Hi, I’m 23, female and I suffer from high self-esteem. I love my body, I just cant help it.
I’m really very lucky – I have 20/20 vision, all my natural teeth, a fairly strong constitution, ten fingers and ten toes.
When women ask me, What do you hate most about your body? or If you could change anything, what would it be? I really have to think about it. After a lengthy pause I usually shrug and say, My feet are pretty big? Truth be told, if I could change anything it would probably be my body clock, so I could survive on 6 hours sleep and not be a moody bitch. Either that or change my digestion so I would take a dump at 7 every morning and not have to go when I’m on a bus or at a party.
But back to the body stuff: There are several things wrong with these kinds of situations. For starters, they happen waaaay too frequently for my liking (that they happen at all is truly horrifying). Secondly, that most women I know are locked and loaded with their answer. As soon as the question is asked its like a bomb goes off and body parts are suddenly flying across the room. I hate my thighs. My boobs are too small. My arse is so flat. When did hating your body become a hobby? And third, why does loving your body now equate to narcissism? This may be a cultural thing, I’m not sure – in Australia we have a national case of Tall Poppy Syndrome and if you value any of your natural assets, you are swiftly deemed “up yourself”.
In any case, when will women start giving themselves and each other a break? The girl who loves how she looks is not an egocentric maniac and the girl who hates how she looks is not digging for compliments. We are not a threat to each other! We live in a hostile, media-saturated environment and are constantly told we’re not good enough. We are so good at being down on ourselves and consuming (make up, clothes, anything to attain an unrealistic ideal) that we perpetuate the cycle and convince others to do the same. The system is rigged. We’re actually doing advertisers’ jobs for them!
Let’s not make it so easy for them. Let’s reframe the question… What do you love most about your body?