You’ve probably done it. Looked through a magazine and wished for a celebrity’s clear skin or a model’s long legs. You close the latest issue, not inspired by what you learned but defeated by what you are not. And, yet, here’s the thing. None of those models, none of those celebrities look like what you saw either. Almost every picture in a magazine has been altered with photo editing software into what you see. The image you aspire to is just that: an image, not reality.
Photoshopping has become such a standard practice in our print media that the NOW Foundation founded Love Your Body Day in 1998 as a response to the images of women reflected in the media. Thirteen years later, the effort is still needed because the images we see haven’t gotten any more real or diverse and we haven’t become any kinder to ourselves collectively. This year’s Love Your Body Day will be celebrated on October 19.
LOVE YOUR BODY EVERYDAY
NOW’s effort is really important, but to make even better progress, we—each one of us—has to invest in our own Love Your Body efforts. What do you do everyday to love your body? What do you do everyday to honor the work your body does to allow you to navigate and enjoy the world? What do you do to thank, respect, and delight in your body?
What’s that? I haven’t seen the arms on you? They don’t deserve your respect or thanks? But didn’t they just help you scoop up your kids and toss them in the air? And what about your thighs? Well, don’t they propel you forward every moment you ask them to each day? And your hair? Doesn’t it remind you of your Papito or Mamita?
SHIFT YOUR THINKING
We spend so much of our time berating our bodies, complaining about what our bodies haven’t given us and the way they dare to look. And, yet, every single pleasure and success we have had in this life has been directly allowed to us because of our bodies. Our bodies have given us the opportunity to have every experience of our lives.
When I realized, years ago, all that my body had offered me over my life sometimes with very little thanks from me, I was humbled. And I was no longer willing to be that woman who berated and belittled her body for not giving me everything I wanted when it had given me absolutely everything I needed over the years.
That decision to embrace my body years ago was a conscious commitment. And that conscious commitment to flip my thinking has changed everything. I no longer invest my energy in berating my body. Instead, I spend my time honoring my body and being thankful for what I am able to do. That shift in my mentality wasn’t just good for my self-respect. It was good for the world. All that time spent in the mirror, lamenting what I didn’t have, is now time I spend investing in the people, passions, and purposes of my world. And, ultimately, that’s what the world most needs: all of us empowered enough to move beyond our own worries and into addressing the world’s.
THE BODY WARRIOR PLEDGE
Three years ago, I tried to capture the commitments necessary to most consciously love your body. The result is The Body Warrior Pledge which opens:
Because I understand that my love and respect for my body are metaphors of my love and respect for my self and soul, I pledge to do the following:
To stop berating my body and to begin celebrating the vessel that I have been given. I will remember the amazing things my body has given me: the ability to experience the world with a breadth of senses, the ability to perceive and express love, the ability to comfort and soothe, and the ability to fight, provide, and care for humanity.
To understand that my body is an opportunity not a scapegoat.
To be the primary source of my confidence. I will not rely on or wait for others to define my worth.
To let envy dissipate and allow admiration to be a source of compassion by offering compliments to others.
You can read the entire pledge and consciously commit to loving your body by signing it at www.rosiemolinary.com/blog.
The first step to loving your body is making the decision to love your body. In honor of Love Your Body day, make that decision for you—and your whole world—today.