Your body is beautiful right now, no matter what. Do you believe that? If you are like a lot of people, you probably don’t.
We are extremely critical of our bodies. If you are in a group of people for any period of time, it is pretty common for people to start criticizing their bodies or talking about what they need to do to improve their bodies (i.e. go on a diet, exercise, etc.). Sometimes these conversations take an especially dark turn, and people start saying things like “I’m so fat” or “I have the biggest butt in the world.”
Mean Conversations in Our Head
You know the kinds of conversations I am talking about. It seems like body hatred and body loathing is extremely common. Sometimes it even seems like a national past time. Do you know what is really uncommon? It is really uncommon to find people saying, simply and sincerely, “I love my body. It’s beautiful.”
Even we even think about these words, our first instinct is to start listing all of the reasons our body is not beautiful. Maybe our first reaction is, “I can’t say that. My body is so gross and flawed.”
I understand that we feel this way a lot. But I want to assure you that your body is beautiful right now, no matter what.
Your body is beautiful because it is your vessel for adventures.
Your Body is Amazing
Your body is beautiful right now, no matter what because your body is a record of your amazing unique life. Your body is the record of the bike rides you went on when you were little and the scars you received from falling off your bike. It is a record of the beautiful food you have eaten. And it is the record of the times you were feeling scared and overwhelmed and ate extra food in an attempt to soothe or protect yourself.
Your body is a record of the love you have made and the love you’ve lost. It is a record of the times when you treated yourself well and times when you’ve treated yourself less than kindly because you didn’t know how to do better. And it is a record of the pregnancies, miscarriages, and births you have experienced and the car accidents you suffered.
Your body is a record of your decision not to have children. And it is a record of the late nights you stayed up studying or the nights you stayed up talking to friends who needed your help.
It’s important to realize that your body is both an amazing, unique landscape and a fascinating historical record. There is no other landscape and historical record like it. That is why you are beautiful right now, no matter what.
It is your landscape and your record.
Things We Don’t Learn
Unfortunately, we rarely learn to think of our bodies as being a unique record of our lived experiences. Rather, we learn to view our bodies in terms of how they look to someone else or whether or not someone else approves of them.
And we learn to judge it in terms of whether or not others think they are sexually desirable.
We also learn to judge our bodies according to narrow and arbitrary media standards.
On the one hand, it is normal for us to consider how our bodies appear to others. And there is nothing wrong with enjoying when people find us attractive, sexually or otherwise.
Nevertheless, it is important to note that our bodies are not primarily for other people. Rather, they are primarily for us. The primary goal of our body is not to meet other peoples’ standards of sexual desirability.
The Purpose of Our Body
The purpose of our bodies is to allow us to live our unique life and to give us feedback about that life. Our bodies are not for the purpose of living up to arbitrary and unrealistic media standards of what our bodies should look like. The purpose of our bodies is to fully express themselves in their radical originality. An that is true even if they look quite different from everyone else. Remember, your body is an amazing landscape. And the amazing thing about landscapes is their variety and originality.
Of course it is true that sometimes we decide we need to change something related to our body. For instance, perhaps our body is telling us that we are eating too little or too much and that it is having problems working properly. Sometimes our body tells us that we need to drink more water. And sometimes our body tells us that we have been sitting a little too much working or watching TV, and we need to dance and run and hula hoop more.
Listening to Our Body
Sometimes our body tells us that we have a medical problem and that it is time to go to the doctor. But in all of these cases, whether we decide we need to eat more or less, or exercises more or less, or go to the doctor, etc., our body is not our enemy. It hasn’t lost its amazing-ness. Rather, in these instances our body is being its amazing self and communicating to us that it is time for a change.
As a historical record and landscape, our body is always giving us feedback about our how thoughts and actions and choices affect it. And the more we listen to it and become its friend, the more we understand it. The better able we are to make any changes it is asking us to make.
So Friend, whatever your body is like today, it is amazing and beautiful right now. You just need to be present with your body in this moment. And you need to appreciate it for the beautiful landscape and record it is, and everything will unfold well from there. You absolutely deserve right now to say, “I love my body. It’s amazing.”
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Published by shellypruittjohnson
My name is Shelly Johnson, and I am a writer and philosopher with a Ph.D. in philosophy. One of my primary personal and philosophical interests is how we can learn to love ourselves and each other better in order to cultivate personal and political resilience. I teach ethics and a variety of other courses at a local college. I am the author of the blog Love is Stronger. I am also the author of three logic and critical thinking books for high school and middle school: _Argument Builder_, _Discovery of Deduction_ (co-author), and _Everyday Debate_, published by Classical Academic Press. You can reach me at email@example.com.
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