I don’t remember where I got this, but I found it in an email I had sent to some girlfriends a while back. I had to write about it because: it’s just THAT AWESOME.
As women, it’s so easy to look at ourselves and see only the bad things. We see that our hips are too wide, our thighs are too heavy, our chins seem to have multiplied, and our breasts seem to be creeping closer to our knees every year. Some of us look at ourselves and see legs like sticks, arms like twigs, mosquito bites masquerading as boobs, and butts that don’t even exist.
It can be so hard to see ourselves as beautiful. The various things we do with our bodies tend to leave their marks all over us, and if we’re not careful, those badges of honor – representing battles fought, effort expended, and wars won – can seem more like flaws and things to be rid of than things to cherish and hold up as a measure of what we’ve been through, what we’ve survived.
We have a duty to ourselves and our daughters to overcome it. I don’t have a daughter, and at this stage it’s highly unlikely that I ever will, but if I did have one, the one thing I would want to give her is an unconditional love of herself. Not vanity, but confidence and security.
Do we think that if we feel good about ourselves that we are being egotistical? Do we think that if we look at our thighs and see comfort and curves instead of cellulite and excess that this is somehow bad? I know I feel guilty sometimes if I look at myself in the mirror and feel happy about my body (only sometimes, mind you). I am not sure where the guilt comes from but it seems vaguely rooted in something from my childhood that says I shouldn’t let myself get a swelled head, shouldn’t be vain, shouldn’t be all about the physical.
All of that is true – we should keep a level head on our shoulders, be humble and not conceited. I think somehow though, we do at times confuse a healthy self-image with something negative and that’s sad.
We look at how we appear to everyone else and somehow equate that with who we are…and if we don’t look “good”, we can sometimes forget about all the other things that make us so awesome – like our personality, humor, strength, and intelligence.
This is not to say that men don’t have these issues too. I know that there are men with the same insecurities and body-image-issues as women. I know it’s a fact that men can be just as concerned with their physical appearance as a woman is. So consider this an all-purpose unisex blog about being comfortable with your body.
If you’re one of those people that is entirely happy with the way he or she looks, please know that I applaud you and am even envious. I try to be that way, it’s just some days when my clothes don’t fit just right or I don’t feel comfortable in my skin as much as I’d like…I have to remind myself of this picture and just throw a bikini on my body.