Positive body image isn't usually just about our own bodies, but about appreciating and accepting everyone ELSE'S bodies.
That said, given we all can use a doe of positivity and perpective, can you think of five friends of family members whose diverse bodies you appreciate?
I'll make it easy and start.
1) My mom. I like seeing her parts in me (yep, even our thick knees!), and I love how strong and centered she looks.
2) My partner. B. I love his european/native american coloring and how angular his bones are, and the gentle features nestled in that sharpness.
3) Hanne. I adore her lushness and the fullness of her body and how she lives in it so comfortably. And she has an amazingly expressive face that's just a lot of fun to watch.
4) My best friend Becca. She has an unusual shape, and I like the seeming contradiction of her small lithe legs with the way her tummy rounds over them slightly. And she has one of the most sincere smiles in the whole world.
5) A cheat, but hey, she's family and friend -- my dog, Sofia. Being a pug, Sofia has a very stout body and a very silly face, but she's got no doubt she's the cutest, most confident creature in the whole wide world. She's a complete diva about it, as a matter of fact. And really, she's right.
-1- First off my husband...who I spend most of my time with. He is beyond comfortable with his body. He sees it as a tool or a machine in a way and he wants it to run smoothly and efficiently and he wants to live a long and happy life so he takes care of it. He had a cancer when he was in his early twenties and the radiation treatment had some pretty awful and frustrating side effects that he will have to deal with for the rest of his life, but he manages to surpass them with his optimistic spirit.
-2- My childhood chum E. She has webbed toes. They are a little gentic trait that came from her mother and granfather and I am sure other folks before them. She take great pride in her little quirk and I like that. She is also slim in terms of her frame but you hardly notice it becuase she has great strength.
-3- My sister rocks. She loves her body and it shows. She makes her own clothes so it is like she gives it a treat with every new outfit she creates. She is also modest when it comes to running around nkaed but get her in a hot red dress and she exudes "vavavoomness".
-4- My new friend V. She is a rebel and she uses her body as form of self expression. She is working on a series of tattooos on her arms and has a couple of others on her torso. It makes her stand out in a crowd -she also likes to decorate the rest of her body with clothes and make-up. yet what I think I like about her body most is the way it moves -so cat like. Sneaky and graceful with a little crazy movement out of nowhere thrown in for kicks.
-5- My father had bad body esteem. He was fat and he spoke and wrote about how he did not like it. It was a challenge for him to lses weight. He gained it as he got older and after he quit smoking. Still, I never really saw him as a fat man as compared to other girls' fathers. He was my Pop and he was a very strong man.
He was concientous about his appearance and chose his clothes with great care (and with lots of advice from my mother hee hee). He wore very nice looking suits for work and cute outfits during his down time. I will excuse his long socks with running shoes phase. I think the way he dressed made you not notice that he was fat.
My father was also a very imposing man and he used that to his advatage. He was actually shorter by a few inches than my boyfriedns and those of my sister but you'd never know it. He scared the sh*t out of them just with his stance and stoic expression.
I really liked that despite his issues with his body that he was able to find some comfort with it. He would garden and cook -creating delight for our senses. Ultimately, his body betrayed him and he died of colon cancer (which turned into everywhere in the body cancer) at age 54. The doctor's were surprised by how long he had lived. They said his body was very strong in its fight with cancer and all the drugs they gave him.
------------------ -Scarleteen Sexpert
"Glad to have a friend like you, And glad to just be me" -Carol Hall
1. My friend Dani immediately came to mind. She's beautiful in every sense of the word and has no idea; she tends to see herself as fat instead. Fat or not, I'm known her for four years and she still takes my breath away.
2. Her boyfriend Ben snowboards with such grace and deftness that I could happily watch him for hours. He can manipulate his body with confidence and ease at all times.
3. I have to go with my mommy too. When she's feeling happy and confident she simply glows.
4. Another friend, Hannah. This chick is one of the most self-assured people people I know. In addition to that, she combines a stereotypical butch body/features/haircut with stereotypical femme clothing and accessories in very complimentary ways. I often wonder what she sees when she looks in the mirror because what I see is always so unique and true to her personality.
5. One of the men I work with at the ski resort has to be on this list as well. He's in his late fifties, early sixties and still has incredible flexibility and can ski with flawless form hours longer than people half his age. His body just resonates with energy and vitality.
[This message has been edited by ookuotoe (edited 06-21-2002).]
1. My boy, Charlie. He swims, climbs, and hikes, so he's got really incredible arms and shoulders balanced out by really strong legs. It's not useless gym bulk, either- very cordy and cut. I like the way he uses it too- no wasted motion, strong and smooth and powerful, and he moves like a haiku on rock. He's pretty yummy...
2. My friend Chelsea. I wouldn't exactly describe her body as beautiful in the classical sense, because she's more buff than most of the guys I know, just short of butchy-bulky. She's got incredible physical power and presence, though.
3. My other friend, Giannina. She's Italian, and has this classical, wonderful body I'd kill for in an instant. She also has that European lack of body modesty, and she's very open and free with her body.
4. The surfer Laird Hamilton. The guy is just an incredible hunk. The only guy on earth I'd cheat on my boy with. He's got a bod like a greek god.
5. My mom. At 50, she's got a body that would make most 30 year olds envious. She's in amazing shape at an age where some women are falling apart.
That's all, I guess....I could think of more, but I won't.
~*My hunnie-its amazing that even though he's tall and a bit lanky he has muscles and has this amazing presence that sends a chill up my spine. he's tall...VERY tall. but he carries it pretty well, his smile is genuine, and sweet, and he is totally loving, and physically he is just scrumptios!
~*My mother-at 42, she doesn't look a year past 30. she is gorgeous in every way. she carries herself well, and is very youthful in her personality. the other day we were at the mall, she say a shirt that was stretchy, so she pulled the end of it and watched spring back up, and she says in a youthful voice, "Bbbbbiiiiiiiiiooooooonngggggg" totally priceless
~*My Father-a strong Air Force retiree, he has a tummy but carries it well. he is absolutely handsome. he has black hair, with a few grays which make it look eccentric, along with emerald green eyes that are totally the opposite of what you would expect from someone with black hair.
~*My Friend B.-she is beautiful, an innocent little angel in the making. she has an almost celestial beauty to her which u can see in her smile and in her body language. she is so pretty.
~*My Friend T-gorgeous. your regular blonde cheerleader with a smile that could win the world. she is pretty, and we get along great, i dunno what i would do without her smile!
------------------ *~remember the only thing we need sometimes are chilly nights and warmer thighs, cuz nothing is like being held...sometimes*~
1 - My partner, who is a pre-op transsexual. I've watched her grow from absolutely hating her body because it doesn't match her gender identity, to being able to accept it as it is and live comfortably in it. She's still planning to go through with the reassignment surgery, but it's now because she thinks she'll be more comfortable in a body that matches her identity, not because she hates the way it looks now.
2 - Heather and Hanne (yes, I'm cheating, but whatever), for teaching me that beauty doesn't just come in 5'11", 115lb, 36-20-30 bodies, and for making me re-think my attitude about my own body. Granted, I don't know either of them in real life, but they definitely belong in this list.
3 - My best friend R. I always used to feel awkward and gawky next to her, because she's tall and thin and blond and small-boned. But she's really beautiful and self-confident, not to mention smart, and now that I've gotten it through my head that tall and thin and blond would *so* not work on me, I really like the way we play off each other when we're together.
4 - My paternal grandfather. He's in his early 80s, and you'd never guess it. He's all sinew and muscle and worn skin and white hair, and despite all sorts of health problems that really should have killed him by now, he still runs around like someone twenty years younger.
5 - Again, I'm going to cheat -- my kitties. They're brother and sister, and one is very fat and one is very thin, and they're just so utterly happy they way they are.
*1~ My mom. She could be a model, but she thinks she is far too fat, which is the only thing that I don't like about her (no, not the fact she is "fat" but she has zero self-esteem)
*2~ My grandma~ Although she is dead, and I never really got to meet her her pictures tell a lot. I wish you could see her...her eyes are just so welcoming and warm...I don't know she is just extremely gorgy.
*3~ My Friend, Brittany~ She has a wonderful buff (not grossly though just right..) body and just a great look all together. The only thing she needs is great confidence (which is very important) to improve her look--she'd have it all!!!!! She knows she is pretty..but I don't know what her problem is~ she is mad..MAD I TELL YOU ! hehe LYLAS~
*4~ My friend, Chelsea~ She has high confidence and has showed me how to be too and that's just one reason she is gorgy. She just had all around GREAT features~ she's gunna be a model one day! LYLAS!
*5~ My doggie. She has a little nose and big ears! Hehe... She is like a sister to me, really...she has been there for me thick and thin. Haha, ONLY kidding!
Well, anybody who feels good about them selves makes me think they are pretty
------------------ ~*Chim-chim Cootiechunks*~
Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.-- Isaac Asimov
Sounds like fun! Without further ado (and in no particular order)...
1) Heather - Yep, our very own Miz S! Absolutely one of the most beautiful people I know both physically and in every other way possible. I'd be eccestatic if I could be like her when I grow up.
2) My sister - Another one of the most beautiful people I know. She inspires me everyday with the way she overcomes obstacles and the way she's growing as a person and adapting to the changes the accident left on her body.
3) My partner - I never cease to be fascinated by the way he's put together. He's undoubtedly one of the most graceful men I've ever seen. I have the hardest time convincing him that women really do check him out when we're in the mall together...I still don't think he believes me. I love the way he's angles all over.
4) My great-great-great aunt - She's 90 and still beautiful. I'm always amazed by the grace with which she carries herself. She truly wears her age with a great deal of pride.
5) My cats - Alright, so I'm gonna have to go with Miz S on this one, they ARE part of the family! I love how different they all are. They move in such fascinating ways. And their coats are so beautiful. I especially love my kitty who lost his tail. He still carries himself with such dignity and is just a joy to observe.
1. Francis Sand. She is a woman who is very beautifully bod-modded. (you can see pictures and read an interview with her here: http://www.bme.freeq.com/news/people/A10101/frances/index.html although there is no explicit content on this page, there can be some found on other BME pages, but all have the proper warnings, so look out).
2. My friend Jessica. She is very tall (about 5'10") and very slim (in pants she would wear a size 1 except they wouldn't be long enough). She has a body that many teenage girls starve themselves to have, however she's very healthy, her mom was a dancer and she inherited the figure. She gets a lot of crap for the way she looks though, teachers are always asking her if she needs to see the counselor and teenage girls can be mean and spiteful and assume that she has an eating disorder. It's hard to have an out-of-the-norm body. But she's so beautiful, she actually looks curvy, and she has hair that was as long as mine and the cutest little nose and freckles, and you just see her and want to smile because of the enthusiasm she has for everything...as she runs around in boots and fishnets
3. My dad, he who ran his first marathon at the age of 41. He now has a kickin' bod, his legs are soooo strong. He works in a casino, and he often goes hiking with the young dealers in their 20s, and he totally blows them away. And I think that rocks.
4. My friend Scott. He's a big guy. Tall and fat. But every Saturday at midnight he goes and puts on a pair of skintight jeans and a leather jacket to do Eddie at the Rocky Horror Picture Show. He's so at ease in his body that it's just like, wow, he's purty. I really admire that.
5. My old jazz teacher Jeannet Neil (if you're ever in Boston and want to take a jazz class, go to her, she's great! esp for beginners). She is like, in her 70's but she looks really young. She's still very lithe and limber, but she is just so full of life. Watching her is invigorating. She is older but active and she's still kicking, and she laughs with her *whole body*, which is a great sight. Not to mention she makes you feel good about your body too
What a nice topic. So good to take some time to stop and appreciate some bodies their owners.
I just love my partner's body. Everything about it, in fact, and I miss his body tremendously while we are seperated (just ---31 more days!) He's got beautiful legs that are slender, and firm and strong and great for playing tennis and running (and these legs end in a fabulous bum, too). I love his collarbone and shoulders, the perfect place to rest my chin or head and feel comfortable. I love his chest and the hair on it(so great to paint patterns into chesthair under the shower!) and the terribly macho posing thing he does in front of the mirror when brushing his teeth. I love the nape of his neck, especially when he just got a haircut and the area is freshly shaved and prickly. aw! I love his expressive face, his ears (which are a lot different from mine, and hence really interesting) and his eyes, which are of a very light blue and framed by lashes that can make a girl green with envy. He's been developing a better attitude on his body in recent years and it is great to see that grow. As a young teen he was heavier than today and was always ridiculed for being fat; sometimes the bad body attitude he learned from all the insults still shines through, but he's made great improvements and more and more sees working out as a treat and something that feels good and not as something he has to do to look a certain way.
Then there is Julia, an instructor at my gym. She's got a body that oozes strength with every move, but not in a fake gym bunny way, but in a totally womanly i-am-a-woman-hear-me-roar- resting-happily-in-herself kinda way. - Especially obvious when she carries or plays with her two young kids; during pregnancy, she carried herself like the goddess she is, instructing a body pump class with a second trimester belly. Julia is very energetic and always sets a room on fire with her smile and activity. Physically, she's got the most beautiful shoulders and back I have ever seen on a woman and thighs that curve in a wonderfully strong and sexy way. She also happens to have a pigmentation disorder -vitiligo- and hence white patches of skin on parts of her body, but that doesn't seem to influence her at all: Instead, she doe sfunky things with her hair and has some pretty bod mod, a few tats and a piercing- that add to the interesting look of her skin.
I also appreciate the body of my best galpal Tina. She's got beautiful olive toned skin (that's really even and pretty all over) that looks awesome with her hair and features. Most of all, I like the way she moves - very flowing, a very special way. When she's unwell, you can see it in her moves - they get all hectic and nervous, and she paces through rooms. But when she's well and we happily stroll through town, it's all fluent. She is a recreational climber, and that surely influenced these fluid movement.
Sorry to be boring and repeat what others have said before, but Hanne & Heather both get a place on my list, too. Even though I've nerver met them irl, what they've said and written online (not just on body image but on a whole bunch of issues) and the way they present themselves in pictures has had a great big impact on me in a multitude of ways. Like Kyth said, they both helped me realise that beauty can come at any size. Start a revolution today, stop hating your body!
Then finally, there's my dad. Many happy childhood memories of mine involve being active with him, playing on the beach or being carried on his shoulders or riding a bike. Looking at him (and my mother, too) I can't help but be amazed that my body is only there because of them! While I got many traits of my mom and look a lot like she did 30 years ago, many small things, like my fingers and toes, look just like my dads. He isn't tall, has a small belly and skinny legs and hence doesn't quite fit beauty "standards", but he feels good in himself, and it shows. He loves to do good things to himself - eat, drink, travel. He also takes the time to dress himself in clothes he likes and that work well on himself. He definitely has a great taste in clothing and haircuts and the like, and is a good advice giver in that respect, too. Over the last year or so, he has started to look better after himself, bought a new bike that he frequently uses, started to play golf and lost some weight that had been bothering him, and has been trying out things that make him feel well (such as regularly getting pro pedicures!) it's great to see him revel in his newfound body pleasure & confidence. - Better to learn it at almost 61 then never, eh?
Unfortunately, after some over-enthusiastic gardening, he's had some trouble in recent weeks with his back, and it was unbearable to see his body let him down and him being unable to even walk straight. It was sad to see his body turn against him and causing so much pain. Thankfully, things are looking good again and he's back at his usual more active routine.
oh, and i even have a sixth one, sorry, cheating, i know:
my best high school pal Jane is currently 7 months pregnant, and for the first time ever, she seems to be really be at home in her body. In High school, we were terrible at at pressuring each other about weight and sharing the latest fad diets, and now this pregnancy has made her aware how bloody awesome her body is and what rocking things it can do, and so she's been feeding herself well and was positively beaming when I saw her last week. Lovely!
[This message has been edited by Alaska (edited 06-22-2002).]
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