I’m easily frustrated by the messages that advertising and social media give women about their bodies. Perhaps that’s why I was so moved by a poem that I ran across this week. Written by Hollie Holden, it first appeared on her Notes on Living & Loving Facebook page in June 2016.
Today I asked my body what she needed,
Which is a big deal
Considering my journey of
Not Really Asking That Much.
I thought she might need more water.
But as I stood in the shower
Reflecting on her stretch marks,
Her roundness where I would like flatness,
Her softness where I would like firmness,
All those conditioned wishes
That form a bundle of
She whispered very gently:
Could you just love me like this?
Do you stand in front of the mirror and find fault with what you see? If so, I would urge you to stop being so hard on yourself. Take a few minutes and think about all the amazing things that your imperfect body can do! Think of it as a tool that can help you live life to your full potential. Listen to it, honour what it needs, treat yourself to a healthy lifestyle, but don’t beat yourself up over minor imperfections or natural signs of aging. Life is hard enough, without being at war with your own body!
Advertising seldom presents natural healthy bodies. It sets us up for disappointment, so it’s up to us to ignore the nonsense and aim for something more realistic. Doing anything less convinces us that we’re not good enough, that we’re not what we ought to be, and disrespects the amazing bodies that we’ve been gifted with.
We can have a closet full of beautiful clothes but if we don’t love the body that we’re putting them on, we’ll never be truly happy with how we look. Don’t let unrealistic expectations rob you of joy! Show yourself a little love today!