The Eye of The Beholder

This is part of Food For Thought Friday’s prompt this week: Good points, well made… on the topic of body image.

As you all know, body image, body confidence, self-love etc. are subjects I’m very passionate about. I’m no authority on the subject so I can only go from personal experience and my own perceptions.

I saw someone close to me suffering very badly with body confidence in my childhood and it always saddened me how someone could think so badly of themselves, when all I could see was a bright, loving and kind person. I vowed as a child to never to think so badly of myself like that when I was growing/grown up, hence why it’s something I get so passionate about now.

But obviously, I’m not immune. No one’s perfect and we’ve all been guilty of thinking badly about ourselves for one thing or another.

I don’t know a single person where learning to love yourself inside and out hasn’t been a labour of love and one you have to continue work at long after you feel more upbeat about yourself. Like a muscle that needs regular training to stay strong, the same goes for our minds and thought patterns.

What bit (or bits) of your body do you like (or at the very least, don’t feel too negatively inclined toward)? Why do you feel that way?

I like the curves in my silhouette. I’m more hourglass shaped which despite any insecurities I’ve had, I’ve liked because it makes me feel really feminine. I remember when I was little seeing ladies with their lovely, full curves of all shapes and sizes, their bright smiles and just thinking, “Wow, they’re so pretty!” and that I couldn’t wait to grow up and be a lady too! Little did 5-year-old me know there was such a thing as bills!

As I’ve got more fuller figured, it took a whole whirlwind of insecurities and put downs before I actually grew to like them. My belly filled out and to be honest I am still a little self-conscious about that, but I’m working on it πŸ™‚ I have a sense of humour where I’ll often take the proverbial out of myself as I don’t like to take myself too seriously, so I’d often joke that I asked God to give me some more junk in the trunk, only he put it in the wrong trunk.

I come from a long line of curvy women so I can’t fight genetics. I’ll be a curvy gal whatever my dress size so embracing it’s a lot better than a lifetime of put downs. A few years was bad enough. Not doing that again!

What bits of you have others (friends, partners, etc.) told you they liked? Did they tell you why they liked them?

A few years ago, an old uni friend of mine told me around two years in to our degree the first thing she noticed about me was my waist. She said that I had an hourglass frame and how my waist accentuated that (which I thank her for, that was a kind thing to say) which she said she had a bit of a thing for in women (she’s openly gay). We both used to laugh our socks off when I’d wear a dress with a waist cinching belt and she’d go, “Violet, that waist!

My boyfriend (I’m sticking to “boyfriend” instead of “partner” as I don’t want to confuse anyone) makes it known daily how much he likes my boobs/bum, usually by coming up behind me and giving my boobs some TLC or smacking my ass at any available opportunity. If “stealthily smacking your girlfriend’s ass with a cheeky grin as she walks past you” was an Olympic sport, this man would easily get gold!

I often used to put myself down over either my belly or this or that, rebuffing his compliments and just generally thinking badly about myself, when one day he told me in all seriousness that it deeply upset him to hear his girlfriend talking about herself in those ways. Since then I’ve been learning to accept compliments more, little by little. Now I’m saying, “thank you” majority of the time over anything else.

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” – E. E. Cummings

How do you feel when someone compliments your body, particularly a bit that you yourself are less keen on?

Honestly, I feel genuinely flattered. It brings it back to perspective that for all the beating yourself up about certain parts of your body, people won’t notice that little extra belly you have or a little wobble or whatever. It goes to show that no matter what, we are always our own worst critics.

Most of the times when this has happened in the last few years has been with my boyfriend. Out of nowhere he’d say he likes something about myself that I hated. When I’d tell him, his usual response would be, “Are you kidding?! I love it!” and then say why. And like what I said before about compliments, now I’m accepting them more rather than rebuffing them. It’s easier said than done, but with practise comes progress!

I stumbled across this picture and aside from it being absolutely fabulous, I think it sums up perfectly what I think for anyone putting themselves down. You are all gorgeous inside and out, and in the words of this picture…

FOI

Hit the Food For Thought Friday button to see who else is taking part.

#F4TFriday

All my love,

Violet xx

*Picture – Pinterest

10 thoughts on “The Eye of The Beholder

  1. I think we feel similar about lots of these things and others would too I am sure. I don’t know anyone who is happy with all of the way they look which is a shame as there is so much beauty around. Great post πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I completely agree. There’ll always be things we won’t be happy with and it is a terrible shame. Everyone is beautiful in their own unique way 😊 Iskra Lawrence I found to be a great role model for acceptance and working towards that better self-worth/mental health etc. where you’re not constantly bashing yourself for an unattainable standard, be it in society or in your own head 😊 Thank you Missy, I loved your post as well! 😊 x

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for joining in. It’s great that you can accept yourself for who you are and that, as the picture says, you “own it”.
    It would be great if we could only learn to see ourselves the way those closest to us see us, but self criticism does seem to be deeply ingrained into the human psyche.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for commenting! 😊 Thank you, it’s a fairly recent change so I’ve still got a way to go! 😊
      It does and it is a shame. I like how the perception is slowly starting to change I.e. teaching body positivity in schools and positive role models etc. but like you said is deeply ingrained and will take a lot of work to change the culture surrounding it x

      Liked by 1 person

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