The other day I was with a group of about 12 women and we were discussing body image and self-esteem.  I asked them, “How many of you want to change something about your physical appearance?” They unanimously raised their hands and said they wanted to change things like their eyes, their chins, and their weight (both up and down), among other things. I was really stunned.

It reminds me of one of my favorite TV shows – GLEE, and in particular, Season 2, Ep 18 called Born this Way.  It’s about the Glee Club’s assignment to work on songs that show self-acceptance, culminating in a group performance of Lady Gaga’s song, Born this Way.

Each of the characters has one thing about themselves that they totally hate or get teased by others about – like a big nose or lips, IQ, Asian eyes, hair weave, OCD, inability to dance well, a physical disability, sexual orientation, minority status, and weight.  The point of the show is that these things that we perceive as our weaknesses are actually our strengths and what makes us unique and special.

Lady Gaga, for example, was bullied when she was growing up, yet clearly her unique view of the world, non-traditional appearance, and special talents enabled her to become extremely successful.  At the time, the people she was around most likely either didn’t understand her or perhaps weren’t able to be as authentic as her, and instead teased her. It’s easy to think this may be our fault, we’re not good at a skill, or that something is wrong with us. (This is definitely true about cooking ~ lots of people feel like they “aren’t good cooks” but what if that wasn’t true?!)

This show inspires me and makes me happy and makes me want to share the main point – Love yourself!  The thing that you disapprove of is actually your hidden gift that can create impact in the world.  Let yourself shine!