Body Pride

I have been tall and slim.

I have been dumpy and short. (The first stages of a twin pregnancy is not known for its svelte-ness. But something wonderful was cooking in me and that made me gorgeous.)

Recently a friend of mine visited the Fashion Boudoir Project in Seattle – a few sexy pics appeared on her Facebook stream. I wondered if I could do it – bare all or some?

Mom and I once went to a topless beach in Hawaii once. No biggie. (I did feel free.)

On Beauty

The most beautiful women I know have some beautiful physical unique style – my Great Aunt Marie had a big nose – my friend DeB is completely bald. It’s what’s cooking inside — intelligence, humor, kindness, creativity — that make us beautiful.

In the car, the other day my friend said, “The positive thing about Kim Kardashian is that she brings body pride to women with large booties.” (I did not know this.)

And I recently saw this way-cool Tweet from Lorde — she posted a pic of herself without the photoshop. Yup, still beautiful. (Amazing young woman!)

(Lorde from her Twitter feed)

I stared a Pinterest board – “I Look Forward to Getting Old.” These women (and a few men) are uniquely beautiful.

One of my darlings saw my Pinterest pins and asked, “This is where you celebrate aging?”

Yup, that too!

Vanity or Confidence?

I can’t disengage my thoughts on loving myself — including my own body — from a feminist perspective. When a woman engages in positive feelings about her own body I think we eye her suspiciously.

I admit I’ve raised an arched eyebrow at a colleague who I saw applying make up at her desk. But a man who straightens his tie and kisses the mirror? I’m likely to applaud his self esteem. For men, we call it confidence. For women? vanity.

The other day a colleague ran into my office to grab a note pad. I noticed that she noticed my curling iron on the floor.

“I am taking appointments,” I said. “Need a blow out? or an Up do? I can give you an appointment 10 am.” We giggled. (This is my way — deflect my embarrassment with humor!)

I wanted to launch into a diatribe about how I can barely get my teeth brushed in the mornig before launching my kids and myself out the door. Of course I curl my hair at my desk! But I resisted. I’m grateful I can get my teeth brushed at home and then have time first thing at work to brush my hair.

The curling iron is a symbol of how my self care (and grooming!) spills over into my work life (And when I check work emails from home on the weekend, that’s a symbol of how work life spills into my home life!)

I don’t have the answers, I’m just raising the questions.

I hope this Valentine’s Day, I do feel good about myself and my body. I hope that I can curl my hair at home before I get to work. (And since I’m not shampooing every day, I do need a lift!)

Oh, better yet, just lump it. Go into the morning meeting with straight hair, but first — kiss the mirror, straighten the tie and call it confidence.

me in the mirror

So, on this year’s Valentine’s Day, join me as I cultivate self-love (and not self loath!).

Send yourself flowers, chocolates. Or hold your own hand and take yourself out for a candlelight dinner. Whisper sweet nothings in your ear. Take a picture of yourself in the mirror. Then kiss your reflection. The mirror might feel a little cold, but dig the lipstick mark that you leave behind.