My experience with cultivating positive body image may seem a bit backwards. I know many women who feel like they’ve only ever been valued for their looks, feel like so few people care about their life philosophies, goals, personalities, senses of humor. I felt like plenty of folks respected my inner self but no one saw or valued my beauty, my body, my physical self. And I felt that way for YEARS until I figured out that scads of people saw and valued my beauty, my body, my physical self. It was me. I was the one who couldn’t acknowledge what was good and sexy and amazing and gorgeous about my own body.
I already had the inside figured out, now I needed to work on the outside.
And since I’d already spent what felt like eons trying to change my body’s shape, size, and form, I started tinkering around with how I presented it to the world instead. I began to dress with care and creativity, shirk certain trends and seek garments that worked with my specific figure. As I learned about style and how it overlapped with my tastes and my body, I began to feel more confident. I began to BE more confident. I began to see and value my beauty, my body, my physical self.
It wasn’t until I had made some serious headway in the body image department that I began to feel everything merging in an organic, marvelously inevitable way. I’d loved my inner self for ages, but loving my outer self helped me to accept my whole self.
I cultivated positive body image from the outside in. I didn’t plan it that way, I don’t think it’d work for everyone, and, again, I can see how it might seem a bit backwards. But I’m kind of amazed by how successful my unorthodox methods have been. Perhaps they could work for you, too.
Originally posted 2012-02-06 06:17:44.