I had an ex-boyfriend once who told me that I would make a great boxer because I have wider shoulders than him.
Note to all aspiring boyfriends out there, DO NOT SAY THAT! It is not considered a compliment.
In a lot of ways, I was ok with him saying this. At the time, I was going with him to a boxing gym and had hoped to one day get in the ring. On the other hand, this comment sent me into a downward spiral and into a lot of self-hate.
I had often hated my small, hooded eyes, my big floppy boobs, or my stomach paunch that would not go away, but I hadn’t even thought to hate my wide shoulders. I never realized it was something I needed to hate. So his comment got me to examine my entire body again from a new perspective. Are there other things I should be hating that I’m not right now? Am I missing something to hate?
As women, we can often easily list off the things we absolutely hate about ourselves.
In fact, most women can bond over conversations about dieting and arm flab, but ask them what they love about themselves, now that it’s a show stopper. You are likely to get deer in the headlights blank stares. I know for me, even now, this is a hard exercise. I think it is important though.
Even if you don’t shout it from the rooftops, having things you love about your appearance is good and healthy.
Many women will resort to personality traits when we talk about this and while those are valuable, they do not address the issues we have with our BODIES.
Your body has done amazing things for you.
It has maybe helped you bring babies into the world. It may have helped you run marathons or walked you to work, has helped you camp, or clean. Its ability to DO things is amazing. We can appreciate these things and I hope you do.
But asking women to pinpoint one thing they really, really like about their appearance can be an exercise in shame. Many women do not feel they have a right to like anything about their bodies, especially if they are overweight or are chronic dieters. It is almost as if liking your body will make you conceited. But that is the heart of it. You see, you are beautiful!
You have a body…
- That can DO amazing things.
- That should be appreciated.
- That should be loved and worshiped.
So, now I want you to name one thing, out loud or in your head that you love on your body.
Don’t qualify it. You don’t have to have a reason.
You just have to love it and keep loving it.