Body image. We’ve all got one.
We’ve all got an image of what our body is like. Of how our body compares to the bodies of other people. Sometimes we compare our bodies to the bodies of people we don’t even know – people who we only see in magazines. People who have the full benefit of a team of make-up artists, stylists, dressers not to mention post-production and picture editors. How daft are we?
And we’re very critical of our own bodies. Too big, too small, too flabby, too tall, too short, too skinny. And we go into the detail – we pick on our boobs, our noses, our bums, our knees, our stomachs, our thighs, our hair, our upper arms. How much time and thought do we put in to all this criticism. How much emotional effort.
As we get older our bodies change – and that’s hard to come to terms with too. We get fatter or thinner, saggier and stiffer. It sometimes feels like our bodies just can’t do a thing right.
We go to enormous bother thinking that we’re not good enough. That we’re not skinny enough, or curvy enough, or tall enough. Or whatever. It takes up so much head space.
I want you to stop it now.
I want you to pick one part of your body that you are happy with. And say it out loud – I am happy with my…
There will always be people who have bits that are better than your bits. Always. And there will be people who think that some of your bits are better than some of their bits.
I want you to accept yourself. Just that. Accept yourself. You’re OK. You’ll do. You’re not perfect. That’s fine. No-one is perfect. That’s fine too.
In fact, that’s a relief.
We all just need to get over ourselves. Stop with the comparisons. Stop judging other people on their outward appearance – and stop judging yourself on their outward appearance too.
Once you’ve accepted yourself, and you’re not wearing yourself down with all of that self-criticism, you’ll be able to breathe. You’ll be able to relax. You’ll be able to get on with your life.
And you’ll be able to see your body for what it is – an amazing piece of kit that can do, and has done, the most amazing things.
Don’t let your body image stop you letting your body do all of the things it was designed to do. It was designed to jump and skip and dance and hug and bend and stretch and stride purposefully and chase and march and snuggle and swim and run around like a giddy kipper.
Be proud of your body and what it has achieved and what it can yet achieve – and help it to do the best it possibly can. Forget about the image, and concentrate on your real live actual body.
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