Confidence is Beautiful

Jul 18, 2015 by

07.18.2015 - Confidence is Beautiful

 
          “I deserve a boyfriend,” I said to my pole friends, gesturing to my body after catching a glimpse of my barely clothed self in the mirror while waiting for Ryan to finish manipulating the lens on his camera.

          “What?” Ryan responded.

          “Oh,” I smiled, “I was talking to my friends.”

          “I know, but what did you say?”

          “I said I deserve a boyfriend,” I smirked as I stood in a cocky contrapposto, making everyone in the studio laugh.

          “Post these photos on Match.com, and I don’t think you’ll have a problem,” he said.

          “I think that’ll get me the wrong kind of attention,” I laughed.

 

***

 

          I don’t know how much I weigh. I don’t know my BMI. I don’t know the size of my waist in inches. But I know that I’m beautiful. I don’t need numbers to tell me that. In fact, I purposely avoid numbers so they can’t tell me otherwise. I don’t have a target weight; I have a target feeling: confidence. As long as I am confident, I am beautiful.

          Sometimes I’m asked why I eat healthy and why I go to the gym. This is typically followed by a remark that I don’t need to because I have a nice body. I know that’s supposed to be complimentary, but I find it annoying. I have a nice body because I eat healthy and go to the gym, and I don’t like insinuations that the only purpose behind eating well and working out is to look good. Looking good is an awesome byproduct of my active lifestyle, but it’s not the main purpose.

          To demonstrate both the importance of having a healthy relationship with your body and the major impact other people’s comments can have if you let them, I’m going to tell you a story that I’ve never written about and have only ever told two people in my life. When I was 10, my mom told me that I was “getting chubby.” Suddenly, I had a negative view of my body that had never been there before. As a result, I dropped a lot of weight very quickly. I wasn’t unhealthy about it. I simply cut out junk food. But, since I really didn’t have much to lose to begin with because I wasn’t overweight, I became extremely thin. Boney would probably be the best word to describe it. I measured my progress by pinching my stomach in the shower to check that there was gradually less to grab. I was literally assessing my size, but more so I was ensuring that I was giving nobody reason to ever make me feel the way I did the day my mom commented on my weight.

          Fortunately, at some point while still in elementary school, I stopped pinching my stomach in the shower. As I grew up, I became health-focused instead of weight-focused. From the personal experience of going from having no issue with my weight to having a definite problem with it because of one comment, I came to understand that body image is more mental than physical. I still never again wanted to feel the way I did when my mom told me I was “getting chubby,” but I developed a different approach as I began to grasp that my beauty didn’t depend on what I looked like or other people’s comments about it. It depended on how I felt about myself.

          And so, I eat well and I work out to be physically strong and mentally healthy. My focus on health and my disregard for numbers plays a huge role in my appreciation of my body. I know that I’m beautiful, and I’m happy I know that I’m beautiful because I didn’t always. I hope you know that you’re beautiful too. If you don’t love your body for whatever reason, work at loving your body until you do. Tell yourself that you’re beautiful until you know without doubt that you are. Your beauty is in the hands of your confidence, and your confidence is your responsibility.

Happiness Tip: Have a healthy relationship with your body.

 
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