Our bodies are our own unique, beautiful gift-wrapping that packages the special people we are. We deserve to see and treat them with respect and pride, and rid ourselves of the self-hatred and shame we can often feel about the way we look and about what our bodies may be unable to do for us. A love affair with our bodies is long overdue where no unrealistic notions of beauty imposed by society at large, or individuals, or even ourselves can get in the way!
Mia Mingus, brilliant organizer and community builder, said it best in her speech entitled, “Moving Toward the Ugly: A Politic Beyond Desirability,” given in August of this year. She said:
“What would it mean if we didn’t run from our own ugliness or each other’s? How do we take the sting out of “ugly?” What would it mean to acknowledge our ugliness for all it has given us, how it has shaped our brilliance and taught us about how we never want to make anyone else feel? What would it take for us to be able to risk being ugly, in whatever that means for us. What would happen if we stopped apologizing for our ugly, stopped being ashamed of it? What if we let go of being beautiful, stopped chasing “pretty,” stopped sucking in and shrinking and spending enormous amounts of money and time on things that don’t make us magnificent? Where is the Ugly in you? What is it trying to teach you?”
As Mia so powerfully alluded, and just as we discussed earlier this month in our article on Minimizing Negative Self-Talk, imagine the far-reaching effects positive self-image can have in our lives. Finding that kind of love for self can easily lead to more confidence as an employee and greater job performance, along with a slew of other benefits.
Don’t we owe ourselves that? Why are we holding so tightly to our harshest self-critic? It’s time to start anew in celebration of National Organization for Women (NOW) Foundation’s Love Your Body Day, on Wednesday, October 19th?
To celebrate this occasion, consider being intentional this week about appreciating and providing for your body. The following ideas are just a few ways you can get started (as you are able):
- Get a good, solid night of sleep
- Have a delicious, healthful, home-cooked meal
- Get a massage (whether that means doing it yourself, or asking your child or partner to give you one)
- Get in touch with your body through exercises such as yoga or meditation or deep breathing
- Wear something you feel great in
- Listen to calming music to relax your body
- Use some of the tips from the Minimizing Self-Talk post, like looking in the mirror and saying aloud the things you love about yourself and your body
- Spread the love by telling someone how fantastic they look, and help them to also see the value in their bodies. Also consider teaching a young girl this important lesson.
- Above all, “let go of being beautiful,” as Mia Mingus said, and take back the control you have to be authentically, unapologetically YOU (imperfections and all)!
What will you do to celebrate YOU? We’d love to hear what you’re doing. Comment below and connect with us on Facebook and if you’re on twitter, you can use the hashtag, #lybd. You can also consider making a video for the Let’s Talk About It project or browse some of the videos that have already been made by others.
We are all worth celebrating, and each of our bodies is perfect just the way they are! Let this knowledge transform your life.
This post is part of the 2011 Love Your Body Day Blog Carnival.