Today is national Love Your Body Day. Some may not see the value in selecting a day to celebrate our bodies, but when you consider that 80% of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance, I think it’s a fabulous idea. Every woman should take a step back and appreciate what they’ve got — if not every day, then at the very least, on this particular day.
Women and girls are constantly bombarded with images and messages of what their bodies ought to look like — from Hollywood to the fashion and cosmetic industries, to print and TV ads. Images of thin, beautiful and “unblemished” (ahem, Photoshop) women crop up virtually everywhere, sending the subliminal — if not overt — message that our bodies, faces and hair need constant improvement.
Whatever happened to focusing on what your body can do instead of how it looks?
Like many women, for years I battled with a horrifically negative body image and an eating disorder. To this day, I still struggle with accepting my body. I’ve had to literally re-train my brain to focus on the positives, instead of comparing myself to Kim Kardashian’s figure (and berating myself for not looking like her). At 30 years old, my body sure isn’t what it was at 16. I don’t have a six pack and I don’t wear a size 3 anymore. But you know what? I’m awesome — curves and all!
So in the spirit of Love Your Body Day, here are a few reasons why I love my body: My body can bring life into this world and sustain it. My body can run a 5k and do squat jumps and push ups. My body has curves that my husband loves. My body is healthy. My body has art work that ten years later, I still love. My body has imperfections, but these imperfections tell a story — MY story.
It’s high time we start focusing on our positive attributes. And while we’re at it, let’s call out advertisers and the media that enforce unrealistic beauty standards, sexual ideals and gender stereotypes. To these ends, visit NOW-NYC’s blog, FIGUREatively Speaking and their #notcool page. And if you’re on Twitter, tweet why you love your body with the hash tag #LYBD.
What do you love about your body?