A Good Look In The Mirror
Big. Small. Fat. Ugly. Moles. Flat. Round. Mediocre.Voluptuous.
I’d say I think about my body and my body size at least 10 times a day. After all, any time I go out (or stay in my house) I see images, ideas, slogan, diet commercials. Every one is telling me what I am doing wrong, or what I should be doing to improve my weight, body, looks.
Now, this is not going to be a rant about how society and media are ruining our lives by bombarding us with images and ideas that we (I’m going to focus on women for this piece, not that this isn’t happening to men) need to be skinnier. Because the thing is I truly believe we can TAKE CONTROL of this, of ourselves, of our image. Sure, people are always going to be telling you to be someone different, but that won’t help you. Will changing yourself and what you look like really help you? In my opinion, not at all. So once we accept this, that by changing ourselves we won’t be doing anything better, what now?
This morning I got out of the shower, walked to my room naked and stood for a solid 15 minutes looking in my long mirror at my naked body. It’s really amazing what I noticed. I have kinda flabby arms, I never noticed that I had some muscle in there. I found a big freckle on my right breast and a birth mark on my left thigh, things I never knew I had.
Why did I never know? I’ve never really stared at my body before. I don’t have terrible self-esteem, but I don’t have great self-esteem either, so why have I never done this before?
While looking at myself, completely exposed I thought “I love my body.” I really do. Yeah, I have a stomach, bigger thighs, my legs aren’t shaved and always have some sort of bruise or scratch on them and my arms are big and my nails are bitten, and I could think of many other things that are wrong with me but so what? By thinking of all these things am I really helping myself? Is my image really that important?
So then I just had this extreme loving thought towards myself. That I love my body, I DO love my curves and my back spots and my bigger arms and my freckles. This was then slammed down a second later by another voice in my head asking why? Why should I love this? There was so much disgust in this voice, I was shocked. How could I have such a loving moment to myself then followed immediately asking myself why I should ever feel such love towards myself when I look this way?
I think that I am always thinking, because others are thinking the same, that there is something wrong with me. I can never be perfect (and I’m not saying that by accepting my physical aspects I am perfect) so why try to attempt such an impossibility?
I’m not trying to preach saying, "Ohh you are perfect as you are, don’t change yourself blahblahblah." Mostly I want to send out this message and ask you all, if you haven’t already, to look at yourself in the mirror. Fully exposed. See what you notice about yourself, what you never knew. We hardly ever do this, I find. We are always so discouraged by others that its hard to do this. We are afraid at what we will find, because what if we don’t like what we find?
But my challenge to you is to see what you see, and look at yourself with love, kindness and no judgement. It’s hard, really, I don’t even think I am there yet. But I feel it’s something we all need to do.
More articles by Category: Body image and body standards, Feminism
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