There is more to sex appeal then just measurements. I don't need a bedroom to prove my womanliness. I can convey just as much sex appeal picking apples off a tree, or standing in the rain.
- Audrey Hepburn
If you were to take a picture of yourself today, right now, you would look at it and most likely have something critical to say about the way you looked.Too fat, a little spotty, my face isn't symmetrical, the curl of my lip makes me look mildly retarded, and why on earth do my nostrils go into a flare everytime I smile?!
Fast forward another 10 years or so, and I promise that when you look at that picture, you'd think you were just so beautiful (skinny, vibrant, happy, etc) back then.
See, I think we've been hard-wired to criticise.
Everyone likes to find something wrong with everyone else, and since the way a person's looks is their first line of defense in the big bad world, it is the first thing that comes under fire.
As much as you and I would like to deny it, it is a rare and beautiful moment when a woman (this doesn't apply to men as they typically abstain from passing cursory remarks about their fellow peers appearances for fear of appearing bro-inclined) concedes that another woman is gorgeous.
Not pretty with fat thighs. Not conventionally beautiful in a way you didn't find particularly attractive. Not really sexy but looking like a difficult woman. Just beautiful.
If we are hard on others, we are even harder on ourselves. The harder we are on others, the harder we are on ourselves.
They say life is a journey. I say for a lot of us, life is a never-ending tiptoe and reach for the perfect physical ideal. We are constantly prepping and polishing ourselves to impenetrable perfection, so a lot of the times, we miss that journey. It passed us by while we were on a diet.
So how do we feel beautiful all day every day without subsisting on a diet of self-loathing?
Here are a few tips from my personal feel hot book:
1) Learn to love that (wo)man in the mirror, faults and all
No one's perfect. Some women are freaks of nature and walk around looking permanently airbrushed and whippet like in all the right places, but even they find fault with themselves.
If our self-love were to be entirely dependent on our perfection, then it would probably end where our bellies begin.
I have a girlfriend who has a freaky looking earlobe. It's two-pronged. I asked her about it one day and she burst out laughing and declared that it was where she housed her camel toe.
I've never given that earlobe a second glance since.
Moral of the story? Learn to love your imperfections, and learn to laugh at yourself. There is nothing more attractive than a woman with a wicked sense of humor.
2) If you have nothing nice to say, plead the fifth!
The words that come out of our mouths are merely an expression of the thoughts that we allow to fester in our minds. By saying what we think out loud, we provide affirmation to these thoughts.
I strongly believe that we criticize in others the things we most loathe in ourselves. In other words, the more catty little remarks we pass about others, the more faults we find with ourselves.
So the next time you find yourself thinking nasty things about someone, stop yourself. Try instead to pick out a positive attribute about that person you're eyeballing, and verbalize that instead.
Importantly, don't forget to do that for yourself next time you look in the mirror.
3) Spend quality time with your mind, body and breath
Beautiful girls are the girls most in tune with themselves.
Through my years of teaching yoga, I've come to learn that most women with body image issues are typically self-conscious, awkward and extremely uncomfortable with the expression of their physical bodies. It's as though their minds are disconnected from their bodies.
Please note that this is not a criticism, merely an observation.
When we spend time focusing our minds inwards towards the sensation of our bodies and breath, we realize the endless capacity of our bodies and begin a relationship with ourselves that transcend the superficial.
It takes quality time spent with your mind, body and breath in order to develop a healthy and harmonious relationship between the three.
It takes time spent with ourselves in reflection and sensation to realize the worth of our bodies beyond what we see in the mirror.
Don't believe me? Pick up yoga, join a dance class, start going for runs or whatever else strikes your fancy and try it!