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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » YAY! » Best Body Image Moments (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Best Body Image Moments
Heather
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This morning, after I slugged a few sips of coffee, I put all my hair in a ball on my head, tossed on my many-years-worn-to-velvet cuttoff cargos, a tank top and slipped into my wellies to go work in the yard.

In order to garden, I'm having to rip out buttloads of pacific northwest grass (which is more like the world's nappiest afro than grass as I know it) with a hoe and a shovel, and given the hard work it is, it's best to do it before it gets too warm, so mornings are optimal.

While I was out there, feeling good, working the hell out of my muslces, smelling the lilacs, making way so I can grow some food, I thought of all of you.

Why?

Because I was having an awesome body image moment. Doing hard labor is always like that for me: I don't think about how my body looks, I'm all about how it feels. I can feel its strength, its vitality, its connection to everything else. I know what I have it for at moments like these: not for someone to LOOK at, but to be able to DO things with it. I'm thankful, in moments like that, that years of boxing, many more years of various sorts of manual labor, that my health is such that I CAN do things like this. The sun's on my face, I have mud on my hands, I know I'm growing freckles, giving my muscles the movement they like and exist for.

My partner has a pathological fear of things like mud and grass, which makes for a pretty comical partnership with a prototypical stinky hippie. But when he came out this morning, even though I know him well enough to know that the mud that made its way unto my cheeks and back (you ever want a lesson in how spatter works, use a hoe) is VERY far from his favorite thing. But I also know that how I feel about MYSELF when I'm in that element, and how vital I also look just because I'm working makes him all jelly-kneed. This morning's kisses made that apparent.

Thing is, I was having my good body image moment without him already: his reaction was seriously irrelevant. I was thinking about this before he even came out there.

I was also thinking about other scenarios and moments in which my body image is exceptionally strong, like:
- when I was teaching ECE and Kindergarten -- little kids tend to notice and love very quirky things about adults, and have no filter, so they tend to say them out loud. I had a little Guatemalan student once who developed a crush on me, and once whispered in my ear (thinking himself quite the latin lover), "Your hair, it is the color of the honey on my pancakes."
- when I was working the farmer's markets, again, doing lots of manual labor, being around loads of people, often older people, who spent their lives doing same.
- landscaping work: moving boulders? Makes one feel like a superhero.
- When I'm boxing. It's the time when I look the least "feminine" by mainstream standards -- no makeup, covered in sweat, my breasts bound down, punching and kicking and yelling...and I feel SO great about my body in those moments. Better than I've ever felt dressed to the nines out on a date.

That's my short list for this morning.

What's yours?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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September
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Heh. This might be wierd, but I have those moments the most when it's the middle of the night and I am sitting in front of my computer, my hair tied out of my way, wearing my glasses, gnawing on a pencil and typing away at a paper or a short story or even just a homework assignment. I love studying and working towards my degree and I pride myself on having gotten as far as I have. I am not sure why I am as conscious of my body in those moments as I am of my mind, but I somehow am.

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Johanna
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oOo Lea oOo
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This is interesting. I have never really noticed these momments, well paid close attention to them, until now.

I'm most relaxed when I am driving. I am most comfortable when I am driving. No stress, just me and my car and the air blowing through my 4 windows and sun roof. My music blasting, the country view, beautiful. I feel powerful at these times. Like I can conquor anything, I'm not sure why. But I feel beautiful.

Also, when I am hiking up to the bluff and I am exhausted from climbing up the back side of the mountain through all those trails, I feel pretty damn good about myself then.

I feel the same way, proud, when I am skate boarding alone and I land a move or I don't fully bust my *** when I come down off of the 1/2 or 1/4 pipe onto the pavement. When I've been outside all day pumping my legs up and down the pavement and banging my knees and elbows up, making them look like roadkill . . . My boyfriend loves watching me, too. He says he thinks I am so beautiful when I think no one is watching [Smile] (I'll know that next time [Wink] )

Since getting up in the mornings is SO hard for me most times, I feel so confident when I wake up somewhat early and am not tired, have the house to myself, no screaming or yelling, no chores to be done. I don't shower right away, I dont put on make up, I don't even change clothes. I blast my music and just run around in the house. No one is watching me, I'm alone, I don't worry that I have skinny arms and a tank top on, or that I have shorts and my butt hangs out, or that I have a tank and my pajama boxers on and my hip bones are visible. Who cares? I'm happy with my body. No one is there to judge me. Just me!

Nice topic, btw!

[ 04-28-2006, 01:37 PM: Message edited by: oOo Lea oOo ]

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And I say thank you for the scars
And the guilt and the pain
Every tear I've never cried
Has sealed your fate.
Did you take me for a fool
or were you just too blind to see
that every effort made has failed
and there is no destroying me?
Atreyu

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likewhoa19
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I think when I am outdoors and its beautiful weather, or when I am indoors dancing, either by myself, with friends, or at a party.
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greenapp1es
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For me I'm most intune with myself and everything around me while hiking. There isn't anything quite like sitting on the top of a rock cliff in clear blue skies and abundent sunlight looking back on the 12 miles worth of rocky pathway it took you to get there. To sound cliche, you literally feel on top of the world. There is something about hiking for that long/far thath makes you realize exactly what you are capable of. And for me...just being at one with the outdoors gives me a sense of home.
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likewhoa19
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Ahh -greenapp1es, you're in Illinois! Are you from S. IL, by chance? Have you ever been to Garden of the Gods?
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greenapp1es
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No...will have to try that though. I have nothing against driving for some good hiking...my favorite all time hiking place is Devils Lake WI. I typically try to go to Starved Rock as often as I can find people to go with me...the terrain there isn't exactly safe for heavy hiking by myself....particuarly since I have breathing issues that emulate asthma around inhaled irratants and excercise.

Will have to check that out at some point, thanks for making me aware of a new place to try! :-D

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Heather
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quote:
my favorite all time hiking place is Devils Lake WI
Ha! Mine as well. I love it there: so many different types of terrain in one place, and the caves!

When I moved to Mlps from Chicago, Devil's Lake was a bit further away, but still reachable.

Alas, now that I'm in Seattle, y'all will have to hike there for me vicariously.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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random.
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i would have to say that i like myself when i'm playing soccer. i was once commented on my playing style; when at a full sprint in one direction and the ball quickly bounces in another, i sometimes windmill my arms a bit to balance my turns. i never thought about it. when i'm playing, i don't think about it. and i know i still do it. but i don't care! the only thing that matters is the team/game, not how i look on the field. when i'm playing soccer , i just let it go and enjoy myself.
[Smile]

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Heather
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(In case it isn't obvious, even with just a few short responses, I think it's pretty obvious that body image is one of many, many reasons it's pretty vital that sports for young women and girls are supported.)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Natasha89
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I felt these moments when i play football i feel strong and powerful running about in a football shirt that clinged to my stomach, breasts and arms what felt like i was showing my body of to the world through this football top. Also When kicking the ball using the upper half muscle of my leg which is the part of my body i hate the most but in football it never mattered i just felt powerful, strong and beautiful.

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Behind every great man is a great woman

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daria319
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I have moments like this during my two favorite things -- archery practice and karaoke at the bar.

During archery, it just feels so natural to toss my head back, eye the target, straighten my shoulders and pull back the bowstring. As soon as I hear that soft whoosh of the arrow being released, I feel so..powerful. I'll even stand there, my arm still back, until the arrow hits the target, watching it so intently that people think I'm moving it with my mind.

When I'm on stage for karaoke(about once every 2 weeks, if I'm lucky), I feel like the audience is at my mercy. I always sing the same song (our system is kinda wonky, and every time I pick a different song, it messes up, so I stick to the same one from now on!) -- Black Velvet by Alannah Myles. Last time I sang, it was definitely one of the most memorable(they all pale in comparison to my first appearance on that stage,though). I was wearing my new favorite dress. I went through three stores, stalking through the clearance racks for a strapless black party dress. I finally found the thing at Goody's for $13. Killer deal, if you ask me. Anyway, I'm up there, in a brand new dress, showing off my back for the first time in months(I personally think my back is ridiculously beautiful, and the bad weather irritated me to no end), swaying my hips to the beat, and belting out one of the most seductive songs on our playlist. The audience went wild. Some sang along, others pulled out their lighters, and a couple of freshmen sat on the steps of the stage acting like my fanclub and yelling "WE LOVE YOU, JOSIE!!".

It was perfect. For one night, I felt like a world-class rockstar.


Of course, then there are my geek moments. To be honest, there really is no better feeling for me than when I'm fixing a computer malfunction for a friend. I'm usually in raggedy pajamas, my hair falling all over my face because I haven't brushed it in days, black sharpie on my nails from boredom, and a guitar pick in my mouth to cut down on the cursing(keeps me too busy chewing to cuss). I feel at home. It's like I'm Anjelina Jolie's character from Hackers(1995). When I was young, she was my geek hero, so the "pretty geek girl" is still really cool to me.

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"You owe me two lifetimes and a pair of perfect blue eyes."

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-Lauren-
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I second the geek moments making me feel the sexiest and most free!

My best body image boosts are (Okay, I'll come clean) naked or towel-wrapped dances in front of the mirror after a shower. It's just so fun, carefree, and it feels so good that I don't care about any of my body's imperfections. I really am the sexiest, coolest person alive at those moments.

Next best thing? Times like now. Advising a friend how to remove a virus from her PC, compiling modem drivers on my Linux system. Playing GNOME Stones. Ahh, the nerds want me, but they can't have me.

Fabulous thread! It makes me feel great to read all of these.

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Djynnjah
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Taekwondo and track used to be my fixes, especially afterwards when the burn hit. I'd be in agony but still, the sense of achievement and the pleasant warm flush I'd get to my skin were just euphoric. Unfortunately I don't have the time for exercize that strenuous anymore.

I make do with quick walks but my other great image moment is waking up in the morning with my hair all rumpled. I like the messy look. Something about seeing my hair that mussed and wild. It's my one rather vain indulgence, but for lab safety I usually keep it tightly bound and pinned. Bed head is like a reminder that I might have to be a little restricted in daily life, but when the time's right, I can still fly free.

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What don't kill you is a learning experience.

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random.
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(and male sports too, miz scarlet [Big Grin] )
and now that i think of it, helping people fix their pc's. suddenly, my computer knowledge goes from being nerdy to cool. interesting how that works..

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greenapp1es
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Since everyone is mentioning it....add fixing PC's to mine too. I've been freelance computer repair for the last 5 years now. Successfully completing a programming job fits too I guess...though it takes all of my motivation to start. I feel like the master of the computer realm when everything is up and running though...and the computer obeys my every command. [Smile]
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Heather
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quote:
(and male sports too, miz scarlet )
and now that i think of it, helping people

Male sports appear to be in no danger of continuing, being supported, nor have they ever, which is why I said women's sports. Sports for women as a whole has still only very recently even been accepted, and here in the states, the federal funding programs for women's sports/gym and sports scholarships are under a pretty big threat of being cut and/or removed.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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kick_artist
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I have my moments. Sometimes it's when I know I won't be seeing anyone outside of my family, and I decide to throw on all my wildest clothes and makeup. Often, though, it's when I'm wearing no makeup or fancy clothing at all.

Right after I've gone through two boards with a back-kick, for instance (experienced last Tuesday, with my boyfriend's patient coaching: the high I got afterwards had nothing to do with him, though I'm grateful that he didn't let me give up on myself; I was so glad I actually did it). I have a lot of Taekwondo moments (as my handle might suggest)--I've been doing martial arts for nearly seven years now, and I'm getting to the point where I'm actually quite good at it--and look good doing it!

Running, sometimes.

And the dirtier I get, often the more I like my body. Being covered in dust and mud from a proper days' work--that's the most worthwhile thing I've ever done, though so much it's just academics for me, which doesn't do much for the muddiness factor.

And any time I'm on stage. Put me in front of a couple hundred people and stick a microphone in my hand, give me a guitar or a role to play, and damn! do I kick ***. [Big Grin]

I have a pretty positive body image in general, though. Sometimes I'll catch a glimpse of myself in a reflective surface (okay, a lot of the time I'm looking for it) and think, wow, I'm hot. It's a nice feeling. Lately I've fallen in love with my arms, which are FINALLY attaining muscle (my martial arts instructor, all unintentionally, made a comment about girls' inferior upper-body strength a few months ago. He meant no harm, but I'm incredibly stubborn, so I've been doing push-ups fanatically ever since).

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Juniata
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For me, it's a day or two after I've run really hard and lifted weights. I feel my muscles tightening, and my legs feel so strong and dependable, I can feel myself held together perfectly. I get a little swagger and feel good about my sexy strength.

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I LOVE SCARLETEEN. This site is better than sliced bread!

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Zeqque
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Not trying to contradict anyone here, as I'm sure a lot of people have found sports to have had an enormously positive influence on their lives, but my experience of organised sports in my old school was very bad.
Perhaps it's a combination of a tendency towards clumsiness on my part, the fact that my school sports kit consisted of a shirt and a pleated mini-skirt, and the fact that girls in my class would usually find some way to torment or humiliate me, but to this day I feel very uncomfortable engaging in anything strenuous or sportslike in front of other people. Is that a bad body-image thing? I guess so. Erm, sorry for going so off-the-point here, I just don't think that people should be forced to participate in sports when they don't want to, and organised sports in particular aren't a panacaea to the issue at hand.

Saying that, some of the best moments of feeling vital/alive that I can remember came after doing several sets of push-ups and stomach-crunches, ostensibly to keep myself awake. So physical activity is no bad thing.

Apologies again for my off-topic-ness...

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summergoddess
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Best Body Image Moments? I have lots.

-when I'm out of the shower/bath just like Lea.
-when i'm just being lazy--no dress up, no make up, and just being me
-when I have sex [Wink] (just had to put that there!)
-when driving, i get so powerful!
-at work when i get compliments in how I look [Smile]
-when helping people with computer/internet stuff
-of course after spending time at the gym
-when I have my morning walks on the way to work, i feel so beautiful with the sun being up, and just feeling the breeze.
-of course when i'm out at a club dancing, i feel i'm at my sexiest.

Great topic, Miz.Scarlet! [Big Grin]

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~Jules

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likewhoa19
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(Zeqque, I know what you mean. In grade school I was terribly clumsy and gym was not a fun experience in the least. I think no matter what element you pick, be it physical appearance, physical activity, intellectual activity, etc. there are going to be some people who have had bad experiences and have negative self-image as a result. That's why I, personally, made the point once before that I worry these "listing specific stuff we like about ourself or others" type threads are not going to help everyone to feel good about themselves. I think comparisons are inevitable. I think it's most important just to be okay with who you are, the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, b/c life would be boring if it were perfect, right? But this is just the mindset that seems to work for me...)
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Heather
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(Hey folks? It's sooooooo easy to start a new thread on a new topic when one topic gives you an idea about something you've wanted to say or discuss.

So, why don't you do that, eh? Lately, we've just been having too many decent discussions derailed at the boards by people veering sideways. Please do try and keep on topic, and when someone veers off, if you want to continue a discussion with them, start a new thread. We got all the room in the world for y'all to do that. Thanks!)


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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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Back UNTO topic, I'm fascinated by those of you who find something that is so NOT physcial, or about the body at all, like prigramming or computer repair, specifically helpful for BODY --rather than general self -- image.

If anyone wants to come back round and talk more about that, I'd be interested, because that's curious and interesting to me. It's not a scenario I'd ever have assumed would specifically benefit body image, and yet plenty of you are expressing that it does for you.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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wobblyheadedjane
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I wonder if it has to do with being pleased with succeeding at something your body normally doesn't do - I am the biggest klutz on the face of the earth, so when I put together a bookcase, or fix my computer, or adjust my glasses, I'm excited because normally, I'm much more adept at dropping, breaking or otherwise injuring whatever I'm trying to fix. I always get pleased when I accomplish something like that because it's not usually my best skill.

For my more physical side, I always love that moment when I'm working out where I just can't go on anymore... and then I get that little bit of extra wind that allows me to finish up my workout on a high note. I love that feeling!

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-Lauren-
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Sure thing.

I personally put programming/computer work as something that makes me feel sexy because-- well, it's hard to say. I suppose it's because it's something women aren't typically seen as capable of doing, as well as a chance to show off my smarts.

Really, any activity that allows me to show my intellect makes me feel sexy.. and when your mind feels sexy, who cares if your body has flaws!

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September
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Really, any activity that allows me to show my intellect makes me feel sexy..

Ditto. When I feel smart, and like I have accomplished something, I automatically feel physically sexy, as well.

Like when I am making an important point during a discussion in class and I know all eyes are on me, or just during a discussion with friends, or walking out after an exam and knowing I just aced that thing.

I suppose part of it is because I exude confidence in those moments because I am so sure of myself mentally, and that confidence transfers to the rest of my, as well.

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Johanna
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Rumored
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Call me crazy, but baking and cooking. My apron makes me feel good about myself, because I always feel very competant and in charge in the kitchen.

Also when I'm changing my menstrual cup and it's really full. First of all beecause it's pretty, second of all because whether I chose to do so or not, I am capable of being life support for a new human, just like my mother and my grandmother, and all the women before them. And, coolest of all, because there are stem cells in there that might someday prove medicinally useable. As long as I can still use my own cup, I would be SO willing to donate.

Also, of course, when there's a radio on and noone around (I sometimes get self-concious dancing in front of people) or when I don't have to get dressed right out of the shower. Hanging around in nothing but my body reminds me that my body is awsome.

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oOo Lea oOo
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Reading all of these makes me want to add to my original post.

I agree that I think it is wonderful how something not directed to body image at all can make you feel sexy and beautiful (like fixing computers or something of that sort)

I feel sexy when I am busy at work (Which, honestly guys, doesn't happen very often. Actually about twice a month! I'm an "accountant" or "office assistant" for a small department of the government with 6 employees including myself!) When I have reconciled accounts which takes me 3 hours to do, or entered and sorted bills or mail, or when I do payroll and timesheets once a month, or even when I am typing a memo or transfering money, I feel very sexy. I feel like I am the "stuff" (better choice of words [Wink] ) when I hand my boss a completed assignment and I know I did an awesome job, and it makes me feel even more self confident and beautiful when he says, "Wow, great work, Lea! I knew I hired you for a reason!"

Also, in my down time at work (which, like I said before, happens A LOT) I crank the music (because I am alone in my office while the guys are out in the "field" inspecting, doing their thing) and I dance around. I sing, and since I like rock music, sometimes I bounce my head to the beat.

I think when no one is around and I can just "let go" I feel the sexiest.

Also, there's some kind of totally sexy vibe that my boyfriend gives off. Every where we go all the girls are staring at him. It makes me feel SUPER sexy when I have my arm around his or when he has his arm around my shoulder and mine around his waist, walking down the mall, everyone looking. I feel even sexier when he notices that people are staring and he gives me that smile and kisses my cheek or my hand.

(I'd also like to agree with Jules and say I feel totally beautiful and sexy during sex. I think most of us are that way, huh?)

[ 05-03-2006, 08:05 AM: Message edited by: oOo Lea oOo ]

--------------------
And I say thank you for the scars
And the guilt and the pain
Every tear I've never cried
Has sealed your fate.
Did you take me for a fool
or were you just too blind to see
that every effort made has failed
and there is no destroying me?
Atreyu

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Irm
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Wow, I love reading the replies to this thread. I hope it keeps going.

To add my own...

When I'm up till 5am in the morning, writing like a madwoman. When inspiration hits me, and my insomnia gives it a boost up, I could be hunched over a keyboard, practically salivating on it, for hours and hours. I can literally feel myself "deteriorating" in a sense--hair frazzling, clothes smelling, eyes burning, etc. But it's so GOOD, like a super fierce jog, because once I'm in the "zone", my breath and my heartbeat and my entire biorhythm is just IN it and I can FEEL the art flowing through my system, flushing my cheeks and energizing every part of me. THAT makes me feel REALLY damn beautiful. And it doesn't even really have to be writing--it can be ANY sort of art that I lose myself in. Drawing a picture has to be the most exciting. I crawl around it, holding my breath as I perfect a line here or there, sticking pencils in my hair so that I know where they are, smearing charcoal and colors all over my hands, wiping the sweat off my face, not caring that I stain myself everywhere. When I'm done, I'm a sweating, panting creature with streaks of color from the entire rainbow splattered randomly over my face, hands, and clothes. I love it. I feel fierce. Like a lioness fresh off the hunt. =) It's good stuff.

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Ikeren
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Here is one of mine:

I have longish blond hair, and it covers my eyes. I am not sure how this works (it could be narrow slit difraction or it could be the light hair colour acting as a prism), but when I put my hair over my eyes and look towards the sun, small thin rainbow lines will appear on the inside of my hair, following single strands (and the rest of it will turn bright golden.) If you have long hair, I'd advise trying it at least: there is something to be said for waking up to a rainbow on every sunny morning.

Edit: Please do not look directly into the sun.

[ 05-03-2006, 05:18 PM: Message edited by: Ikeren ]

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19, male, interested in Sadomasochism (BDSM) and some bisexual tendancies.

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Ecofem
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RedGoddess, I love how you describe your art creation process! I also love it when my hands are covered (for many days) with colorful ink from printing. [Smile] Of course, the chemicals seeping into my skin during the time are another story...

I would say my best body image moment is when I play capoeira angola. (That's an Afro-Brazilian martial arts-dance for those who aren't famillar.) We are constantly in motion during training, pretty much hopping/kicking/cartwheeling/somersaulting while squatting... and singing. The mixture of moving, drumming and singing gives me a great sense of equilibrium. I have good days and bad days, but overall the little steps of progress are extremely satisfying.

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Marquis_de_Carabas
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Best body image moment..well, there's this herd of rescue horses turned out in a huge field near my house. My best body image moment was when I finally got them to trust me to walk amongst them. Wandering amongst a group of near-wild horses and feeling totally accepted by them, because they dont care how I look and they let me pat them and check thier hooves (thankfully thier owner doesnt mind). It sounds insane that this is a favourite, as I was in a field treadin in horse poo and got knows what and stank of horse when I got back home..there's just a poetry about the way they all move together because that's how they feel safest.
All of my best poems and essays and things i think i've ever written, were written sitting in that field. [Smile]

[ 05-10-2006, 11:22 AM: Message edited by: Avaggdu ]

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How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.

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Alice
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The time when I feel best about my physical image is when I am taking a shower in the dark. That might sound kind of anti-good body image and freaky... but for me, I really enjoy my long, hot showers in the dark. I have a thick black shower curtain, and so when I close the door and turn off the light, it feels like my own little escape. At first everything is pitch black, but after awhile my eyes start adjusting and sometimes I am mesmorized by the shape of my body, as I wash my feet or whatever, and I'll sit in the tub and watch the water fall onto my body and feel warm and beautiful.

Even recently, being pregnant and NOT enjoying it, I have to admit there is a certain fullness and healthiness-feeling from my round tummy and (GIGANTIC) breasts.

--------------------
The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you. - B.B. King

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blueveggie
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definitely something i enjoy is being asked about something because 'HEY IT'S HER! she'll know, she knows everything!'.. it's nice to have the guys come dashing up a minute before class, finishing their homework and asking me about it..

on the sports front: when i'm riding and truly get that harmonic connection and partnership with my horse where i can just think about doing something and my horse does it flawlessly- *that* is amazing.. feel like you could jump the moon.

now i must admit- seeing me in the mirror with my hair piled up on my head, in something sexy and my favorite black kitten heels- i have to wink at myself just to finish the look..

now, girls, repeat after me: looks are not everything! being SMART and SELF CONFIDENT is the SEXIEST THING EVER. [Wink] and i have that straight from several guy friends, by the way.

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