Hey darlings. How are you today? I hope you feel ready to have a little (actually huge) deep-talk with me? I’ve been having internal conversations with myself about this recently. And as always, bouncing ideas, thoughts and reflections with Lauren. The most amazing listener EVER. Wait! Before you start, maybe go get yourself a cup of tea or a big ice-water with lemon. Or what the heck ever your body is craving right now. Just suggesting a little refresher because we’re going deep here.
And wait! Again. Before we continue, close your eyes and imagine that you’re getting a big, comforting hug from us. Ok, here we go.
We always hear the phrase “loving your body” and in the past that phrase has caused me to squirm inside. How do I love my body? How can I love it when I don’t think it’s perfect? When I see the flaws so well? When I see the ads telling me what bodies “should” look like according to (unrealistic) societal ideals? And what does it EVEN MEAN to love my body?
Sounds familiar? Yes? Perfect. Let’s chat about this for a bit. It’s crucial life stuff.
Most of the time when someone talks about “loving your body,” they’re referring to how happy or unhappy you feel with your weight. But there are SO many levels and layers of loving your body. We won’t pretend weight isn’t one of them – but – man, that is such a limited view.
- What about someone who is dealing with a debilitating illness who must regain trust in a body that feels it has turned against them?
- What about the non-binary person searching for a body that feels like an honest outer expression of who they are inside?
- What about the millions of women who struggle with menstrual pain and hormonal issues, who feel like their menstrual cycle is a monthly battle?
- Or the woman going through menopause who face cultural messages that her worth is diminished if her body is no longer fertile?
- What about our journey to love for our bodies through personal style, not only as a way to feel good about ourselves, but as an expression of gender, emotions, essence, history, and humanity, sometimes even as a political act?
- What about someone struggling to love their ethnic identity despite suffering prejudice, bullying, or violence because of the color of their skin?
- What about someone who has lost use of their feet or legs, their hands or arms? What is that person’s journey to loving their body?
It’s dismissive of someone’s struggle to say, “Be grateful for the body you’ve got!” as much as that is true. Loving your body takes on many stories, shapes, shades, and forms. And if you feel that “loving your body” is a struggle for whatever reason, we’re not here to dismiss your struggle or tell you that you’re wrong in doing so. Instead, we want to offer a few more levels and perspectives on this subject.