A Story about Self Image

“A strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success.

- Dr. Joyce Brothers  

“Your self image is your pattern!. Every thought has an activity visualized. Every activity belongs to a pattern. You identify with your pattern or thought. Your patterns leads your life.

- J. G. Gallimore

Tiger and the Three Pigs

A fairy tale about painting a positive self portraitand improving self-esteem and building body image

by David Leonhardt

After years of terrorizing the countryside, hunting deer, poaching livestock, killing game, Tiger grew long in the tooth. Finally, he knew it was time to retire. So he packed his bag: “Poor self-esteem? Check. Poor body image? Check? Poor self-image? Check. Self-portrait? Uh … oh, well, three out of four ain’t bad.”

Tiger ambled into town and came to stand before the Three Little Pigs Retirement Home Inc. He rang the bell, and the first little pig appeared on the landing above. “What do you want?” asked the little pig.

“I come here to retire,” Tiger replied.

“Ooooh. I don’t think so,” the little pig declared. “You’re not like us. You’ve got big teeth. Very dangerous. We can’t let you in.”

Tiger, having poor self-image, went to the dentist to improve these apparent deficiencies, and had his teeth removed. The next day, he returned to the Three Little Pigs Retirement Home Inc. “What do you want?” asked the second little pig.

“I have no more teeth. I come here to retire,” Tiger replied once more.

“Ooooh. No, no, no. That just won’t do,” the little pig exclaimed. “You’re different. You have sharp claws. You scare us. We can’t let you in.”

No teeth, no claws, no self-portrait

Tiger took his poor self-esteem and even worse body-image to the manicurist and had his claws removed. The next day, he returned to the Three Little Pigs Retirement Home Inc. “What do you want?” demanded the third little pig.

“I have no more claws. I come here to retire,” Tiger repeated.

“Ooooh. Let me see,” the little pig muttered as he disappeared from sight. Tiger heard much whispering and commotion behind the big wooden doors. “Okay, come in,” said the little pig.

Tiger strolled through the doors, and there stood the three little pigs, grinning ear to ear. Suddenly they jumped on Tiger. Squealing with delight, they beat him up and sent him packing. No teeth. No claws. Yippeeee! Finally they got even with Tiger for terrorizing the animals.

Tiger should have known better. He should have accepted who he is and not try to conform to someone else’s image of him. What tiger in his right mind lets a pig paint his portrait? He should have painted a self-portrait instead.

Do you seek to improve your body or your body image? Do you seek to improve your claws or your nails, or do you improve your self-esteem? What do you see when you look in the mirror?

So, who paints your portrait?

David Leonhardt is author of a self-help happiness book. He also runs a Liquid Vitamins Store and serves as a SEO/SEM website marketing consultant

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