As a photographer, I witness first-hand the criticisms women place on themselves. “I hate this side of my face, hide my belly,” and so much more. In equal measure, I also experienced women who just accepted themselves as they are, their biggest concern was whether blue or burgundy was the right color to wear.
So this got me thinking: how do we come to hate a part of our body? I suspect it’s not one moment but a multi-layered process to disempower women. For years, we are conditioned to internalize that only one body type is perfect (or perfectly unattainable). The characteristics might shift from big breasts to big booty, but it’s a media-driven narrative that makes women feel less than.
We can wrest our power back by reclaiming parts of our body we critique and anointing them with special positive traits. My jiggly belly held a child. My wrinkles show my wisdom. On and on we can go if we let ourselves. Focus on loving yourself.
Kelly Gonsalves in How To Love Your Body: 20 Small Ways To Start, Even When It’s Hard touches on so many great points and is worth a thorough read. Some nuggets that really stood out to me is the importance of getting to know your body so that you are better able to offer compassion and love for it. And do something that makes your body feel good every day. Isn’t that the truth? It's so easy to put our bodies on the backburner with our to-dos, but you can really reap rewards by taking time to move it, stimulate it, and love it.
We can accept our bodies for how they are serving us right now. Stop comparing yourself to others. Find companies and social feeds that also share these values so you are seeing a variety of body types.