Free Yourself of Body Criticism!
I’ve been wondering when did this start with women – this seemingly acceptable criticism of our bodies? We used to be goddesses. What happened?
As I sat last week on a beautiful beach in Kauai looking at the magical turquoise water I was confronted with my own thoughts of criticism. Be quiet I told myself. You’re in Kauai – you’ve been swimming, snorkeling, hiking, playing. So what if you don’t look the way you did when you were 26. You’re 56 and you look great.
My ego had a few other little comments to make and I just told it to be quiet and ran into the ocean to let my body enjoy the sensation of the cool water.
But I wonder, where did all this come from? I don’t know one woman who likes her body, or accepts it as healthy, fit, toned, perfect. Why do we need to criticize ourselves?
The yogi’s tell us – we are not our bodies. We are magnificent, precious, powerful souls. And beautiful women!
Try having an exciting, loving relationship with a man with thoughts of criticism going through your mind about your body. Men love our bodies; they don’t notice our perceived imperfections – until we point them out. And they don’t like it when we criticize ourselves. It makes them uncomfortable and want to withdraw.
And we are all complicit in keeping this potentially harmful practice going. We will share our complaints with our girlfriends and receive consolation and understanding. We are passing it on to the younger generation. We consider it acceptable. It’s not!
What if we were to just stop criticizing ourselves and start loving our bodies? Start focusing on the great things and forgetting about the things we think don’t measure up to some standard of perfection.
Come on, we all know this seeming “perfection” standard gets created by men in the advertising industry using highly skilled photographers, lighting, airbrushing, tons of makeup, and the occasional woman who, for a few years will look like the standard of perfection. But even she will have things the photographers will work around or airbrush out.
But it’s not about the few women who choose to have “perfect” bodies. It’s that we are wasting our time and our valuable energy focusing on the negative, when we could rejoice in the positive.
Goddesses, stand up and fight against this American, male, advertising industry attempt to manipulate us and sell products! We need to love ourselves and be grateful our bodies function. We are not our bodies. We are souls in these precious bodies. We are beautiful women. You are beautiful!
Choose to concentrate on all the great things about your body. When the ego comes in with “his” criticism, tell him to be quiet, or to get lost.
You can choose to feel like a goddess. You can choose to embrace the beauty of your feminine body. You can choose to love yourself. You can choose to strut your stuff. You can choose to feel and be sensual. You can choose!
imagine the possibilities…
© Carol Chanel
Q & A
From Camille, a 32-year-old fashion designer in New York
Q: Carol, I’m going to be married in October and I want to wear this fabulous dress that I designed. The trouble is it really doesn’t work on my body as it is now. I know I should work out really hard and get in great shape for my wedding, but I work full-time and with all the wedding plans it’s hard to fit that much exercise into my daily routine. What can I do?
A: Camille, if wearing that particular dress is the most important thing to you then I would hire someone to handle the wedding details and go work out. However, if you are enjoying doing all the wedding plans and don’t really want to push yourself that hard, then why not design a different dress that will work with your body and also be absolutely fabulous.
I know you have a fantasy about how you want to look on your wedding day. And I’m wondering if you would be willing to create a new vision. A day of joy and fun, love and laughter. It’s a celebration and one of the most important things is to be comfortable with what you’re wearing and look fabulous in it – for your body type.
First, accept that you are a fabulous woman. That the man you are marrying loves you for exactly who you are. Embrace that you are a goddess and you are more than your body. Then let your creativity flow. If you get stumped, go work with another designer.
You will be beautiful and radiant on your wedding day. Be comfortable too. Let your energy shine through. From the perspective of the goddess, what is the perfect dress for you?
Camille, have fun and send pictures.
One of the best things we can do as women is to see ourselves as the beautiful, feminine, sensual beings that we are.
And one of the best ways I know to do that is to have “fine art” photos taken. I work with one of the most gifted photographers in the world – Starla. She makes you feel safe and helps you radiate your beauty and essence. Her fine art / self-esteem photography captures your beautiful shape on film so you can see what others see. She started doing this when she realized her friends needed help with their self-esteem. She is one of the great gifts to women. And to men, who are thankful the women in their lives can finally see what they see.
Starla Fortunato is my incredible photographer. An amazing gift in my life. She took the pictures you see on my website.
Starla’s website is: http://www.starsimages.com
If flying to Los Angeles isn’t an option, why not get some friends together and see if she’ll fly to you. If that isn’t an option, hire someone locally. Spend time interviewing them, check out their portfolio and see if you feel safe with them. And seeing your beauty, seeing what everyone else sees, will take you down the path of appreciating your body, not criticizing it. Nothing like visual confirmation.
If you’re having trouble accepting your physical beauty get some fine art photos to show you the truth. Let your mind see your beauty and your heart experience it. You’ll be free of the self-criticism. Then put on your favorite outfit and go play!
I teach people to overcome the obstacles that keep them stuck yet longing for romantic relationships, more self-confidence and inspiration to accomplish their dreams.
We sometimes forget what it feels like to live from our hearts and souls. We forget the thrill of taking the brakes off and flying. Life is dull if we just live from our minds.
Are you - or someone you know - settling, for less than exciting, either in relationships or a career?
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Certified Life Coach
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