Friday, June 12, 2009

How to stop hating your body

Dara Chadwick, author of You'd Be So Pretty If...:Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies--Even When We Don't Love Our Own, has written the following blog post:

I've got a simple solution to how to stop hating your body--get old. That might create even more displeasure for some women but for me, it's given me "closure" on the subject. I will never again be someone who turns heads unless it's for some gross reason. I will never again wear revealing clothes or be expected to look leggy and gorgeous. In fact, no one would want that. Or at least no one who is sane. So the pressure is off. Looking good, maybe. Looking great, never.
There will be sagging skin and an expanded waist regardless of my weight. A bulge here, a dimple there. It's all part of aging. So now I can let go. The image isn't pretty but it's comforting. It's my body.
I do wish I had felt this way long long ago, in my youth. Because if you lose weight or exercise just to look better, it's bound to backfire. No one will ever look the way they want to. That idealized self. We cannot attain it.
I honestly don't remember what my skin looked like five years ago. I don't recall when the lines and wrinkles appeared or how smooth my skin was before they showed up. I think I remember what a flat belly looks like but it's been a long time and I'm not certain. I did have one, though. I know that. In fact, I even had the Dara Torres abs that I still dream about.
Why, I probably still do have those abs. But they're covered over with a nice thick layer of fat. They're there, though. They would have to be with all the ab exercises I suffer through.
So, acceptance. This is who I am. And it will get "worse" and never get better. And so it goes. My only regret is that I didn't know that I looked pretty good when I was younger. If you're young and reading this, just remember: You're going to get old. Treasure your body now. Not only to take care of it but also to admire it and accept it because it's going to change no matter how well you take care of it.

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