you are beautiful

Why can’t we just accept it for face value when someone says, “you are beautiful!”

I have recently been around some amazing women.  As we took pictures of each other and threw out compliments left and right…I could not help notice how those pictures were commented on and those compliments were shot down.

“I look terrible, but you look amazing.”

“No, you looked gorgeous as always, I looked tired.”

Why do we do this?  Why do we tell someone she is gorgeous and in the very same breath insult ourselves?  Why is she beautiful at 200 pounds and you are disgusting at 145 pounds?  Why do we find the best in others and only see the worst in ourselves?  Sure, it is easier, kinder, and better to find the best in others, but why do we not do the same for ourselves?  You would not walk up to your best-friend and say, “geez your thighs look flabby and that belly is just gross!” Yet we say it to ourselves!

We, as women, in the USA especially, hate everything about ourselves: our thighs, our bellies, our butts, our eyebrows, our lips, our noses, our hair, our breasts, our ankles, our hips, our calves, or our teeth.  It is amazing, and we have insulting phrases to go along with these body-hate-attitudes.  Thunder-thighs, buffalo-butt, kankles, saddlebags, muffin-top, and on the list goes to the excruciating.

Then we begin hating food.  We sit at a dinner table and tick away all the things we should not eat, and why.  That has too many calories, too many carbohydrates, too much fat, too much animal protein, not enough vegetables, not the right fat, not the right carbohydrates, and on this list goes.   Then we gorge ourselves on the foods that really do hurt us just because we have starved ourselves of the things our bodies might actually want, need, and that sustain us.

After the food has been consumed or not, we must exercise, so we strap on those spandex laden shorts and tanks and we work it all off.  We jump on the treadmill, run a few miles or more, do hours of yoga and race around trying to work up a sweat.  We buy videos, equipment, and gimmicks galore…all because this morning when we got dressed we didn’t like the way our butts looked in those jeans.  Never once considering that, it might be the jeans or the shirt–not what they contain.

Obviously, I am not saying we should eat whatever we want in whatever quantity or frequency, or that we should stop working out.  The benefits outweigh the alternative.  What I am saying is if you believe you are beautiful then you will be.  If you stop hating your food, your food will love and nourish you.  If you start working out for your health rather than the size on the tag, you might actually get what you are supposed to out of it: a happy heart, lower risk of diabetes, healthy immune system, better sleep, better attitude, and many other benefits your body will gain from simply moving.

Stop telling yourself you are being bad because you had a little frozen yogurt or your fat because that shirt was too tight. Stop judging your body every time you pass a mirror.  Stop comparing yourself to others; you are unique and gorgeous in your own special way.  MOREOVER, when someone says you look fantastic say, “THANK YOU!” and mean it.  Start taking care of yourself, start loving what you look like, even if you find you are not what you want to be…it is all up to you to change that…but you have to love yourself before you can fix yourself.

As I was formulating this blog, I was in a popular clothing store, when I went to the restroom on the back of the stall door someone wrote in red marker, “you are beautiful☺”  I wanted to write it on the rest of the walls.  So write it on your bathroom mirror:   “you are beautiful☺”

~Joli A. Campbell

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