We are enough
Our bodies – where to even start?
Our bodies are machines if you think about it. They get us to where we need to be. They get us doing some incredible things. Like stretching in the morning, eating peanut butter, drinking cold water on a hot day, feeling the sand on our toes, lying on the grass whilst we look up at the clouds, having sex, hugging, and getting into a hot bath after a horrible day. They allow us to sleep and dream and re-charge. To then wake up and go again. Through every rough patch and good day – our bodies are with us.
Our bodies are phenomenal really. And random. And different. No body is the same. So why, so often, do we not like them?
Emma Thompson, an actress you may have seen in films like Love Actually, Nanny Mcphee, Harry Potter (and many more), recently starred in a film called Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. In which she plays a retired widow who wants to have sex, so hires a male sex worker. In a recent interview she said that the film is important to her because:
“I live with a body I don’t like, and I don’t know any woman who lives with a body that she likes. My questions for everybody these days is why are wasting our time, our passion, our energy, and money on hating ourselves? And not enjoying the vehicles that we have to live in?”
Emma Thompson is beautiful. She has lived in her body for 63 years and she still doesn’t like it. Does this sound familiar? It’s always worth noting, insecurities and beauty standards don’t just effect women, we will all have moments of insecurity, regardless of gender. As students and young adults, we are starting our journey, and we can start learning here, right now, how to appreciate these beautiful vehicles we inhabit every day.
In this blog, we are going to talk about body image. What we can do to change our view on ourselves, and where it all comes from. So often we talk badly of ourselves, we look in the mirror and we only see what is wrong. When there is so much that is right. Perhaps if we change the language that we use on ourselves, maybe our confidence will catch up.
If only there was a medication you could take where you wake up and feel worthy. Where you feel so sexy you could walk outdoors naked and not give a damn because you know you look bloody sensational. Often, ad agencies, social media and today’s culture tells us that we will get this feeling if we lose weight, synch our waists, have a six pack, have fuller lips and cheek bones with clear skin, thick eyebrows and a full head of hair, long lashes with a sharp jawline, perky tits, toned pecks and absolutely no fat. However, what they don’t tell us is that we don’t lose weight (for example) and happen to gain self-worth and confidence. Take it from Emma Thompson, us, friends, and family. When we look back at pictures of ourselves – we may think we looked better then but for most people, we weren’t happy with the way we looked then either. We were still looking at ourselves and thinking “not enough”.
And you know what? We have all these thoughts whilst we’re young and then suddenly, we will be older. And then the world will double down on us and our beauty. We will then have wrinkles and our hair will grow grey, and we will enter another sphere of “ugly”, where we will become (once again) undesirable and invisible in the eyes of popular culture. We will look back on these years and think ‘why didn’t I just eat the pizza and take my top off when I went swimming?’ And this could seem scary – or it could be empowering. Because if we will never win – we have the power to stop playing the game. In the eyes of magazines, social media and some weird standard set by some outdated ad agency that realised making people feel ugly, sells their product/dream/services– we’re sh*t out of luck. From puberty to pension – the world teaches us that we will never be enough, that we should always have more of something. So, screw it! Throw the rule book out – the game is rigged anyway.
Instead of focusing on the physical things we can change, why don’t we focus on our minds. The motor that keeps our bodies running. That tells our bodies to laugh, feel the sun on our skin and protects us from danger. If we try and change the way that we think, we may start feeling as incredible as we should do. And we’re not saying we’ll wake up tomorrow morning and be as confident as Lizzo. We’re not saying we will always love our bodies (because no one does, not even Lizzo), but maybe we could start to like them.
So, let’s stand in front of the mirror naked and tell ourselves:
“I am beautiful”
“I am enough”
“I am worthy of love”
Because we are.