Applauding Our Real Self

This weeks You Are Beautiful encounter was incredibly inspiring and thought provoking.

What I first noticed about Kathy is that she had a beautiful smile. When I approached her, she seemed reluctant to discuss body image with me initially, saying that she had a terrible body image.

Her story starts as early as age 5 when she remembers the doctor telling her mother that she needed to lose weight.  After that Kathy said, “My esteem was always tied up in my weight.”

Kathy talked about power- not having it, not knowing you should have it… 

She talked about losing weight- how it didn’t necessarily make her happier or more kind to herself…

“I never knew there was any power to have- my mother had it, my teachers had it, men had it…After losing weight I still saw my flaws.  We think there is something inherently wrong with us.  We should applaud our real self.  We should applaud those people that are being real.”

Kathy couldn’t imagine encouraging herself, so instead I asked her what she would tell a friend or loved one who was struggling with body image.

This is what she tells a close friend (that she can’t tell herself):

“You look awesome, you look beautiful!  Don’t let your hang-ups hold you back.”  

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I am humbled and feel so blessed to have these moments with complete strangers.  This kind of vulnerability and honesty is what I crave (small talk isn’t really my thing).  Kathy mentioned that “people didn’t talk about this stuff before.”  This, is what I would love to see change.

Why is it always easier to see the beauty & greatness in anyone but ourselves?  Have you ever given up your power because you didn’t feel worthy, beautiful, or strong?

How long have you defined yourself by the way you look?

Believe in yourself now… this moment is life.  The longer you wait to truly love and accept yourself the less life you have to live.  I know all of this is easier said than done, but what if you tried just once per day to appreciate something about yourself?  What would happen?  What if we all smiled at each other more often?

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.  This moment, today, not 25 pounds from here, not 3 sizes from now, not a different job/house/car/hairstyle/relationship.

Related stuff:

The Body Love Blog

Watch this: Ask Amy Poehler– love her!

Watch this: Jennifer Lawrence tells it like it is

Watch this:  A performance by teen boys about insecurities, trust me it’s worth 3 minutes.

XO,

CS

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