Showing posts with label Women. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Women. Show all posts

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Beautiful Mind

She had this way about her. She walked like it did not matter,
like it did not hurt. She sealed the scars up inside like vintage
wrapping paper, and when she smiled, she smiled from the
core of the world, like the happiest being on earth. She moved
with the same grace, as though she were taking the world for a
walk. Only she knew that the world would not ever really walk,
and she had to carry it atop her shoulders. And there she was,
beaming, a picture perfect of sun trails and piano keys; world
on her shoulders, not once saying "I can't" ….


Tuesday, 13 October 2015

They Called Her An Ugly Duckling

She wore frumpy clothes. Her teeth needed straightening. She was very insecure, she believed what everyone said about her, admitting she was an "ugly duckling." She believed, however, that one's prospects in life were not totally dependent on physical beauty.

When she finally met a man who was interested in her, she decided not to take him to a fancy, social event, but instead took him to the slums of the Lower East Side, where she did volunteer work, helping young immigrants.

The young man, who had held a rich, sheltered life, saw things he would never forget -- sweat shops where women labored long hours for low wages and squalid tenements where children worked for hours until they dropped with exhaustion.

This walking tour profoundly changed the young man, moving him to say, that he "could not believe human beings lived that way."

The young man's name was Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the young woman, who changed his life forever, who would change the world forever, her name was Eleanor Roosevelt.

They would eventually marry, and Eleanor Roosevelt would become more than just a First Lady. She was nominated three times, during her lifetime, for a Nobel Peace Prize. She was a renowned social and political activist, journalist, educator, and diplomat. Throughout her time as First Lady, and for the remainder of her life, she was a high profile supporter of the Civil Rights Movement, of equal rights for women, and of social reforms to uplift the poor. She helped the Tuskegee Airmen in their successful effort to become the first black combat pilots.

Even after her husband's passing, she remained active in politics for the rest of her life, chairing President Kennedy's ground-breaking committee which helped start second-wave feminism, the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women.

They called her an ugly duckling when she was growing up, but to the world, she was a beautiful swan whose beauty inside helped her speak the truth, making the world a little better for all.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt, born on this day, October 11, 1884

Monday, 25 May 2015

A Tribute to Fathers

What Makes A Dad
by Anonymous

A Father’s love is patient and kind …
God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,

The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,

The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,

Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it ... Dad

Happy Father's Day

Feed Shark

Monday, 4 May 2015

A Mother's Prayer

A Mother's Day Prayer

Dear Lord, itʹs such a hectic day,
With little time to stop and pray,
For lifeʹs been anything but calm
Since You called me to be a Mom.
Running errands, matching socks,
Building dreams with wooden blocks,
Cooking, cleaning, finding shoes
And other stuff that children lose,
Fitting lids on bottled bugs,
Wiping tears and giving hugs,
A stack of last weekʹs mail to read
So whereʹs the quiet time I need?
Yet, when I steal a moment, Lord,
Just at the sink or ironing board,
To ask the blessings of Your grace,
I see then, in my small oneʹs face,
That you have blessed me all the while
And I stoop to kiss that precious smile.

Feed Shark

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Mother's Day History

Defining the role of 'mother' is neither exhaustive nor universal and any definition of 'mother' may differ based on how social, cultural, and religious roles are defined. A 'mother', whether biological, adoptive, or stepmother (other mother), is usually the primary caregiver, fulfilling the main social role in raising the child(ren).

One of the more famous mother's in history, is Mary, Mother of Jesus, also known as Saint Mary or the Blessed Virgin Mary. The New Testament describes Mary as a virgin who conceived her son miraculously by the command of God. This took place when Mary, at the age of 12 or 13, was already betrothed to a carpenter named Joseph and was awaiting marriage. The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced her divine selection to be the mother of Jesus. After marrying Joseph she travelled with him to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born.

Although Mary's life held great honor, her calling would demand great suffering as well. Just as there is pain in childbirth and motherhood, there would be much pain in the privilege of being the mother of the Messiah.

Mother Teresa is another well known 'mother'. While not a 'typical' mother in the sense that we have come to define, was a Roman Catholic sister and missionary who lived most of her life in India. Mother Teresa was widely admired by many for her charitable works, giving wholehearted free service. She ran hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis; soup kitchens, mobile clinics, children's and family counselling programs, orphanages and schools. She was, in every sense, a mother to the poorest of the poor.

Mother's Day is a celebration honoring motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society.

In England, during the 1600's, Christians celebrated a day to honor Mary, the mother of Christ. The holiday, celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent, was later expanded to include all mothers, and called 'Mothering Sunday', which included a cake called the mothering cake. Servants would have this day off and were encouraged to spend the day with their mothers.

As Christianity spread throughout Europe the celebration changed to honor the 'Mother Church' and over time the church festival blended with the 'Mothering Sunday' celebration with people honoring mothers as well as the church. This tradition slowly ceased with the passage of time.

In the United States, Mother's Day was loosely inspired by the British day and was first suggested after the American Civil War by social activist Julia Ward Howe. Julia, born to Wall Street stockbroker, Samuel Ward III, was a prominent social activist and poet, and the author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", which she was inspired to write in November 1861 after she and her husband met with Abraham Lincoln at the White House. It quickly became one of the most popular songs of the Union during the American Civil War.

After the war Julia decided to become active in reform and focused her activities on the causes of pacifism and women's suffrage. She founded many women's clubs and associations and in 1870, became president of the New England Women’s Club and founded the weekly "Woman’s Journal", a suffragist magazine which was widely read. That same year, she wrote her "Appeal to womanhood throughout the world" to rise against war, later known as 'Mother's Day Proclamation', asking women from around the world to join for world peace. In 1872, she asked that "Mother's Day" be celebrated on the 2nd of June; however, her efforts were unsuccessful.

Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia, honoring her own mother by continuing work she started and to set aside a day to honor mothers. Her campaign to make Mother's Day a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Large jars of white carnations were set about the platform where the service was conducted. At the end of the exercise one of these white carnations was given to each person present as a souvenir of Mother's Day.

Anna, preferring to remain unmarried, spent many years looking after her ailing mother. When her mother died in Philadelphia on May 9, 1905, Anna missed her greatly and felt children often neglected to appreciate their mother enough while the mother was still alive.

Anna's mother was a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War and created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues. Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis, a young Appalachian homemaker who, starting in 1858, had attempted to improve sanitation through what she called 'Mothers Friendship Day'. In the 1900's, at a time when most women devoted their time solely on their family and homes, Jarvis was working to assist in the healing of the nation after the Civil War.

Due to Anna's campaign efforts, several states officially recognized Mother's Day, the first in 1910 being West Virginia, Jarvis’ home state. In 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation creating Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers. It soon crossed national boundaries into Mexico, Canada, South America, China, Japan and Africa.

By the early 1920's, Hallmark and other companies started selling Mother's Day cards. The commercialization of Mother's Day soon caused Anna to become resentful and angry that companies would profit from the holiday. Jarvis became so embittered by what she saw as misinterpretation and exploitation that she protested and tried to rescind Mother's Day.

The holiday that she worked so hard for was supposed to be about sentiment. Jarvis organized boycotts and threatened lawsuits to try to stop the commercialization. She crashed a candymakers' convention in Philadelphia in 1923, and two years later protested the American War Mothers, which raised money by selling carnations, the flower associated with Mother’s Day, and was arrested for disturbing the peace.

In 1933, Roosevelt’s first year in office, Mrs. H. McCluer of Kansas City, a past National President of the American War Mothers, put forth the idea of having a special stamp for use in conjunction with Mother's Day mail. After presenting her idea to President Roosevelt on January 25, 1934, was informed on February 16 that her request had been granted.

President Roosevelt, known to have been devoted to his own mother, personally sketched his idea for the stamp.

Jarvis's holiday was adopted by other countries and it is now celebrated all over the world. According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother's Day is now the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant.

Mother's Day continues to this day to be one of the most commercially successful occasions.

Monday, 6 April 2015

~ This Hot Little Tamale Is An Aphrodisiac ~

~ Turn on the HEAT 
 Spice up your love life with
Cayenne Pepper ~

Cayenne pepper, named for the city of Cayenne in French Guiana, is also known as the Guinea spice, cow-horn pepper, red hot chili pepper, bird pepper, and in its powdered form, red pepper. The fruits are generally dried and ground, then sifted to make the powdered spice of the same name, which is used to flavor dishes. Relatively high in vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, riboflavin, potassium, and manganese. However, it's nutrient contribution is minimal due to the small amount consumed in a serving.

Aphrodisiacs have been sought since the beginning of time. A mixture of chocolate and chili peppers were reserved strictly for the pleasures of Aztec Royalty, leading them to believe it had SPIRITUAL and MYSTICAL qualities, it was considered a mood enhancer.

Capsaicin is an active component of the chili pepper, which produces a sensation of burning in any tissue with which it comes into contact, giving cayenne pepper it's claim to fame as an aphrodisiac. There are other spices that fit the bill as aphrodisiacs as well, but cayenne pepper ranks the top of the list as the all time 'hot' favorite.

The capsaicin in peppers heats up the body and increases blood flow to all major organs. The brain also releases a feel-good chemical called endorphins. This internal "endorphin rush" combined with the external effects of flushed skin and kissable swollen lips, leads to sexual desire.
Other than its use as an aphrodisiac, cayenne pepper has many other powerful health benefits as well. Due to the high amounts of capsaicin, consuming cayenne pepper causes the blood vessels to dilate which increases energy and speeds up metabolism, in turn causing weight loss.

It has also been shown to regulate high blood pressure, promote healthy liver function and tissue production.

Please note, however, the capsaicin capsules may cause stomach irritation and pain. If you have ulcers or heartburn you should talk to your doctor or health care provider before using capsaicin. People who are allergic to latex, bananas, kiwi, chestnuts, and avocado may also have an allergy to cayenne.

Feed Shark

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Love Yourself First - Your Most Important Relationship

Self-love is the love of oneself, being realistic and honest about one's strengths and weaknesses. To love yourself means caring about, taking responsibility for, respecting, and knowing your true 'self'. In order to be able to truly love another person, a person needs first to love oneself in this way.

Self-love is not the same as being egocentric or narcissistic. These traits are actually the opposite of self-love. People who don't love themselves project this false self-image out to others in order to receive the admiration they desire, but they aren't happy within.

"Self-betrayal is a grievous matter. It rots the mind like cancer. The remedy lies in clarity and integrity of thinking. Try to understand that you live in a world of illusions, examine them and uncover their roots. The very attempt to do so will make you earnest, for there is bliss in right endeavor.” ~Nisargadatta

This is true … to 'not' love yourself is self-betrayal. I had such self-hate that I spent much of my life battling depression, food issues, and lashing out at people … not letting too many people get too close. I simply did not have the tools or the know how to help me deal with my emotions.

I grew up in a family of six, my three younger brothers, and my parents Being the oldest and the only female, I was treated differently. However, my parents would and have disputed that. My parents favored my two youngest brothers. Nothing I said or did was good enough or right enough. I just never fit in. I became outspoken and rebellious , and out-of-control, until I couldn't take it any longer. So at seventeen, I packed up a few things and left.

By this time, my destiny seemed to be cast in stone, continuing through a life of unworthiness. I would look for love in all the wrong places, attracting relationships that were reminiscent of my family. I ended up in an eight year relationship with a man that was emotionally and physically abusive. I asked myself, why and what was it all for? In my early thirties now, I finally had hit my breaking point, and made the decision to end that relationship, more for my daughter than for myself. Nonetheless, this decision would be the catalyst that would change my life and myself.

It certainly wasn't an overnight transition. The years of building layer upon layer of self-hatred and self-sabotage, like rings on a tree trunk, now had to be peeled away. It's an ongoing process day after day, month after month, and year after year.

Looking back, I have no regrets. All has been forgiven. Everything that has happened in my life has made me the person I am today. I am a stronger person for it all. I refuse to shrink or make myself small for someone else's comfort or for people who refuse to grow.

So how does one go about transitioning from self-hate to self-love? Take one, two, or three things and work with it. A sense of accomplishment can also boost one's self-esteem. Trying to make a 180 degree turn all at once may become overwhelming.

1. Acknowledgement

Acknowledging how you feel about yourself and how you treat yourself is a good starting point. How you feel about yourself is shown to you in the world around you. The conflict outside you is the conflict inside you--they are not separate.

2. Forgiveness

Forgiving those who have hurt you is a key component to healing. Parents, caregivers, spouses, friends, etc. are dealing with their own childhood grievances and issues of self-hatred, projecting it out onto those around them. Forgive yourself! You did not have the tools or knowledge to deal with your own and everyone else's emotions.

3. Journaling

This is a great way to express yourself , helping you gain a new perspective, changing negative thought patterns, and stopping your inner critic from holding you back.

4. Meditation

There are many benefits to meditating. Resting your mind in silence and peace, meditation can help you become more aware, consciousness, bringing you into the body and strengthening the immune system. The body loves your attention … every cell awakens.

“In meditation, healing can happen. When the mind is calm, alert and totally contented, then it is like a laser beam – it is very powerful and healing can happen.” - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

5. Creativity / Fun

Spend time having 'fun' … life should be enjoyed. Most of us have a passion for something. I had always admired people who could paint and wished that I could. I would tell myself that I can't draw, so I couldn't paint. Then a couple of years ago, I decided to at least try … the world won't fall apart. I looked up some videos on youtube, and I was off buying art supplies.

I'm no Michelangelo or Monet, but I thoroughly enjoy painting, and that's what counts. It's something close to a meditation for me. I can lose myself in it. You can view my video album of my 'artwork' here, if you wish.

6. Clean House

I find that having my house in disarray affects my mood. I put on some upbeat music and get to it. Once I'm finished cleaning I feel much better. Getting rid of stuff that you don't use is great for lifting your spirits too. I do this about once a year and have even found things I didn't even remember I had let alone didn't use any longer. Someone else could make better use of something that is just collecting dust otherwise.

7. Have a Cause

Find a cause that you are passionate about. It doesn't have to be anything grandiose, every small thing that we can do to help another can be a 'big' contribution. Small acts when multiplied by millions of people can transform the world. I am an animal lover, and I think I would adopt every one that needed a home if I could. I have recently started signing every petition that comes into my awareness. My one signature, in the end, may make all the difference for that particular cause. It's not a big thing, but I feel better doing something for another being.

8. Eating Right

I have recently become a vegetarian. I have to admit, however, that it wasn't for the health benefits, even though that is a big plus. I would often see these videos or information come through my timeline on facebook about the atrocities of which factory farm animals face, but could never bring myself to watch them due to my discomfort of 'knowing' what I might see. I was also aware of the guilt that was arising within me from avoiding the situation. So finally, I 'prepared' myself to watch a few of the videos, and it was after that when I made my decision to become a vegetarian.

9. Self-Discipline

Practicing self-discipline or self-control (staying motivated and on track) is a sign of inner strength and can be great for boosting your self-esteem. This inner strength will help you to overcome procrastination and provide will-power to overcome any addicting habits. (Still working on this one.)

10. Getting Enough Sleep

I think most of us are aware that if we don't get proper rest, we can become our 'evil twin'. We go through the day 'unconsciously'—being unaware and just going through the motions. We might do things without thinking it through, we become easily triggered in anger or other emotional outbursts. Getting proper rest makes for a healthy mind and body.

11. Being Alone Doesn't Mean Lonely

When I first got divorced, I felt 'embarrassed' about not being in a relationship, about going out and about by myself. Well, I gave those thoughts up long ago. What someone else thinks of me has no impact any longer. Most of those thoughts were created in my own mind anyway. And if someone does have issues with someone being alone, it is a reflection of their own insecurities. Spending time alone is significant in nurturing your relationship with yourself. As a matter of fact, it is crucial to spend time alone with yourself. How better to get to know the real you. I'm living my life happily and I quite enjoy my own company now. I don't have to answer to anyone, I can come and go as I please … I am my own person.

12. No People Pleasing

If you have plans or just don't feel like doing something … don't. We tend to want people to like us, or just don't want to rock the boat so we continuously put our own needs and wants aside. Most people won't appreciate your sacrifices. Some people will tend to think you should always be there for them without any consideration of you. You will, in all likelihood, tend to be the person who feels like they are being used or manipulated and you won't be happy. And when you do refuse to set your life aside, there is no need for explaining yourself.

We teach people how to treat us. If we don't have self-respect, neither will anyone else respect us. During the process of this transition, you will likely have family and 'friends' fall away out of your life. This has been the case for me, but as I mentioned earlier on, I refuse to shrink or make myself small for someone else's comfort or for people who refuse to grow. If someone wants to be in my life and treat me with the respect I deserve, they will be there … if not, they won't. I can only change myself, I have no control over anyone else, nor would I want to.

See also post on People Pleasing: Bad for Your Health.

Good luck on your journey of 'self' discovery and transition.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Home Upgrades – Worth the Investment

It's that time of year and many of you will be considering upgrades to your home and surrounding property. Any changes you make on your house now should increase your home value later. Hiring a reputable contractor to do the work is best. People know that renovating can be a nightmare, and you will appreciate that they did the dirty work for you. But which projects will yield the most bang for your buck? Take a look at this list, starting with the upgrades most likely to recoup your investment, down the road.

Painting - Paint provides dramatic results with little investment. A fresh coat of paint or a new, interesting  wallpaper pattern instantly rejuvenates walls. Can’t decide on a color? Experts say that pale yellow homes tend to sell faster and for more money: yellow is optimistic and inspirational; gives people a sense of joy and the sense that brighter times are ahead.

Adding Siding - According to a study conducted by Remodeling magazine, fiber-cement siding (which is made of sand, cement, and cellulose fibers), while vinyl can crack, split, and warp and aluminum tends to dent and fade, easy-care fiber cement holds up well against the elements and is resistant to fire, rotting, and termites.

Building a Deck - A deck will provide you with more than a place to flip burgers and soak up the sun. People see a deck as a seamless transition from inside to out. Experts suggest using natural, rustic wood. Wooden decks (as opposed to concrete or composite ones) add impressive value to your home.

Updating the Kitchen - You really can’t go wrong with remodeling your kitchen. Stick with high-quality fixtures, like stainless-steel appliances and granite counters. A word of caution: If your house is a tiny two-bedroom bungalow, don’t bother splurging on, say, a high-end stove; you will never get your money back by installing fancy appliances in a smaller home. And if an appliance overhaul isn’t in the cards, you can easily make cosmetic updates on a kitchen that’s in decent shape. For example, if your existing appliances are in good working order, coat them with electrostatic paint to give them a metallic or enamel-type finish.

Replacing the Windows - If you’re experiencing cool and blustery weather … in your living room, it’s time to buy new panes, pronto. Not only are you losing precious heat but your utility bill could also be skyrocketing. Energy-efficient windows eliminate drafts, so your home feels warmer.

Modifying a Bathroom - Bathroom upgrades, like updated countertops and new fixtures, prove to be a solid investment. Ornate moulding and panelling, is a stylish way to update a contemporary bathroom. Avoid anything too trendy, choose classic features that will appeal to people with both traditional and contemporary tastes, should you decide to sell. There’s no need to splurge on fancy fixtures, either. A tub is a tub ... a Jacuzzi will never make or break a sale. Opt for a floating vanity, which will create the illusion of space in a small bathroom. Switch to a low-litres-per-flush toilet that, over the course of a year, can save thousands of litres of water in your household. Or, for quick touch-ups on existing sinks, toilets, and tubs, consider hiring a surface-restoration company that recoats ceramic, porcelain, and fiberglass fixtures with a chemical bonding agent that looks like shiny new porcelain.

Fixing up the Basement - There’s nothing worse than that unmistakable damp-basement smell. A dry basement is far more important than worrying about the right lighting or furnishings. If your basement is prone to flooding, leaks, or excess moisture, call in a pro. If you do want to finish your basement by adding drywall, insulation, laminate flooring, or even a bathroom, be sure it’s proportional in quality to other areas of your home. Basement remodels can also add great value to your home, depending on the quality of the materials.

Landscaping - The front of your house is the first thing people see, so it makes sense that any improvements―from planting petunias to surrounding your home with a hedge―will be worth your while. Don’t be afraid to spend money on perennials, which come back year after year. As for big-ticket investments, like trees, they aren’t just nice to look at; they also stave off erosion, block storm-water runoff, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and filter groundwater pollutants. They might make your home sell for more money, too. Properties with well-established trees are even more attractive to potential home buyers down the road. When determining which areas of your yard to attend to first, try approaching the house from the curb to the front door. Buyers make their decisions in approximately the first eight seconds. After that, they’ve either fallen in love or are just honoring an appointment.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Men: Necessity of Self-Love

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”

Self-love gives one the impression of a narcissistic or egotistic personality, which is not the case, but in actuality a portrayal of the false-self and nothing to do with true self-love.

Self-love starts from within one's self; thus giving one the ability to accept love and extend it to others. In order to give love to another, one must first feel worthy and deserving of love themselves. We cannot give something that we do not ourselves possess.

Over the past decade or so, I have been aware of the abundant articles promoting self-love for women and girls through magazines, television, social media and the internet. However, it is a rarity to see anything on this topic towards men and boys.

Most men I have known grew up devoid of any affection at all, and are actually discouraged from being affectionate through gender stereotyping. The picture of "masculinity" has been defined by society, as in many of our other roles or status. Men that are sincerely affectionate with women are often goaded and taunted, being told they are on a short leash or told they need to be a man or grow some balls.

"Society" has been a pinnacle in defining our roles. It takes great strength and character to step outside that box and redefine ourselves, otherwise we are stuck in the same cycle of a "cookie cutter" definition of who we are told to be.

We were a family of six; my father, mother, three brothers, and myself. Being in the military, my father headed the family with a likeness to a 'drill sergeant' rather than a father figure. He was cold and aloof, and spoke with harsh, unloving words. It seemed as though he didn't have the capacity to be loving and gentle. It was the 60s and early 70s, things were different then; he just didn't know how. However, as a young impressionable child, my subjective perception showed me a picture of his feelings to be a hatred towards meI took it personally. This would set the stage for living a life of my own self-hatred and an unconscious attraction towards men, in my later life, that would mirror my father's image, only further perpetuating the cycle.

My father lacked any paternal or maternal affection as a young boy. He lost his mother to tuberculosis when he was six years old. His own father was neither a very loving or an affectionate man. It is no doubt, the experience of losing his wife and having to care for two young children in the mid 30s played a significant role in his demeanor.

Self-love can show men how to be affectionate to the rest of the world, creating a positive reflection of self-esteem, self-forgiveness, emotional communication, generosity and affection back to you.

For anyone, self-love initiates a positive modeling of affection. For instance, if your best friend was down and out, you might say things like: You did the best you could; Don’t beat yourself up about it; Don’t worry about it; or It’s gonna be okay, and so on. Why wouldn’t you say these things to yourself?

Since love and friendship go hand in hand, you must first form a friendship with your self. If you are constantly doubting, criticizing, or lying to your friends, they wouldn't stick around very long—who would! The same goes with the ability to form a meaningful relationship with yourself.  For some men, they either struggle with feelings of inferiority, anger, frustration and self-righteousness, or they tear themselves down without knowing it. If you form a genuine, lasting friendship with yourself, you wouldn't do it anymore, because a good friend would never treat you that way.

It's not just lack of love that affects men's self-esteem, but a trend in body image and the pressure to be perfect, has been on the rise. Today, it’s not only women who feel pressure to live up to Hollywood standards of what is attractive. You see it on the covers of men's health magazines, the actors in the movies, or sexy models in fragrance ads with muscular physiques and strong jawlines. When men feel they don’t measure up to the ideal—with washboard abs and a full head of hair—they may become insecure about how they look, further depleting their self-esteem.

Self-esteem relates to how much you like yourself, recognize and appreciate your individual character, qualities, skills, and accomplishments. Like body image, self-esteem can also be based on how you think other people look at you as a person.

I have heard men say they want a 'real' woman, not high maintenance eye candy. They want someone with whom they can have meaningful conversations, someone who will treat them with respect. Personally, I think women want a man that is going to treat them right; they want a 'real' man. They're not looking for a perfect physique to match some magazine cover or someone who doesn't like himself and is full of disdain for everyone around him. A real man has a genuine smile, a big heart, and gentle words and is comfortable with who he is. 

You may be losing some hair, or you've gained a few pounds
so what! If someone wants the package to look perfect or for you to have a large bank account, etc., rather than what's on the inside; you are undoubtedly with the wrong person!

So do yourselves a favor and stop defining yourself by society's standards, or anyone else's standards. Be your best friend first. Go love yourself.

You can't expect anyone else to give you what you can't give yourself.