In this world of ours that is filled to bursting with selfies, photo filters, “plus size” models that are a size 10, and Kim Kardashian’s ass, it’s hard to know how to love what you see in the mirror at home everyday. Under the bright unflattering lights of your bathroom. With no filter and no airbrushing. It’s a scary thought, but really, it shouldn’t be. When did we get so far down the rabbit hole of narcissism and self hate that we can’t even bring ourselves to look at our naked bodies and appreciate them for what they are. Beautiful. Every single one of them.
Whether you are fat, skinny, stretch marked, or stretched tight, you should love and appreciate that beautiful form of yours, no matter what you see. Here are a few things to help us remember how fabulous we are…
- Look in the mirror – Look. Really look. And I challenge you to look and not to focus in on those things that make you unhappy but rather the things that make you beautiful. This is a conscious decision, and not something that will happen overnight. You have to make the choice to not hate yourself and not perpetuate the myth that you are not perfect, just as you are today, right now. Admire your beautiful feminine hourglass figure, or your narrow hips, or that beauty mark that spreads across your breast. Adore your ankles, or the curve of your back, or even that big booty you have behind you. Hug tight that swell of your belly that has had the opportunity to eat great food or give life to a new being. Look at yourself. Appreciate yourself, and love yourself. Every day.
- Look at magazines, models and social media – It is a part of life to have to see flawless airbrushed images of impossibly beautiful creatures. Don’t shy away from it, it’s fine to look at them as long as you appreciate them for what they are. Art. A very talented group of makeup artist, stylists, trainers, and editors have all contributed to the outcome of those pictures. They are stunning, they are gorgeous, and at most times they look nothing like the actual person does in real life. They are art, they are interpretation, and they are meant to sell products, services, or ideas. Take them for what they are and don’t use them as a bar to reach for in your own life, cause it aint gonna happen ladies. Unless you are Jennifer Lawrence, that bitch really is flawless.
- Be naked – Being naked is awesome, it just is. Feeling comfortable in your own skin is a gift that you can give yourself constantly. The more often you are naked, the more comfortable you will feel. It’s a habit you have to form. Don’t just be naked alone either, be naked with your partner, your kids, whoever. This is something we have done for forever in my family. My father recounts days getting ready in the house with three daughters and how we would run around the hallway upstairs in various stages of undress as he just shook his head. My sisters and I are still pretty open to this day. At home, Jay and I walk around naked in the morning or before bed all the time. We also sleep naked usually. We don’t hide it when AC is with us either. How are kids supposed to know what real bodies look like if the only bodies they see are on the pages of magazines. Don’t make it a big deal and they won’t either. Don’t cover up, everyone has the same parts, it’s ok. Let go a little and you will start to feel more free and less self conscious.
- Speak kindly – Words have such a profound effect. When you speak negatively about yourself, you begin to feel negative about yourself, your energy becomes negative, and others will begin to notice that and respond to that negativity as well. Especially children. Kids don’t just wake up and say “I hate my body”. They learn that, and they learn that from what they see you doing and what they hear you saying about yourself and about others. Recently AC has said to me “M, you have a big belly”. Instead of taking that negatively, I say to him that yes I do have a big belly and that it makes me soft and comfortable for him to cuddle with and shows that I love food. I also remind him that there are all different kinds of people in the world, all different sizes, shapes, and colors, and that we are all beautiful because of who we are, not because of what we look like. He is 5, and he gets it. Why can’t we get that when we are 25, 35, 65. Speak kindly of yourself, and others and you might just start to believe your words and recognize that the nice things you are making an effort to say really are true, and really are the things that are important.
- Be healthy – It is a myth that healthy means thin and also that unhealthy means fat. It is all you hear today, loose weight and all your health issues fade away. That’s, for the most part, total bullshit. I agree that you want to be healthy, you want to eat lots of fruits and veggies and whole grains and you want to do something every day that makes you sweat a little. Whatever that is, is up to you. Play with your kids, go for a walk around the neighborhood, or rock out on the treadmill in the gym. Whatever works for you. Attend your yearly checkups, have a gyno exam, do self breast exams, and talk to your doctors about anything abnormal. What you should not do is assume that because you are fluffy in your backside means you have health issues by default. Real health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, diabetes are there, and they are there for EVERYONE. Not just for fat people. I have been overweight my entire life and have no real health issues other than the occasional migraine headache. The point is, go with the facts about your own body and not with what society says. Find a doctor that respects and talks to you and don’t ever be afraid to challenge them. They may be MDs but they aren’t perfect.
- Look your best – The number one best thing you can do for yourself is to look the best for you. Don’t drown yourself in bigger clothing if you are thin, don’t try to pull off fashions that are meant for size 0s when you are a size 20. My rule is to never leave the house wearing something that you would be embarrassed to be seen in if you ran into your mother. I never walk out the door without a little powder on my face and a little mascara on. It’s not for other people, it’s for me. It makes me know that if I DO run into people, I won’t shy away, I won’t be embarrassed, and I will always be willing to say hello. There is nothing worse than that feeling in your stomach that you look so awful you don’t want to be seen. Of course it happens to all of us, maybe you have the flu, or just broke up with your love interest, or are recovering from a very late night of martinis and bad decisions. Whatever the reason, bad days happen, just don’t let that turn into the norm. Take pride in what you look like and present yourself at your best.
In the end, it’s on you. You need to choose to love yourself, practice things that will help you to do that, and teach those positive practices to others. Choose to recognize that no matter who you are, there is beauty in you, and that when you learn to see it in yourself, others will see it too.