A Challenge for the Ladies

A little over three years ago I read an article that really made an impact on me.  Man, do I wish I could find it again. In essence, this man wrote about his dating experiences with women, and particularly, his reactions and realizations based off of their poor body image and complaints about their bodies. He said he would start dating a particular woman and think to himself, “Man, she has such a great ass.” Or, “What a beautiful back.” And so on.  Eventually this woman would start to degrade herself and point out the things about her body she didn’t like.

“Ugg, I hate my lumpy butt.  And will you look at this roll of fat on my back?”

He noticed that the minute the women he was dating would start to say these things, he would, in fact, starting looking at those lumps and that roll – things he didn’t notice until she brought them to his attention. All of a sudden it wasn’t “what a great ass!” but “hmm, she’s right, it is lumpy”.

The message of his article was, “Ladies, shut your mouths!” If you’re looking for reassurance about your body, ask a girlfriend.  Or better yet, look within to find value to your body and realize the beauty you posses.

It’s a standing joke in our society about how painful the question, “Does this make me look fat?” is for men. So why do we keep asking it? Because, and you know this is true, if he says yes, all hell breaks loose. Why set up a person you care about for a fall like that? Why not ask, instead, “What do you think of this dress?” And then be okay with the honest answer given.  A simple, “Eh, it’s not the most flattering dress you own” or “You looking smoking hot” might result instead of a dramatic situation based off lies.

After I read that article, I made a vow. I would never again spout off to someone, least of all the man in my life, about what I don’t like about my body.  The manfriend has no idea the things that I would love to change. What he does know is that I take good care of myself, that I have confidence in my body (even when I’ve had to fake it), and that I’m making healthy changes to be the best I can be. You want to know the best part?  The less I talk about my body issues, the less they bother me. Imagine that. And I’ve never once felt judgment in his hands or seen judgment in his eyes when he looks at or touches my body. Trust me, that feels amazing!

So here’s my challenge to you ladies – stop badmouthing yourself to your man. Stop asking him questions when you don’t really want an honest answer. You might find that the things you think you need from him, the reassurance and false praise, aren’t really that necessary – that you posses the ability to make yourself feel good and worthy.

I really believe that if we stop badmouthing ourselves, fishing for insincere compliments, and spouting negativity about body image we, as a whole, will be better off for it. Seriously, try this for yourself, and if you don’t start feeling better about yourself in a months time you can tell me I’m a jerk.

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9 Comments

  1. Bravo my friend! Bravo! And I will take it one step further and say stop bad mouthing yourself period. And take a compliment when given one. But first and foremost, whether it’s to a man, or to a friend, or to another Mom, or to a interviewer…as soon as you point out your “flaws” there they are glaring everybody in the face. But if you hadn’t pointed them out, they prob. wouldn’t be noticed. And quite frankly, its not even about not pointing out your “flaws”, it’s about accepting yourself as you are and loving yourself completely. So instead of flaws ,consider them your characteristics that make you interesting!!
    So live em up…all of them!

    Reply
  2. Your welcome. Thanks for writing :)

    Reply
  3. Aimee

     /  February 5, 2010

    I love this.
    Especially nine months pregnant, I needed to hear this.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Aimee. While I was writing this, I was thinking of you and your push not to whine about our guys, but rather to focus on and praise the good things they do. It’s a similar concept I suppose, and just as powerful.

      Reply
  4. Great article/insight. Why not propose it to the Women’s magazine?

    Reply
  5. This is a fantastic challenge for EVERY woman! The idea that self-esteem comes from a place where you focus on what’s RIGHT rather than what’s not is exactly what my pin-up experience is based on! I’m so excited to read this, it’s a beautiful affirmation of women everywhere.

    Reply
  6. Thanks, Iman! We beat ourselves up too much. We need to change the mantra to “I love THIS about myself/my body”.

    Reply

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