Yesterday I was bombarded with questions about what I think about the “Human Barbie”, a woman named Valeria Lukyanova who has pulled, pressed, cut, and reshaped her body to look like… well… a Human Barbie.
While Lukyanova states, “Look, to me the Barbie Doll looks perfect; it was created as a human idol…’, others think she looks like an alien.
You see – the whole Valeria Lukyanova thing ignited both a visceral reaction in me as well as one of respect.
On one hand – it’s toxic to think that there’s only one truly perfect human appearance.
On the other hand, I believe in freedom; even if that freedom makes you look like an alien.
Is there a part of me that wants to scream if I one more store full of ‘skinny jeans’ and ‘bodycon’ dresses?
Well, frankly yes. I am 5’1″; I’m curvy; I’m muscular; and I’ll never really look just right in either of these hot clothing trends.
I tried to do the “Barbie” thing for years and it left me just, plain miserable.
What Is Human Barbie Syndrome?
Every year thousands of people die due to eating disorders.
But the truth is, many others live with eating disorders; they’re just dying inside.
You don’t have to be an anorexic or bulimic. You may be dying inside because you can never relax around food.
Or maybe you constantly have an image of what you ‘should’ look like… and no matter how healthy you are, you can’t stay happy in your own skin.
We’re all inundated with Photoshopped magazine covers daily. So how do we find a measure of beauty that satisfies us?
I’m 5’1″; I’ll never look like a Barbie. Or even a Disney Princess. I’m just me.
But for years I had Human Barbie Syndrome. (I don’t know if it’s a real term so I hope I’m not stepping on any toes, here.)
I spent time thinking about nothing but my thighs. Or how tiny my tummy looked. Or how much I could make my cheekbones protrude.
Human Barbie Syndrome is trying to measure yourself up to a standard of perfection that isn’t natural- or even possible; and making yourself miserable when you don’t reach that standard.
How Human Barbie Syndrome Destroys Lives…
Let me tell you: my Human Barbie Syndrome was miserable.
I’d snap at cashiers, waiters, my family, my professors, my friends…
Looking back at pictures – I see a stunning, stunning young woman.
But I had Human Barbie Syndrome.
I constantly compared myself to models. Or my thinner friends. Or friends who were the same size as me but wore it better.
I didn’t want to leave the house and I didn’t want to stay at home near a refrigerator either.
Food fears imprisoned me.
And worse yet, I burned more bridges because of my social anxiety and appearance woes than I could ever hope to rebuild.
How To Heal From Human Barbie Syndrome
If I just ended this blog post with telling you to “focus on the good things”, it would sound completely prosaic, even trite.
This is how I snap myself OUT of Human Barbie Syndrome and into self-appreciation.
1. Distract Yourself…
Mark Twain said that “comparison is the death of joy”; but nonetheless we constantly compare ourselves to others even though it makes us miserable… and it does nothing to change our appearance, or our hearts! (If nothing else – it makes you look ugly!)
Focus on what IS beautiful about you. Your nose isn’t flawed – it’s got personality. YOUR personality. Your rear end isn’t fat. It’s voluptuous.
Maybe it’s your silky hair. Your cellulite-free thighs. Your endurance. Your complexion.
When I meet a tall, skinny, waif-like woman I don’t feel envy.
I tell myself that I’m grateful I am not too tall because that comes with it’s own slew of problems that I don’t need. Like towering over average-sized men I’ve dated. Or finding long pants.
Start to measure your self-appreciation not in dress sizes, but in overall health.
2. Bring Balance To Your Brain…
When in a group listening to people praise the ‘skinny’ girls, or when spending time with men who have skewed views of what women “should” look like, I immediately shut the door to my mind and heart.
For every Barbie Doll who walks past my gawking male friends – I balance that with a compliment to myself.
“Stephanie, you’re smart. Perhaps even smarter than her!”
“Stephanie, you’re a rockin’ wife. Your husband must love that you chill with his guy friends effortlessly.”
Get into the practice of changing every negative thought that could enter your head with a dose of self-love.
Now instead of comparisons, you’re flooding your mind with self-love.
3. Pay It Forward…
Give others what you most desire yourself.
If you want your personality, your smile, or your work ethic validated, seek to appreciate another.
What goes around does come around – and your attitude of appreciation will only make you shine brighter as a person.
And that’s beautiful!
4. Keep Happiness In Your Pocket…
One of the best ways to feel overcome Barbie Syndrome is to take your focus away of an ideal person or body and focus on your OWN body in a positive way.
One of the most powerful ways to do this is to have a go-to happiness trigger with you at all times.
L-Theanine and Caffeine in Slimming Tea actually stimulate the production of alpha brain waves.
That’s not a normal caffeine high like you’d get from energy drinks.
Rather, it’s a rush of dopamine and serotonin; neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for making you feel good.
Psychology Today even calls them your “happiness chemicals”.
Do your brain, and your body a favor by keep Slimming Tea with you anywhere you go.
That way, if you feel the blues or the Barbie Syndrome coming on, you can fill your heart with something that increases your personal health, and happiness!