhelming. Not surprisingly, I felt as attractive as three-day-old Chinese take out, and approximately as delicious. So I headed home and engaged in some of my trusted ego-boosting techniques. Not necessarily proven to turn you back into your tanned/five pounds lighter/natural highlights/post-vacation self, but they’ll certainly keep you from making a reservation for a pity party for one!

Make a list of all your great traits, physical and otherwise
When confronted with tight jeans and a questionable complexion, it’s easy to get hung up on the ways that your appearance is failing you. But what about your great calves? And those adorable freckles? And your ability to quote the entirety of Wedding Crashers ver batim? Not things to be over looked, friend! Make a list of the ways in which you rock and post it somewhere you’ll see it every day.

Have a one-person dance party
Sure, dancing (and all physical activity) boosts your endorphins blahblahblah. More importantly, it’s wicked fun and silly and will probably make you feel heaps better. I challenge to you rock out to She-Wolf in your ruffled underwear and maintain any sort of grump.

Call someone you love
Your mum, your BFF, your unfailingly positive and funny cousin. Talking to someone that loves you feels good, right?

Have a bit of girly bath time
Maybe immersing yourself in bubble bath and scented oils won’t shrink your hips, make your teeth straighter or cure your split ends, but it’ll sure make you smell and feel good!

Try a different hair do
Hairstyles make a huuuuge impact on how you look. Now, I know that I look better with swoopy side bangs and that sexily messy hair that takes so long to sexily muss. Despite this, I spend most of my life with my bangs pinned back and my poker-straight hair mashed into a messy bun. But on these ugly days, taking the time to actually (gasp!) style my hair makes all the difference. Blowing your mind here, I know.

Or cover it up
If you can’t be bothered to fuss with your hair (or honestly can’t do much with it) embrace the hat! Or the headscarf/head band/fascinator. It’ll make you feel mysterious and new, I promise.

Get a make-up counter make over
Why not let a professional apply your blue eyeliner for once? It’s a fun (and cheap) way to spend 30 minutes and you’ll hopefully come out of it looking like a new woman. Maybe a bingo-playing grandma destined for the early-bird special, but a new woman nonetheless.

Check out this photo shoot
Super models who aren’t super thin? Yes please! Revel in their curvy hips, adorable tummies and non-toothpick thighs!

Reconsider those features you dislike
Now, I’m not one to advocate pinning your self esteem to your appearance, much less how your appearance compares to what we see in the media. That said, it’s pretty likely that the bump in your nose that you hate so much or your wicked curly hair has graced the pages of Vogue at some point. I just googled my abhorred blond eyelashes and found this photo of the lovely Maggie Rizer, sans mascara.

Resist the urge to change into your sweats, try a bit of structure
Sure, your belly roll won’t bother you so much once you’re wearing your size XXL U of M sweats, but I actually feel better when I add a bit of structure. A big belt cinched tight around my waist, a button-up shirt, or a pair of wedges make me feel a bit more human. Devolving into a slob, comfy though it is, generally doesn’t make one feel more attractive, does it?

Play dress up
Remember the dress-up trunk you had as a kid and all the fun you had in those prom dresses? Why don’t we treat our closets like that? I don’t mean that you should do some of that ‘shop in your closet’ sensible-ness. Try on the most ridiculous combinations you can find, top it off with some purple eye shadow, a messy top knot and then try to scare your cat. And devotedly hope that your neighbor doesn’t pop over to borrow a cup of sugar.

Slap on some color
Sometimes just altering your appearance is enough to feel better. I’m a big fan of ye old ‘red lipstick and big sunglasses’ trick, but you can probably accomplish the same thing with a big swipe of blush or some epic eyeshadow.

Reference some cute photos of yourself
When you’re suffering from the uglies, it’s easy to forget that you ever looked hot. This is when you check out those professional photos of yourself I’ve been banging on about! I know looking at myself all well-lit and touched up, certainly makes me feel better. If you don’t have any fancy pro photos, surely you have a few snap shots on facebook that do you justice?Go read Already Pretty or Daddy Likey and remember that your body is your friend and that fashion can be fun (and funny!)

What do you do when you’re suffering from a case of the uglies?

[Originally published on karinachronicles.com July 2013]


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