I’ve spent most of this week working with young people that have spend most of their sessions getting deeply distressed about the way they look. It’s either, nose, hips, boobs, bum, eyes, tummy, thighs, lips, height, width, yes you’ve guessed it, everything! Some people spend most of their day worrying, getting upset and moaning about the parts of their body they don’t like than actually nurturing the parts that they do. This worrying affects education, work and every day life as we wish we are something else.
Every person in the world has something about their body they don’t like, every woman who has had a baby has stretch marks, every man who ever played out as a child has a scar, we all have noses that grow off our face, some bigger than others, we all have lips, some fuller than others, we all have bums, some fatter than others, we all have thighs, some wider than others. When I listen to people in therapy giving their body a hard time I can’t help but wonder what happens to the good parts of them, the parts they used to love. Whilst being neglected do these parts lose their beauty and no longer shine? Whist I’m moaning about how much more fuller my lips should be do my beautiful eyes shine less? Then I hear the client say ‘I used to love my bum but its too big now’, boom! There’s the evidence I need, yes the beautiful parts then get a hard time too! It’s a bit like noticing the naughty kid in class and paying him all the attention and then the clever kids get forgotten and give up too.
Why punish the body that you have? Lets face it, there is only so much you can change and even when you’ve changed it you’ll probably want to make other adjustments. Bodies are bodies, they are built for a purpose, we have features that have functions, they are not there just to be pretty to everyone, the art is making them pretty if you want to.
When I listen to clients who want to make changes with their bodies they are all mostly saying that they want to look like someone else, ‘I want lips like’…, when I talk to the person who has ‘lips like’… she wants ‘eyes like’….
We can’t all have the perfect body or we would all look the same and this would be a very boring world in terms of fashion and beauty. We would have nothing to aspire to because we would all come out of the house looking the same every morning and how would we then differentiate between what is beautiful and what is not. We would have no identity.
What I urge you to do today is write on a piece of paper something you love about yourself and keep it on your self all day. Think about it every time a negative thought comes into your mind about yourself, pay attention to the part you love, nurture it, tell it you love the way it looks. See how your day changes. There is no point in focusing on things you can’t change, it’s a waste of time and energy. All our bodies are beautiful, they are designed for life and living, if they are not completing this function then feel free to make adjustments, lose weight, work out, etc but otherwise enjoy this vessel given to you to live in. It’s the only one you have and will ever have and it is forever working hard to keep you alive, don’t punish it, love it, it’s the only thing that ever truly belongs to you!