Warning: naked badass bodies below!
There once was a philosopher I learnt about in school. I think it was Bertrand Russell.
Anyway, he said that you can walk by a house and every single day it would look different. Because of the season, where the sun was at, the angle you are looking at it from.
And we can view our bodies in this same way.
(This picture is of the same woman’s body, taken within a few seconds of each other.)
Some people look at their bodies and they say they don’t like what they see. But, I say, if you love a flower, and you water it everyday, and as you love and care for it, it grows more beautiful everyday, so it is with our bodies.
You can see the same thing from two different angles. You can hate your body. It is possible to do so. Logically, then, if we can hate an object; us, then we can also love it.
For those who are in hate with their bodies right now, it may seem completely impossible. And that’s ok. Just seeing that it seems impossible is enough for now.
I’m going to tell you some things that have helped me. Because I love my body right now. Oh no! But I’m not meant to love my body, right?! 😉 Because so few of us do, it can be hard to even admit to enjoying your own body. But that is ok, too. Because the more of us that learn to love ourselves, the more us can learn, to love ourselves.
So, the things that have helped me:
Yoga teaches me things every time I do it. I hadn’t realised this was one of its lessons until I began looking at this subject. So, when I do yoga, I enjoy my body. It’s that simple. Something that brings you enjoyment, you cherish and want to spend more time with.
This also works with, baths, sleep, dance and sex. 😉
I put some love on the mirror.
On my mirror I have ‘I love myself unconditionally, right now’ scrawled on a piece of paper and stuck there with blutack. This message has slowly seeped in, and now I am seeing a more confident me in the mirror everyday.
I aim to be healthy, not perfect.
I was doing this anyway. I think yoga helps because I can never get the exact shapes I’m aiming for, but I love doing it nontheless. It turns out that this change in belief is changing other girl’s lives, too. An inspirational body positive campaign is sweeping American sororities because of the demand for it’s training, and this is one of the main components. Basically; what you believe, affects your behaviour.
Knowing that I am more than just hot.
I write, I love, I sing, I dance. Having these things in my life that make me feel so alive, mean I can remind myself that I am strong, that I do have worth. So anytime I might have a rare thought about how ugly I am, I have a ‘courage reference point’.
Also works with burlesque, (apparently), walking across fire and lying down in public spaces. I think this is also why tattoos are good for your confidence. They clearly state, this is my body, and I’m going to do what I want with it.
Knowing how I’d like my body to be, ideally, and then loving it anyway.
This, when I thought about it, was a huge reason that I have ended up loving my body.
I got this view from a guided meditation, in which you basically go through each part of the body, relax it and feel grateful for what it has done for you. In telling my body I loved it for the first time, I felt it physically love me back! Pretty cool.
Seeing that we are all women.
And instead of seeing this ‘ideal’ woman in the adverts, as 2D, I could see all of her. That she is a real woman; she has a mother and a father, just like me, she has hopes and dreams and ideals, and morals, and a belief, and a craving for love- just, like, me.
The moment I felt in my heart that this woman is human, that I don’t need to fight against her, that she is not someone to hate, but someone I can relate to, that she is a real woman, was when I felt peace. With the pictures. That I can love my beautiful body, just as it is, and see the beauty in her, too.
Seeing other bodies, that were like mine.
It is great to see a diverse range of bodies. The more we see of a body type, the more we like it. When I see a woman’s body that is like mine, I get excited. It’s so freeing to see your own body type looking beautiful.
This changed my perception, because, if we are seeing all different body types, and seeing the beauty in all of our individual-ness, then we don’t need to compare.
Other tips for body lovin’ are: find your passion, don’t talk fat talk, refocus on being healthy, mind, body and spirit, rather than being as ‘whatever’ for ‘whoever’, do something new and risqué, find ways to love your body that you couldn’t before. And find strong, empowered women that you admire for their bodies, and who they are, too.
I want to finish with the thought that, this article doesn’t even matter. I wanted to talk about body love, because some part of me instinctually guesses that body image is a challenge for a lot of young women. But I wish it wasn’t.
I dream of a day that this article doesn’t exist.Because solutions and considerations won’t be needed. Because no one would ever have to make clear that a woman’s appearance isn’t something that makes her ‘real’ or not, or valued, loved or accepted.
I hope one day all girls and women will see beauty as a side note in their lives. Where they can be seen for their true value.
Where the barbie ‘ideal’ steps out of the way, they can join hands with their own bodies, and walk into a bold new future in which their value comes from who they really are; from the jokes they make, the dances they learn, the music they sing, the poems they write, the people they care about, the fights that are worth fighting for, the passions they hold, the wild woman that is loving, and care-free, and caring, and giving and unstoppable.
That woman already exists in every one of us. And she is not just beautiful. She is so much more than a 2D image, of what someone, once, called beauty.
What do you love about your body? Name one thing in the comments! Got any stories about body image? Let me know. 🙂 I would love to hear from you!!!