Don’t tell me about how you need to lose some weight or that “no one wants to see this body naked.”
Yes, we all have cellulite.
We all have scars.
We earned them.
We all have those wild hairs that show up in weird places.
I don’t want to hear your lame excuses about your poochy belly or your stretch marks. I have those, too.
One thing I know without a doubt is that there is someone (scratch that, there are many someones) out there who would love your naked skin right up next to theirs, preferably with the lights on, and with no limit on the amount of time that can be spent gazing at your radiant beauty.
You are beautiful. It’s time to own it.
When I got divorced, I was a good twenty pounds heavier than I wanted to be. I felt uncomfortable in my clothes. I kept wearing the same black skirt over and over because it was the one thing that didn’t leave me with those angry red welts on my waist caused by clothes that are too tight.
I certainly didn’t feel sexy or desired. I mostly felt tired and defeated and more than a little freaked out at the idea of “putting myself out there.” Because, “putting yourself out there” means risking rejection, and who wants to risk that?
I turned to the one person I knew who was dating after divorce and who seemed to be having fun, not just complaining about there not being any good men out there. My aunt got divorced at about the same age as I was, and I knew that she knew how to get dates. My aunt isn’t a size 2. She isn’t rich. She’s not a former super model. She just f’ing owns her beauty.
She has a big, glorious ass, and she doesn’t hide it under tunics or control-top panty hose. She wears jeans that let the world know that she knows that all of her is beautiful and she’s not going to hide. She is in her body and, yeah, she’s plus size, and if you don’t think that’s hot, she has no time for your B.S.
She has no problem getting dates because she knows that there are men who enjoy exactly the flavor of beauty that she’s got. Why bother trying to convince someone to eat vanilla ice cream if your preferred flavor is black cherry?
Go find the black cherry lovers and let them worship you.
We grow up convinced that in order to be loved we have to conform to a certain flavor of beauty—if our flavor is black cherry, we better figure out how to hide those cherries and make it look like vanilla. If vanilla beauty is what is covering every magazine cover at the grocery store, we start to believe that every man is looking for a woman who looks as much like Jennifer Aniston as possible.
But they’re not.
Just walk away from the magazine rack and over to the ice cream aisle and see all the luscious flavors—flavors that are each longed for and deeply desired.
Let’s get back to my aunt and her brilliant, gorgeousness. She told me this one tip that helped me start to believe that someone could find me sexy, even with the extra pounds and the scars and the stretchmarks:
“Look up, smile and notice how many men are checking you out. You might have to turn around every once in a while because a lot of them keep their eyes down until you walk away because they are checking out your ass.”
Of course, she was right. There were men checking me out. Turns out, being a divorced mom in my late thirties with a few extra pounds did not mean I would have to die alone with nothing but my cats for company.
We are not all able to be in our bodies as easily as my aunt. Some of us (that would be me) need a little help. Start with these three things to get out there and own it:
1. Wear comfortable clothes. No matter how great the shoes look, limping is not sexy and takes you out of your body and into your head (which will be yelling at you for the ridiculous shoes). Same goes for skirts you keep pulling on because they are too short or too tight, bra straps that dig into your shoulders and anything that makes you sweaty.
2. Find a part of your body that you already love exactly the way it is. Baby steps are okay, you can start with your shoulders, even ear lobes. Wear something that draws attention to that part of your body: a scarf that matches the color of your eyes or a tank top that shows the curve of your shoulders.
3. Stop sucking in your stomach. Seriously, just stop. You aren’t fooling anyone and it’s really bad for your back. Release your belly and remember, no one is looking at your tummy. They are too busy sucking in their own.
When you feel comfortable in your skin, you are more attractive and more likely to attract the kind of people that you will want to get naked in front of.
You are beautiful.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Photo Monkey/Flickr