How many times have you ever heard another woman proclaim “damn, I look good!” Probably not very often. A comment like that would probably incite a round of snickers and eye rolls from everyone around her. Why is it that women are not allowed to talk about how great they look? Starting in adolescence, we are trained to highlight our imperfections both to ourselves and to each other. What is your first impulse when someone gives you a compliment? Rather than just saying “thank you!” I hear women saying something to downplay it. “Thanks, but….” We think we are being humble when really we are just contributing to this madness. It’s time to change the dialogue we have with ourselves and with each other about our bodies. It should be okay to take a compliment and to give yourself one. I’m sure you’ve noticed more and more celebrities and advertisers discussing more about loving ourselves more and not just seeing what bugs us.
Start with yourself. Where does your eye go first when you look in the mirror? We all have a list, right? The same three or four things that haunt us when we see our reflection. My hit list is the fine line between my eyebrows, my belly, and the sun damage on my skin. But when I look beyond these things, I am happy with my reflection. I try to take good care of myself and it shows. Perfect? Never. That’s impossible. There will always be something that isn’t exactly how I want it. But why make that the focus?
Think of four or five of your most beautiful features and make these the first things you look at in the mirror. Say OUT LOUD how great you look. Be mindful of what you eat, exercise and include awareness-based practices in your daily life such as yoga and meditation. Nurturing the body and mind helps us to feel good about ourselves.
It should be okay for a woman to say “Don’t I look great tonight?” We should be far more offended by the current dialogue between women about our bodies. Talking about how fabulous we are should be encouraged and accepted behavior. This starts with how we view ourselves. Only when we stop focusing on what is imperfect and embrace the beauty that is already there can this change within ourselves and with each other occur.