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#AsSheis... I’ve posted before about make up free and no filter selfie. It took me a long time to feel comfortable sharing a raw and unfiltered selfie of myself due to fear of judgment and ridicule.
After starting my IG account about a year ago, I found my tribe of remarkable women who have encouraged and empowered me to be comfortable in my own skin.
These days I’m becoming more and more about mindful living.
I’m striving to practice three kinds of self care:
💕Self-love is taking care of my mind, body, spirit and emotions as a whole.
💕Self-acceptance is having a positive attitude that allows for that kind of care to flourish.
💕Self-reflection is a humbling process. In order to be the best version of ourselves, it’s imperative to find out why we say, think, or do certain things. Only then can we be best versions of ourselves and truly empower others.
If you were to zoom in on my pic, you would see dark circles from sleepless nights of being a mom of two young boys, freckles on my cheeks that I’ve always been embarrassed about, and fine lines from not taking care of my skin in my 20’s.
So I invite YOU to this #AsSheIsChallenge taking place across so many countries started by @livelife_unfiltered to bring perspective back to @instagram. Thank you @dr.audreyxsue for inspiring this post.
#nomakeup #nofilter #selfcare #makeupfreeselfie #realbeauty #doctordoctor #doctorblogger #gastroenterologist #medicalblogger #failingforward #bossbabe #empoweringwomen #womensupportingwomen #womeninmedicine #mamasinmedicine #innerbeauty #girlswithfreckles #motherhood #drmom #southasianblogger
Social media truth: we sure put in a lot of effort to try to look effortless 🤷🏻♀️🤣. 🔅On the left is the pic that usually gets posted: artistically flowing scarf, nonchalant reflective look, casually standing by a gorgeous place as wind breezes through beachy hair. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
🔅 What about all the pics it took to get to it? On the right is a series of fails: wind blowing hair in the face, scarf having a mind of its own, awkward eye closed pic and wind drying out my contacts.🤦🏻♀️ These are the pics that we don’t usually post, right?
🔅However, it is important to acknowledge the whole picture, not just the final cut. Why? Because promoting the pretense of perfection is a major stress, negatively impacts mental health, and reduces self image. It’s unrealistic and unhealthy. Let us show the full picture, not just a snapshot of our curated creations.
For most of my life, I thought I was ugly.
My teen years were awful because of cystic acne and my nose was too big! There is a paucity of pictures of me during those awkward years. And even now, I carry those tiny little acne scars on my face.
I dealt with insecurity by focusing on the inside. I had no control over my outward appearance, but I could control the type of person I was.
I worked on being the best daughter, friend, sister, student and eventually wife, mother, and physician I could be.
I worked on kindness, generosity, empathy, and compassion. I worked on finding joy in the everyday. I worked on acceptance on things I could not control. I worked on gratitude for all the fortune in my life. I continue to work on myself. ♥️
I focused on finding beauty in my quirks, and imperfections. And I can’t pin point on when it happened, when it all shifted. But one day I looked in the mirror, and I thought I was beautiful. 💖
Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you aren’t beautiful, because you are. It may take time for YOU to see it, but everyone else does.
You are beautiful.
Thank you Nadia @themindfulmdmom for inviting me to the #reflectingbeautychallenge.
Swipe to see what I normally look like. I’m comfortable with BOTH looks. ✌🏼
#shecanbeboth #notamodel #confidenceisbeauty #icansaveyourlife #femaledoctor #anesthesiologist #minoritiesinmedicine #youarevalid #glowupseason
• • • • •
Woman. It’s a good freaking time to be a woman.
We’ve stepped into our own. We are owning who we are, unapologetically.
We continually face outdated cultural norms but instead of abiding by them - we are smiling, waving and blowing right past them.
Two conversations have been circling in the badass female physician community #reflectingbeautychallenge by @themindfulmom and #thefierceandthefemdoc by @drrupawong. Both, in their essence, statements to embrace who we are. Check out the hashtags and read all of the amazing posts.
What I know is this. I’ve always had a good amount of self confidence - I credit that to my mom and dad. But at times have struggled a bit with caring too much about judgement and the opinion of others.
I’m obviously not alone in this. I believe that fear of judgment is probably the number one reason more people aren’t living the lives they actually want.
Learning to prioritize our own voice and carry those actions through becomes easier the more we do it. So I urge you to keep doing it, even when it feels hard.
And as a community, let’s make it easier for each one of us to do that for ourselves. How do we do that?
We acknowledge that the judgments we are placing on others has WAY more to do with ourselves than them. We remember that our n of 1 experience within our own lives does not broadly apply to all. We strive to meet the decisions of others with acceptance as our knee jerk reaction versus skepticism and rejection.
We treat others the way we want to be treated.
My friends - in a couple days I’ll be letting you in on something I’m doing entirely for me. Something I’m so incredibly excited about. And something I wasn’t sure on whether I’d share - because of judgement.
But what I know is this. The choices that are made in line with my inner compass are ones that won’t be swayed by outside opinions. It is what I hope I can inspire in each and every one of you ♥️
Society emphasizes beauty, especially for women [Yes - men are also pushed toward certain physical and personality traits by popular culture, but in general, there are less products aimed at male “beauty”]. We are inundated with ads for products and services that will make us more visually appealing. We grow up with dolls covered in makeup and dressed in the latest trends. Modern dating apps - @tinder and @bumble - prioritize appearance over substance. Instagram filters create unnaturally smooth skin. Digital touch ups offer artificial ways to remove blemishes. In today’s digital world, we are surrounded by fake perfection. And unconsciously and consciously told to strive for this impossible goal.
I grew up feeling self-conscious about my almond eyes, flat face, and freckles. I never enjoyed wearing makeup [especially since most makeup irritates my skin]. When I was single, I consciously posted photos of me with makeup and my hair down on dating apps - a rare occurrence for special events. I played the game but hated it.
Instagram perpetuates this beauty standard. I picked this photo to post because I thought it was aesthetically pleasing. I lightened it and applied a filter. I didn’t pick the other photos that highlighted my crooked front tooth or emphasized my scattered freckles. I am not immune to online peer pressure.
But I will say that with each passing year, I’ve grown to accept more. I have come to appreciate my freckles. I recognize that most of what I see here on Instagram is curated, filtered and perfected. I can’t declare that I am beautiful [how many of us really can?! 🤷🏻♀️], but I can say that there’s so much more to beauty. After all, when we are all kyphotic, wrinkly and barely able to ambulate, all of these filters won’t matter. You know what will? Those awesome stories we have to tell and the lasting positive impression we’ve made on the world.
▫️ Thank you to @themindfulmom for inviting me to be part of this conversation. .
I’d love to hear your thoughts on beauty & what you love about yourself below 👇!
#beauty #nomakeup #selfie #hiking #fallweather #massachusetts #monday #mondaymotivation
Thanks @themindfulmdmom Dr. Nadia Sabri for nominating me for the #reflectingbeautychallenge. From the time I was little, I have been told “go straighten your hair!”, “if only you lost weight you would be able to find someone!”, and “your nose is too big for your face, you should get a nose job!” For so long I let others define my worth, let society dictate what I have to do in order to feel beautiful or acceptable by society. In my 20s I felt more pressure to fit in, and now in my 30s I embrace what makes me unique and different 🦄 I love my curly hair and my big nose and my smile and my shining brown eyes. I love that I am strong, that I box and lift weights and have curves. I hope by being my truest self and shining my light, I help others feel like they are safe to do the same. 💜💜💜 What makes you feel comfortable in your own skin? I nominate @mrs.slover @tired_inspired_momma_3 @ahmadiqra @ad_wacky @muslimyogini
Thank you to my dear colleagues @heart.beat.doctor @randdiabmd for asking me to join and sharing their beautiful thoughts on reflecting beauty.
What truly resonates beauty? It is your spirit within.
👉🏻When you go the extra mile for someone.
👉🏻When you have a smile on your face because you know how very very lucky you really are.
👉🏻When you carry yourself with gratitude for all the blessings in your life and share that gratitude with others.
👉🏻When you are kind, just because.
That my friends is reflecting beauty.
How do you reflect beauty?
#kindness #gratitude #plaid #fall #beauty #blessings #smile
It’s hard not to compare yourself in the curated walls of social media. Though external beauty has value, it is our internal beauty that dominates. 💄
You hear about super models who still feel like they are not enough. 🙅🏻♀️
To be beautiful, it is perspective that defines our beauty. Something completely within our control. 🙌🏼
To me— Beauty is confidence. It’s composure. It’s grace and vulnerability. It’s accomplishing your goals and overcoming obstacles. Because these are the things that give perspective and gives a person that special aura called beauty. 🌸
Thank you to @detourparadise for including me in the discussion :)
Is there any other way to welcome the day than with a song in your head, smile on your face, hop in your step and thanking God for another day??!!! 🎶❤ I don't think so.
Choosing to see the beauty in yourself and in others is one way to enjoy each step of this journey of life!! I just love life and being able to share it with others!!❤❤😊 #love #livelovelaugh #joy #blessed #smile #fabat40andbeyond #fitgirls #beauty #
I challenge all of you to share your beauty secret! @theworldofcourt @sarahsharppp @xoxtina.t @amandaggirl28 @ltramirezlar @mrs.orrenmaa @just_battles @julie.battles @darrentiffanybattles @paigebattles_ @alinagonzalespike @erin2kirk @themindfulmdmom @annalilwhite @most_stephinitely @maegan_joann @craftytxchic @toriefrederick @madiriley123 @ownmydestiny12
#reflectingbeautychallenge @themindfulmdmom @sara.leticia.22 @slestrada22 @nicole0970 @allikeel @its_jo_btw @most_stephinitely @stephburks @beckybu51261 @annalilwhite @charmed_by_yoga @phortres @rosebudd31_ @one_gold_rose #mindset #saturday #motivation #selflove #believe #believeinyourself #workinprogress #showupforyourself
Today I am joining @themindfulmdmom in the #reflectingbeautychallenge
2019 has been a year that I have focused on personal growth and celebrating who I am right now instead of who I wish I was. For too long I focused on being thinner, wearing smaller clothes, being more fit, eating better....blah, blah, blah. Why? That got me nowhere except frustrated and unhappy.
Today, right now, I am happier than I have ever been. It doesn’t matter if I never make it to the smaller pants or never sport those 6-pack abs. I have a wonderful husband, a beautiful daughter, really freaking awesome friends and a career I love. Most importantly, I want Meredith to grow up seeing a mom who loves and loves life to the fullest. We are not defined by our bodies. So today, I am proud to post these pictures and celebrate me, the right now me, who I love!
I challenge you to join too! Tag @themindfulmdmom and share your #reflectingbeautychallenge story! #bodypositivity #rolemodelformydaughter #womeninmedicine #doctormoms #femalephysician #workingmomlife #womensupportingotherwomen #womenempoweringotherwomen #practicegratitude #choosehappy #choosehappydaily
Today I’m embracing all things pregnancy body and skin-related. I’m in awe of the human body and its ability to create life. A women’s body changes so much- hormone fluctuations, added weight, skin changes- it can all be overwhelming. It’s easy to be critical of oneself, but I’m taking the opportunity to jump on @themindfulmdmom’s #reflectingbeautychallenge to reflect on the changes our bodies experience with pregnancy and be grateful for it. Being a dermatologist, it can be tough to forgo my usual skincare regimen and treatments while pregnant, but the beauty of creating a life surpasses any of that.
Today I’m embracing the:
I will cherish:
Feeling baby kicks
Getting to hang out with my son 24/7
Seeing my belly move
I urge you to join the conversation on self-esteem and body positivity.
#pregnancy #selfesteem #bodypositivity #thirdtrimester
When I was growing up in Nigeria, there were lots of women like me (including my own mom- one of 4 females in her class back in the 70s, holds a PhD in medicinal chemistry) who broke down societal barriers and achieved great things. Women who looked like me were celebrated all over our media and thanks to them, I knew no dream was impossible.
Fast forward to my 20s, I leave the safety net of my country and realize that I'm in the most unpopular demographic. I can count how many Hollywood blockbuster movies/TV shows with dark-skinned female leads. (Thank you, Olivia Pope @kerrywashington )
However, I realized that I was going to be the star of my own story. I was not going to let anyone or the media make me feel less than.
Beauty is not a standard to be set by others, beauty is whatever you believe deep down that it is.
So be kind to yourself. You are enough. And act accordingly. ❤❤❤ ⚡
Thank you, @detourtoparadise
for tagging me on #reflectingbeautychallenge started by @themindfulmdmom
What does it mean to be fierce? Though it can be many things, for me it is fierceness of spirit and the strength to be true to oneself.
Too often we make ourselves small to fit in. We hold back.
We try to not rock the boat.
We don’t reach as high as we can because we are trying to be nice and we don’t want to offend anyone.
What if we lose our circle or can’t find what we are looking for?
What if we’re too much? 🙈
When I was in med school, people would tell me smart girls are intimidating to guys so to tone it down if I ever wanted a relationship.
Truth: those who will be intimidated by you are just not meant for you. The ones who are good for you will not just support but challenge you to do and be better.
I’m glad I didn’t listen to the “advice” or else I may not have met my now husband or achieved any of the things I am so proud of. .
✨Ladies, do not shrink yourself to fit in someone else’s box.
Do not settle for what’s convenient.
Reach as high as you want.
Be true to you. This is being fierce.
Please continue to dream, desire, aspire. .
You are worthy and deserving.
Whatever it is, be confident that when you are being you, the ones meant for you WILL find you: your tribe, your relationship, your dreams. .
✨Maktub. It is written.
Thanks @drrupawong for inviting me to the #thefierceandthefemdoc campaign!
When women support each other, incredible things happen! #fridayflex
#lovemyinstructor #fitmoms #veganlifestyle #lamaestra #plantbasedlife #motivation #mindset #fitlife #fitmom #endurance #cardio #weights #armday #armday #adidas #ThreeStripeLife #women #strongnotskinny #reflectingbeautychallenge
*Reflecting a positive self image*. .
Let’s face it. No matter what any of us look like or where we grew up, we have all been though times of self criticism and self doubt. .
I grew up in South Florida. My hair was curly and out of control, I was taller than the other girls. Skinny, with arms and legs that grew much faster than the rest of me, and I could not get a tan to save me. .
This photo is from the year I traveled before Med school. I was 24 and had started to love these things about myself, but still didn’t have the confidence that would come with time. .
The other day I realized how happy I am now. I am newly married, in my early 30s , and I have come to love all those funny, different things about myself that I used to feel anxious about. What makes us unique is what makes us beautiful! .
I love the #reflectingbeautychallenge by @themindfulmdmom. It is a great way to encourage women to recognize what is beautiful inside and out. To shine for ourselves and our children. But also for each other. Because it’s a tough world out there for women, so let’s take a moment to remind each other that we are all in this together. Stand together and lift each other up until we all rise that much higher. .
#womeninmedicine #ilooklikeasurgeon #empoweringwomen #reflectingreminders #selfcareinhealthcare #beautiful #premed #womeninbusiness #selfcare #womensupportingwomen #ilooklikeadoctor #womeninhealthcare #mamainmedicine
I have accepted a #reflectingbeautychallenge. The idea is to share what I love about myself to hopefully encourage others to share the same for themselves.
If you asked me that question a few short years ago I would have struggled. Or I would have made something up. Or made a joke. Fact is, I didn’t love me. I didn’t feel worthy of my own love, let alone love from another. There’s a bunch a psychology there.
Even as I dealt with my shit, I still struggled to look in the mirror and love who was looking back at me. I’ve come a VERY long way. I have learned to embrace my self-perceived physical flaws and I have a better understanding of the person I am. I am STRONG, SMART, INTEGROUS, PASSIONATE, and CARING. I am in LOVE with whom I am becoming.
If this resonates with you, feel free to join the movement. If you need help discovering what you love about you, reach out. 😘
Body positivity becomes a bigger deal when I see how it impacts my children. @themindfulmdmom , I’m using these raw pictures of myself, no makeup, extremely tired, raccoon eyes to show that we should still be positive even on our roughest days. I am super conscious of my dark circles. I’m 1-2 weeks postpartum, mother of two, trying to balance the attention between my toddler, newborn, myself, and life. .
#reflectingbeautychallenge #motheroftwo #bodypositivity #darkcircles #raccooneyes #tiredaf #postpartum #lovingmotherhood #eventhoughitsdraining #childrenmakemehappy
"What if--stay with me here--a woman decided that she was enough? What if, somehow, a woman decided she liked all of who she was? What if she looked in the mirror and thought she was just ravishing? What on Earth is wrong with that?" - Erin Brown
"You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody." - Maya Angelou
Why...is it so hard to believe these things about ourselves?
Why are we always comparing and honestly, why are women the worst critics of one another?
Working presently to transform this thinking in myself. Like the ideas of “esteemable actions” per @armchairexppod - doing things that build up our self esteem.
For me that includes:
✨Investing in relationships that matter.
✨Working out for physical and mental STRENGTH rather than a thigh gap (heard a teen talk about how important that is and that is overwhelmingly sad to me)
✨Contributing to causes which includes medical related endeavors (academic collaborations, collaborations, spreading awareness for ex #breastcancerawareness ), global health advancements, mentorship.
✨Having a tribe that has my back. Doesn’t mean a big tribe. Just the right tribe.
Recently this is what “beauty” means to me. Being kind to ourselves not just in how we look but in who we are. Not gonna be everyone’s cup of tea but at least we should be our own. We are enough.
Thanks to the insightful #reflectingbeautychallenge started by @themindfulmdmom
Growing up as a South Asian girl in a Midwest town, I didn’t see too many folks who looked like me 👩🏽. Magazines, tv shows, and movies mostly featured beautiful fair skinned females. At that time, I wished I didn’t have hairy arms, a unibrow, and frizzy hair. I actually hoped to have kids one day with blue or green eyes because that was what was depicted as “desirable” in popular media. To add to that, I disliked my body shape- thunder thighs and a short stature. If only I was 3 inches taller, had blond hair, and lighter colored eyes, I thought I would be happy.
One of my idols growing up was (and still is) Serena Williams, not just because I loved tennis, but because she was a woman, celebrated in popular media, who was strong and a champion.
Through the years thanks to confidence building in tennis, healthy relationships with women in my life (mainly my mom and sister), investing time in myself through education, and having a husband who loved me for my brains not just beauty…I found myself. I no longer leaned on superficial appearances to validate myself, my worth, and my confidence.
I love the current IG campaigns #fierceandfemaledoc (@drrupawong) and #reflectingbeautychallenge (@themindfulmdmom ) because it highlights females giving self affirming reasons to love themselves, their body, and their appearance. I wish I could tell my younger self all the stories posted in these campaigns. I love that I get a chance all over again to share my self affirming love with my daughters.
Who were your idols growing up? Tag a person on IG who inspires you ⬇️
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