I promise, no one’s looking. Seriously. And if they are, they don’t care nearly as much as you think they do.
When we’re obsessed about a certain body part on our own bodies, we often notice it more in other people. Like, too MUCH. We can’t help it. The problem is, we assume the world sees the same things we do with the same scrutiny we do: if we notice a certain “flaw” all the time, we assume that everyone else does as well.
For example, if you’re self-conscious about your cellulite, you might notice the hammies of every woman who passes your way, and make judgement calls based on how you compare (“Hers is really bad”, “Mine is worse than hers”, “She has nothing there! Lucky”). You may have a negative reaction to people with similar cellulite wearing clothing you’ve decided you “can’t wear”. You may assume that every person you pass is secretly checking out your cellulite and sizing themselves up the same way, judging your worth based on how much you have back there.
Same goes for people with or formerly with acne (you might notice people’s skin more), hairy bits (you may notice every unshaven woman), body fat issues and more. Even women who no longer identify as overweight might be extra aware of the weight of those around them. Whatever the insecurity, you may find yourself more attentive to it and more critical of it in yourself and in others.
We tend to believe people see the world as we do, but the truth is they don’t. After a day of wearing short shorts in a busy city, not a single person will remember your legs. At the beach, the only people who might be distracted by your body are the ones who are sizing up their own (not about you). In reality, people don’t care what you look like as much as you do. But being terrified to live your life the way you want to, or constantly living in fear of judgement, will affect your life in ways you can’t imagine.
While it’s almost impossible to STOP feeling or thinking this way, you can acknowledge it and become more aware that it’s not actual truth. This can help lessen the power it has over you, making it easier to live your life without some unnecessary stress.
If you find yourself constantly worried about what people will think of your body, remind yourself that most people don’t care, and the ones that do are doing the SAME thing you are: making a mountain out of a mole (literally).