Now hold on to your hats folks, I’m about to blow your mind with a truth bomb.
I am pretty confident in myself and what I am capable of doing. Shocker, I know, so that is not the truth bomb. Here’s the real, raw and ugly truth. I am also capable of criticizing my body just as easily as the next person is. And why wouldn’t I be? I mean, I’ve seen the magazines and the image of what society says is beautiful – these days – and I don’t fit within that scope. I’m not a size zero. I don’t have a thigh gap (below photo of intentionally wide stance not withstanding). My arms aren’t sculpted. What other ridiculous standard do I not live up to? Long flowing hair? Nope. Flat stomach? Hmmm….. where’s the hysterically laughing emoji? Insert that here please.
Here’s another truth bomb: I care what society deems beautiful about 75% less than I used to. This means I love myself and my imperfectly perfect body 75% more than I did before doing all this work on myself. Before I realized that my reality is shaped more by my thoughts than by some external barometer of bullshit.
Photo: Karen Mohwinkle Clothes: Sara Burroughs
I see that roll of skin under that shirt. I see the width of my thighs in that wide stance. I see all the flaws and I give zero f*cks, because we ALL have skin under our shirts and we all have thighs of differing size. Our flaws are universal truths, one that says we are human and this is a human body. I love mine more every day
These photos are a testament to how far I have come. Camera shy. Always wanting to be behind it rather than in front of it (but totally cheesed it up when I was; can you say defense mechanism). The thought of modeling for someone was so far outside my comfort zone, a yes would have been purely out of people pleasing.
Now, I wouldn’t mind being a model….. Now I look at my body in the mirror and still want to improve parts of it, but because I want to for me. Because how I feel is more about my physical ability and so much less about what other people think. This is called Personal Power, and it is infinitely more powerful than anything else on this planet.
Photo: Karen Mowhinkle Clothes: Sara Burroughs My eyes are too squinty when I smile. That’s because my cheeks are so big and my face so round.
You might be wondering how I got to this point of 75% more self-accepting. It was a conscious decision every day. An awareness of the words I chose to use to describe myself to myself. And a nonacceptance of what the outside world deemed beautiful.
So what does this have to do with these photos? Well, super simple. I can still look at these and pick out the flaws of my body in each one. I can focus on those and I can hide these photos in shame. OR…. Or I can see the flaws, share them with you and remind whomever reads this, that we all have arm fat. We all have a chin with a little character, and in some photos, we have two character laden chins. We all have a stomach; size unimportant. We all have hair that is on point or a hot mess. Our smiles are crooked and our legs are too long, too short, too wide, too skinny, but we all use them the same way. To walk, run or skip us into the next phase of our lives. A phase that includes much more self-love and acceptance than this one.
I love myself 75% more than I did a few years ago. I love myself enough to point out the flaws and say to you, these are the parts of me that I have learned to love. My squinty eyes are a family trait and it means that I am truly living in the moment, happy beyond words. My big cheeks are full of laughter. What I once considered flaws, I now know are signs of pure love of life. My life.
I think I just upped my self-love to 85%…..
Much love to all you amazing and beautiful souls!