At some point in our life body image has come to the forefront of our thoughts and is a topic that can bring up a lot of resistance for people. But before you flick to the next post, I would like to ask you to explore this in a different way.
Body image can come up in many forms. Yes, it may show up in the relationship we have with our size or shape, the colour of our hair, the symmetry of our body, our booty or lack thereof, or our eyebrows.. and yes, even the most human of things like cellulite and wrinkles.
However, it may also show up in the clothes we choose to wear, the way we talk to others, how we hold ourselves, how we interact, the capability of our bodies, our perception of our intelligence, how we move, our confidence, our sexuality… it is how we interpret or compare to the standards set by society.
Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance. - Brene Brown
If we really think about that, would our body image transform based on where we lived in the world?
- A tan in one country may be a seen as attractive and glowing OR of low social class in another.
- Holding a few extra kilos may be seen as a sign of wealth OR lack of health.
- Grey hair may be a sign of wisdom OR of old age and fragility.
- Bowing a sign of respect OR weakness.
- Silence may be a discipline OR a lack of contribution.
The relationship we have with our self and body is dependent on the many layers of lived experiences and Brene Brown says it sets the tone for every other relationship you have.
Take a moment to reflect and become aware of your internal talk about self and image, Would you speak like that to your best friend?... Why do we allow ourselves to speak that way to our self?
Talk to yourself like you would someone you love – Brene Brown
If we make self-love or body acceptance conditional, the truth is, we will never be happy with ourselves. The reality is that our bodies are constantly changing and they will never remain exactly the same. If we base our self-worth on something as ever-changing as our bodies, we will forever be on the emotional roller coaster of body obsession and shame. – Chrissy King
Can we celebrate our bodies instead? Can we be gentle to our self in our journey? Is there a way to look for love, nourishment, acceptance.. instead of hate, restriction or criticism? Let’s build each other up and dull the sense of comparison. Let’s practice radical self love, because in the end - we are all imperfectly perfect!
Accept yourself as you are today. You’re a unique beauty who radiates authentically. You are truly whole, beautiful and loved as you are. So just for today, commit to yourself by saying “No” to others as needed. You have everything to gain nurturing yourself a little extra today. Thank your body for all that it does for you – Awaken Healers
I encourage you to try a little exercise: what part of your body do you feel truly grateful for right now? What part are you willing to bring more acceptance to?