I am probably not telling you anything you don’t know, but there has been a recent movement to love our bodies. I am behind this idea 100%. I have even written about it. Love the body you have, not the one you want—it’s true that our self-worth is not determined by our size.
However, there is one thing to keep in mind when it comes to self-love and that is the importance of finding a partner who loves our body just as much or even more than we do. While on one hand, this sounds as commonsense as finding someone who loves you, the reality is, sometimes finding such a person is easier said than done.
For instance, I used to think that if a man said he was physically turned on by me and complimented my body that it was enough, but it wasn’t. While I was never a model type, I did have a fairly slim, fit body that many men found attractive. Indeed, if I am being brutally honest, it’s possible that some of them were with me primarily because of physical attraction, more than anything. However, what I was experiencing wasn’t body appreciation. Indeed, it was the opposite in some ways. There was the unspoken implication that I was to keep my current body or even improve upon it if the attraction was to continue.
Some were quite blunt about this. For instance, there was the summer between my junior and senior year of college when I returned to campus 10 pounds heavier. My then-boyfriend asked what I was going to do to fix this. Although he said he still found me attractive, he made it clear this was my weight limit and I was not to go beyond it. We parted soon after for other reasons, but at the time, I didn’t think his comments were odd. It wasn’t until much later that it dawned on me.
Simply put, we should choose a partner who appreciates our current body and the one we may have in the future. It’s really not even about loving the body so much, but the person attached to it. This isn’t to say that we can’t put a sense of pride into our appearance or want our partner to like how we look. (Indeed, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want the latter.)
What it is does mean, though, is that we are not graded on some sort of scale or that the fear of the affects aging will have on our body, send us into a panic.
A man who loves our body probably won’t notice or care about some extra weight gain, an unwaxed bikini line or heaven forbid, even the occasional unshaven underarm. The satisfaction of our sex life and life in general will not be based on either of our respective appearances. More importantly, he will stop us on the days when we are our worst enemy and speak about our body in a way we would never dream of talking to anyone else.
While it can be hard to find such an individual, they do exist. And if you happen to find them, then appreciate them. Even if you don’t end up together forever, the lesson they teach about self-appreciation can stay for a lifetime.
Author: Kimberly Lo
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photo: flickr/Charlotte Astrid