Body Image by Greer Sakul
Body Image by Greer Sakul
I love this picture. It’s a perfect depiction of how we add meaning to something that simply ‘is’.
Take the beautiful woman on the left; is she vain, conceited and superficial? Or do you see her as ambitious and confident? Check out the beautiful woman on the right and you will see more assumptions about the person she is and isn’t.
What about YOU? If you were to sum up your body in one word – what would it be?
I just closed my eyes to see what I came up with and got:….. “Me.” “Nice.”
As I type this I wonder if you the reader think its actually ok for you to love your body exactly as she is? I mean, sure – the media, self-help books, our friends, loved ones etc. tell us that we’re fine/perfect exactly as we are, but does that mean it’s actually ok for ME to admit that I not only accept – but LOVE my body?
Don’t get be wrong; I don’t think my body is perfect. Admittedly, I would prefer it if my breasts were bigger; and think my legs would look much better if my knees didn’t go inwards and my thighs weren’t so ‘robust’. Oh, and while I’m at it my tummy would probably be a bit less round if I hadn’t had quite so much desert at a family dinner 2 nights ago… But these preferences don’t mean that I can’t honour and be at peace with my body exactly as she is.
Admittedly, I’ve always had pretty good body image – even when I was an anorexic teenager and 25 kgs lighter than I am now I don’t ever remember hating my body. Likewise, 4 years later when I was 40+ kgs heavier I don’t remember feeling super ‘fat’.
It’s only noq when I look back on photos of those periods that I realise I was in fact really underweight; and later really overweight. But at the time I didn’t see myself as either.
The reason? We don’t see what we see in the mirror. We see what we FEEL.
So, how do YOU feel about your body and how can you ever really know what you really look like? Well, you can’t.
We will always see ourselves (& our bodies) from the invisible lens of our own perspective. What we can do however, is acknowledge that our self-image is a projection of how we FEEL about ourselves. The good news? WE get to choose how we feel about ourselves.
So, when we look at ourselves naked in the mirror we can choose to either feel imperfect or unworthy and therefore focus on the parts we like less (e.g. small/big breasts, thighs, waist etc.) OR we can consciously choose to FEEL beautiful and see ourselves as the perfectly imperfect woman that we are.
It may take a while for you to come to complete peace with your body (I have been actively working on it for a long time & still get caught up on my boobs!), but the first step is to consciously choose whether you are WILLING to be ok and at peace with your body. Start by imagining how it would feel to be more forgiving and even accepting of your own ‘perfect imperfections?’
Why not practice this tonight when you are getting undressed? You may be surprised by who you see looking back at you.
About Greer Sakul
Holistic Wellbeing and Personal Coaching at www.greersakul.com