Guest contribution by Lianne — I don’t have the best body in the world, nor the most logically proportioned one. And yes, sometimes I think “ugh” and “can u not.” But I love it anyway.
I mean, why the fuck not.
- I grew it myself.
- I’ve had it for years.
- And I’m going to be in it for as long as I’m alive.
Might as well make the best of it. And making the best of it includes not being a dick to myself just because I’m not perfect.
I’m aware of the weird things and imperfections that come with my body. My boobs are hardly even there, and then there’s the curve to my tummy that basically says “ERROR ERROR 404 ABS NOT FOUND lolz thx 4 trying.”
I have a pretty big butt — especially if you compare it to the complete lack of curves on the boob-front. Now, I know Sir Mix-A-Lot would totally be down with the butt, but there is a whole lot of hip and thigh that comes along with it.
I have been thinner and more toned than I am now. When I got my heart broken at 21, I couldn’t eat for six weeks and I dropped two dress sizes. When I do a 30-day Bikram Yoga Challenge I lose all my water weight, and you see all the muscle tone from practicing every day, which I think looks good. But I’ve always had sort of a ‘soft body,’ and a total bottom-heavy curve.
Even now that I am not at my thinnest, with some extra butt dimples and tummy fat, I am kind to myself about my body. I no longer scream abusively in my head when I see something in the mirror I don’t like. I did that when I was young and it didn’t make me feel better or any thinner – it just made me moody and in need of a comfort cupcake.
I try to be loving towards my body. I take care of myself. When I get out of the shower and I see something unflattering I just grin and move on. It’s not that important.
And I focus on the positive of this body. I’m healthy and I feel comfortable in this skin. I feel energetic, and thanks to yoga I can fold myself around like a garden chair… even with that big ass in the way.
Over time I have decided that it’s ridiculous that any of us should feel bad for not having a perfect body, or that we should walk around with looming insecurities. Insecurities weigh us down and serve no purpose; we can strive for diet, fitness, and weight goals without insecurities getting in the way. You should let them go.
1. I am 25 years old, moderately attractive, and people don’t throw garbage at me when they see me in my bikini or underwear. In fact, I’ve never seen anyone throw garbage at anyone because they were walking around half naked and had chunky legs or a droopy butt. This leads me to the conclude we’re all doing okay, because other people really don’t care that much. People don’t go to the beach or the swimming pool to judge other people’s bodies (plus, if they did, who would care about the opinion of an obvious LOON?). Also, the person who sees you in your underwear probably hasn’t gotten you naked because he or she wants to separately and vigorously judge all your body parts. They probably want to do other things to you, if you catch my drift.
2. In fact, people hardly seem to care about how YOU look at all. Honestly, humans are all too self-obsessed to criticise other people the way they criticise themselves. Just last year, I walked around an entire day with a Helena ‘Batshit Crazy Hair’ Bonham Carter hairdo. Nobody cared. Because I was friendly to myself and I didn’t care either. I’m pretty sure the same applies when you might have cellulite or a pot belly.
3. “That’s all nice and dandy,” you might say, “BUT I CARE.” Well, care all you want. Of course your opinion about your body is the most important and other people shouldn’t even matter to begin with. But considering yelling mean things to yourself about a body part is counter-effective and serves no purpose. Try to replace that dysfunctional caring with either a functional or a friendly way of caring. Rub it, accept it, exercise it, tap it, change your perspective on it, LOVE IT. Care in a way that works and that makes you happy, instead of miserable.
4. Speaking of caring, how important is it REALLY that you are not model-thin or have the perfect ass? In like, the global scheme of your life and ALL the things. By all means, work for the body you want; I think this is good for you in terms of self-esteem, discipline and health. But I personally feel there are more important things in the world, things like education, family, friendship, doing what you love — to name only a few. Excuse the cheesetastic statement, but I truly stand by it.
5. Just like there are FAR worse things than not being pretty and FAR better compliments than being called beautiful. If a layer of fat is the worst of your problems, you’re doing pretty good in life. I’m not saying this to belittle your insecurities or the (wonderful!) determination you might have to work that fat off, I’m just saying that maybe it’s not the most terrible problem you could have. And maybe you should keep that in mind a little when you’re beating yourself up over not looking perfect.
6. There are people who are aesthetically quite pleasing, yet their personality is like dumb, mean, hot garbage. Alternatively, I also know some people that might be on the plain (or even weird-looking) side of beauty, but their personality is like a Theme Park of Amazing with Bumpercars of Kindness and Roller-Coasters of Dazzling Intelligence. And all of a sudden I look at them, and I find them breathtakingly beautiful. And want to make out with their faces. I’ve been wildly attracted to people with very imperfect bodies because they were just epic people. What I’m saying is, how we perceive beauty can be influenced by other factors. This applies to you too.
7. Look at the people around you that you think are beautiful (the ones in real life… let’s leave Victoria’s Secret catalogues and Photoshop out of this). None of them are perfect. I’m pretty sure you’d tell me that they look wonderful, and that they’re fucking cute in their swimsuits or hot pants. EVEN though they have definite flaws or weird scars or whatever. Explain to me why that same principle wouldn’t apply to you. Why can’t YOU be cute even with your flaws? Are you the exception? Answer: No.
I wanted to share this with you because I have learned that I don’t have to be at my thinnest to be okay with how I look. Even when I’m bloated or lazy or when I look in the mirror and I see “fat,” I accept what I see and move on.
I think healthy, unconditional love for your body helps you achieve a healthy, fit body more easily than conditional love, like “I’ll be happy with my body WHEN…” or “I’ll be satisfied with my body IF…”
Because if I look at myself in the mirror and I see something I don’t like I just shrug it off and move on with a mental comment to myself. ”You know what, Dimple Butt? You’re still alright in my book.”
And then I go to yoga wearing tiny shorts without giving a single further fuck. The end.
This article was written by Lianne and published earlier on her website The Self Help Hipster.