There are many four letter words that make us cringe, smirk or even smile. Body is one of them. It’s complicated. It’s spectacular when we are healthy and humbling when we are ailing. It conjures up so many different images in each of our minds — some might think of strong bodies or weaklings, others focus on flaws, and some people will dream of an unattainable Photoshopped distorted view of reality.
Whatever image comes to mind, I ask that you look in the mirror and smile. Now you might think I am crazy because we all have some part that makes us frown, but instead of focusing on what is not right, we need to embrace and celebrate what makes us look and feel beautiful. It might be your long perfect legs or luscious lips, but for many of us we look and we see wrinkles or imperfections.
Be proud that you earned those wrinkles through hearty laughter or may have developed imperfections from lovingly bearing children. With everything that seems less than perfect, there is another, more positive side to see. That’s the side we need to focus on. I say all of this as we all try to be our best selves and impart that on our children. We want to raise kids with positive body images so we need to start by setting good examples ourselves. In fact, it’s a great opportunity to embrace our individuality.
As a devoted mother, my focus has always been to raise a self-confident child. She may not be the tallest kid (in fact she is one of the smallest), she may not have the perfect hair (hers is curly and wild) and we may just look a little different (it would be boring otherwise), but she is self assured and incredibly resilient. My daughter continues to teach me so much every day (if I choose to really listen).
She pushes me to be active and run around (good for the body).
She giggles a lot (good for the body and soul).
She eats slowly and stops when she is full (good for the digestion and maintains discipline).
She wears bright colors and puts things together in unique ways (a great pick me up and a way to stand out)!
She gets lots of sleep (good for the mind and body).
She remembers to always make time to play (good to keep a body and spirit young).
She quotes me and reminds me that beauty is not about how you look, it’s all about how you feel.
I wrote a children’s book, Messy Penny, that channels beauty from within. In it, I say that beauty will radiate if you have happiness in your heart. I really believe that if you seek gratitude, are kind and appreciative, positive things happen and it manifests itself in your physical appearance.
No matter how much money you have, you can always afford a smile. It’s the best accessory, never fails to invite something good and is contagious. I have never seen a body look bad when there’s a smile on the person’s face.
So yes, body is a four letter word, but so is love. Love your body.