If you have read my blog before, you know I try very hard to be body positive and sex positive. I believe that is how we, as humans, should interact with our world. To not be ashamed of the things that all people do or have. Every body is beautiful in it’s own right. Every act of sex is sacred and magical and should be viewed that way. These are things that should be taught to us from young ages, the reality is very different.
It’s pretty safe to say that all of us have things about our bodies we do not like. I made a post about it and even exposed myself without clothes for you all to see. You can check it out here, Barely Body Beautiful . The point of the post was to work past my perceived image of my body. Truth is, I still have reservations about how I look. It’s not surprising, look at how the media sells bodies to us. This perceived ideal of what is perfection is enough to drive anyone crazy. And it is something we have to get over. The idea of what is a desirable body has changed in almost every decade. It is up to us to feel good about ourselves and not let others dictate that to us.
Honest question time. When was the last time you were nude in front of a mirror and just looked at yourself? When you were looking at yourself, what words came to mind? How did you feel? Now think about those thoughts that rolled through your mind. When you heard them, who’s voice were they from? Were they yours or were they someone you encountered? Perhaps some hateful person at the grocery store? A parental figure? Or was it someone whom you thought you loved? When you think about it, it’s amazing how many of those thoughts are not ours but imposed upon us by someone else’s ideas.
It abhors me the shame I feel about myself during those passing glances in the mirror. When I’m in the shower and I happen to think that my belly sticks out further than it should and no one would ever find me desirable. Or when I am getting dressed and I wonder what exactly my boyfriend sees in me. Why is it that I cannot relish in the fact that I have this amazing person in my life who loves me for who I am and wants to crawl in bed next to me every night? These negative thoughts are destructive to the very fabric of our confidence.
It is so easy to sit here and write a few dozen sentences that spout out how we need to change our mindset and love our bodies, love handles and all. The truth is it isnt so easy. We are part of a group of people who pride themselves in body image. We judge all bodies, no matter if they are ones we are sexually attracted to or seeing on the street. I touched on a topic in an earlier post why gay men find women’s bodies offensive, which is another aspect of body shaming. There is nothing inherently more gross about a woman’s vagina than an anus. One could argue that the anus is a bit more gross, with better reasoning. Nor is someone who is of a larger frame more ugly than someone who is ultra skinny.
We all have preferences, sure I can buy into that. When I am shopping for ice cream I tend to stay towards vanilla. What you don’t see is me standing in the ice cream aisle shouting at Rocky Road about how disgusting it is. I don’t say anything about it because its not what I want. Okay, that may be a more simplistic way of looking at it but is it that different? If you like someone who is more lean, carries a bit of muscle, and shaves their body hair, you don’t need to shame someone who doesn’t fit that mold. Be cordial and move on.
This goes beyond pointing the finger at those who are shaming people. We still have to change how our minds work and that isnt easy. I was raised to not be prideful or boastful. That makes it hard for me to say I love myself and I love the body I am in. It feels like I am being self centered but that isn’t the truth. There are powerful truths out there that can give us a bit of strength to move towards acceptance. Serena Williams has this to say about body positivity. “Since I don’t look like every other girl, it takes a while to be okay with that. To be different. But different is good.”
We are different, in every way. Our likes/dislikes, sexuality, and our bodies. Why do we need to live our lives trying to be like someone else. Remember that no two snowflakes are alike and you don’t see them stressing over it. We live such short lives, to be better accepting of who we are gives us more freedom to experience life to our fullest desires.
We need to grace this world with the beauty that is each of us and be strong in who we are. It’s not an easy road, but know that there are others of us on it with you. I am always here for those that need an ear to bend, a place to call safe and judgement free. I want to leave you with two more quotes that speak to me.
“You have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” — Louise Hay
“You are not a mistake. You are not a problem to be solved. But you won’t discover this until you are willing to stop banging your head against the wall of shaming and caging and fearing yourself.” — Geneen Roth