In the last couple of years, there’s been a big increase in the number of articles and posts I’ve seen about body confidence….and before I go any further, I just want to make it clear that this is A Very Good Thing. Of course we should be promoting body confidence, and of course we should all love the way we look! But as for the whole “take off all your clothes and look at your beautiful self in the mirror” school of thought? Nah mate, I’d rather not.
You see, I have one little gripe about this whole “body confidence/love yourself whatever you look like” movement that’s happening.
“Don’t be silly, you look fine”
“Yes, but chocolate’s so tasty!”
“Why? Eat some cake!”
“Why are you torturing yourself with that healthy stuff?”
“Are you still on that stupid diet?”
“Here, have some more cake. Have the cake. EAT THE CAKE. Why won’t you eat the cake?”
All the above are things that have been said to me at one point or another when I’ve mentioned to a friend that I’m trying to eat more healthily, or want to lose a bit of weight (or, 2 stone of weight!). And ok, the last one was said to me by a particularly persistent (and slightly creepy) person from my past after I’d already eaten some damn cake and didn’t want to eat any more (don’t get me started), but at what point did it become acceptable to make someone feel embarrassed for not being confident about how they look?
Ok, the “you look fine” are often said with the best of intentions – and don’ get me wrong, I can take a copliment when it’s handed to me (in a very British “oh no, really, no” kind of way, of course!). But to me, a more helpful response would be “oh, ok. Fair enough” or “whoops, I’d better put the chocolate away!” – or even just the simple question “why?”.
And…why? Well, other than the obvious answer of “I’d like to be able to fit into more clothes” and “I’d quite like to be able to run for the train without being completely out of breath”, the answer is simple. To improve my body confidence.
In aroundabout way, I guess what I’m saying is this.
Body confidence to me isn’t necesarilly about loving how you already look. It’s about figuring out what you already like about yourself, and what you’d like to improve. And no-one should feel ashamed for saying they dont’ like how they look – that’s absolutely fine.
Personally? I don’t hate the way I look. There are parts of me that I’m super confident about – and other parts that I’d quite like to work on and improve.
Self-improvement is one of the most valuable lessons to learn – it’s how we evolve, how we change and ultimately, how we become better people.
Until next time!