According to my sources (the internet), we each see around 5,000 adverts a day. Some people even say it can be anywhere up to 10,000! Now, imagine how many of those adverts feature ‘perfect’ toned, slim, hairless bodies. A lot, is my highly scientific estimate. So, is it any surprise that we start to wonder why we don’t or can’t look like them?
Most models in magazines don’t have tummies that pop out over the top of their jeans or stubbly legs or spots, so we question why we do. We look in the mirror and make a beeline for our supposed flaws. It’s easy to say, ‘love your body!’ but let’s face it, we’ve pretty much been conditioned not to. Not cool.
So, if sometimes you don’t feel 100% smiley, happy, positive about every inch of your body, you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re just feeling something that’s totally normal to feel. You don’t have to be a body positivity role model every hour of the day. You can, however, remind yourself of all the other reasons to love your body that aren’t about appearance and show yourself a little extra appreciation when you really need it. Ready? Love incoming…
1. You can dance
It doesn’t matter whether you’re doing a full-on Beyoncé routine or waving your arms around in dangers of having someone’s eye out, dancing is basically one of the best things we can do with our bodies. I like to do very uncool dance moves around my kitchen when I’m cooking but it doesn’t matter how you do it – standing, sitting in a chair, spinning on your head – if you can dance, it’s a gift.
2. You can basically grow a winter coat
If I see another razor advert in which a woman shaves her already hairless legs, I’m going to scream “WOMEN HAVE BODY HAIR!” out of my window. Surely they’d sell more razors if they showed their blades are capable of shaving a grizzly bear or something? Anyway, advertisers might like to pretend that we’re mythical, hairless creatures but we’re not and it’s actually super useful. I mean, you’ve literally got a built-in winter layer just ready to go.
3. You can enjoy tasty food
It doesn’t matter whether your stomach is flat or round or soft or tanned or bloated; the main thing is that it’s the place where food goes. And food is delicious. Of course, not everyone has a straightforward, healthy relationship with food and it often goes hand in hand with body image. But ultimately food is there to enjoy so shake off any guilt and relish every gooey pizza, crunchy carrot and brain-freezing ice cream.
4. You can heal
Is it only me that finds it amazing that we can literally heal? We can fall over and slice our leg open on a stone and then a few weeks later, it looks like it never happened. Or you can break a bone in two and then it just goes right ahead and knits itself back together! Some people might call it basic biology but I’m calling it what it really is: magic.
5. You can do (almost) impossible things
Once upon a time, I couldn’t pick a barbell that equalled half my body weight up off the floor. A few months later, I was lifting more than my bodyweight. A whole me plus a bit more! Forget having smooth legs or poreless skin, thanks to our bodies we can lift heavy weights, climb up mountains, race for miles and miles, swim down rivers, go really fast and break records. Our bodies can adapt to huge changes and still, we can keep going and doing the nearly impossible.
6. You can be creative
Do you knit? Paint? Sculpt? Play an instrument? Say a little thank you to your body. I’m grateful that my fingers are nimble enough to crochet scarves and blankets. Maybe you’re grateful that you’ve got arms strong enough to play the drums or steady hands that can create detailed drawings. Maybe you hold a brush between your toes and paint amazing portraits. However you use your body to be creative, it’s one of the best tools you have, so show it some love.
7. You’re different to everyone else
The thing about lean, airbrushed legs, perfectly flat stomachs and big, bouncy, curly hair is that it all looks the same. Ok, you could try and look like that if you really wanted to but the truth is you’re probably much more interesting. People have scars that tell stories, disastrous haircuts, and asymmetrical features. Our bodies aren’t there to be a vision of perfection; they’re individually wonderful in endless, completely different ways.
It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome.
Image: Amber Griffin