Mondays can be rough for many of us, and this doesn’t create the ideal environment for building a better body image. To help you turn that around, every Monday features a tip, activity, inspiring quote or some other tidbit to help boost your body image – and kick-start the week on a positive note.

Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at mtartakovsky at gmail dot com, and I’ll be happy to feature it. I’d love to hear from you!

In our society, we admire celebrities, friends, acquaintances or total strangers who are lean, trim and toned. Who wear clothes well. Who fit an impossible ideal.

If it’s an actress, we might post her picture on our fridge or at work for motivation. (Yes, I’ve seen this recommended and have done the same myself.)

These women become our role models. The bodies, the beauty that we aspire to attain and hopefully maintain. In ads, TV commercials, movies, magazines.

They become who we want to emulate. Who our kids want to be.

But today let’s talk about different role models. Let’s talk about the role models who are comfortable in their own skin. Who convey confidence, without caring about looks or labels. Who are proud to be themselves. Who have a solid sense of self. Who stand up for themselves. Who are strong, smart and compassionate.

Whose beauty is multidimensional and complex.

I think sometimes whether we feel like we’ve lost our way with our body image or are doing OK, we could use a helping hand. A guiding light. Someone to show us a glimpse of true confidence, or true comfort in one’s skin.

Think of this person as your body image mentor. This person might be your mom, a good friend, a blogger, an author, a renowned doctor, physicist or teacher. She could be anyone, dead or alive.

So think of someone or several people who are truly positive role models.

Consider why. Ask yourself, “What is it about their body image or sense of self that’s so admirable or so positive?”

Then think about how you’d like your body image or sense of self to be.

Who is your role model? Why? What can you learn from her or him? Please share!

P.S., Please check out this post on paleness by the wise and all-around amazing Sally from Already Pretty. (I’m always in awe of her a) eloquence b) ability to write posts 7 days a week!) I thought the post was particularly interesting because lately people have been telling me to get “some color,” because I’m just way too white. I mean these people were lamenting about my pasty and pale skin.

I used to tan a lot when I was in high school and college, and I hated my natural skin color. To me, tan was just another part of the thin and popular package. Now, I tell everyone that I’m proud to  be pale (even though I do get insecure about it at times). And, thanks, but I’d rather not get skin cancer. Cancer runs in my family.

This isn’t to alienate anyone who does tan. It’s after all a personal choice. I applaud Sally for always bringing up provocative topics in such a thoughtful and sensitive way.

P.P.S., Jules over at Big Girl Bombshell is hosting the Self-Discovery Series this month! Her word? Anger. Check out how you can participate in her post. I’ll be publishing my post soon! Thanks so much, Jules, for hosting!