From a Place of Love

body image

What if we viewed our bodies as allies instead of adversaries?

What if we didn’t wait until we’d hit bottom, but instead crafted our routines of self-care when we ALREADY felt great about ourselves?

What if we embraced positive body talk and promoted its use?

What if we doled out compliments to women we’d never met, and learned to accept the ones we received with grace and pride?

What if we accepted that actresses and models are paid to be slender and gorgeous, and didn’t make their looks the standard?

What if we decided that, fuck it, there ARE no standards of beauty?

What if we remembered that jiggly thighs still allow us to walk, that frizzy hair has its charms, that healthy, lump-free boobs of any size are gorgeous and sexy, that our “imperfect” bodies are miracles heaped on top of more miracles?

What if we saw our body-quirks as the things that define us, tenderly, specifically, and elegantly?

What if our thoughts and actions came from a place of love instead of a place of fear? Would our own precious bodies know and rejoice?

Let’s find out.

Image courtesy Andrea de Santis via Pinterest

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  • Lady Melbourne

    You know I told a gal the other day that she had beautiful skin and she looked shocked. She actually didn’t know what to say or how to accept the compliment.
    I’m going to take your sensibilities and keep trying.
    LM
    x

  • Christina Lee

    That’s a tall order- but a good one nontheless!

  • a brown-eyed grrl

    I think this is one of the reasons that I like outdoorsy sports or activities that use both mind and body (yoga, martial arts, etc.). I feel like it connects me to my body and the awesome things my body is able to do.

    Every now and then I still wish my boobs were smaller, but other than that, I do love my body (and sometimes I even love the boobs, when they aren’t getting in my way!). It took me awhile to get here, though. Even when I hit my goal weight (I gained 20 lbs in college), it still took me awhile to realize it was enough and I was enough. I remember looking at the cover of Women’s Health and telling my husband that I wanted abs like hers…not manly, just toned. He said, “You DO have that.” I also kept trying on clothes two sizes too big for months. I couldn’t see what everyone else saw…it’s like I’d done the physical work, but had yet to work through the emotional stuff.

  • Magatha-May

    Here Here and well said!

  • Zuzuli

    It is super hard for me to receive a compliment…I don’t know why but I have learned to be gracious because the giver of the kind words really wants me to hear them. Adversely, I give random compliments to strangers all the time! Their smile makes my day – almost as much as I may have made theirs.

  • casey

    Bravo, Sal!!! I think the aspect of doling out compliments is especially a good one; I honestly love telling other gals how fantastic they look, and should do it more often. 🙂

  • Clare

    A-MEN!

    Sal, you are one amazing lady! I love reading your posts every morning…I’m always inspired.

  • mbahawk

    What if baldness was just as ok as frizziness? Could be a great way to say”fuck it, there ARE no standards of beauty!”

  • Kira Fashion

    I think that what we see in mags, most of the time, is not real…

  • Gillian

    What I coincidence. This morning I got up to look in the mirror, looked at my thighs and for the first time, saw them the way other people see them. ie. little, not big. Now I’m wondering why I’ve been such an idiot. Here’s to trying to conquer body image issues at 19!

  • chic

    Sal, I think I love you! – A

  • LENORENEVERMORE

    Fantastic & thoughtful post Sal,I like the concept of 'body-quirks'…yes, concept for now! XO*

  • Ella

    I try to make it a practice of verbally acknowledging the flyness of women but it’s amazing how many women don’t know how to accept a compliment. Ninety-percent of the time they respond with a self-deprecating comment or one of disbelief. (i.e. “No my skin isn’t gorgeous” or “you should see me in the morning” or “really it’s my lil boobs that make my arms looked tones”) random i know but i think I’ve heard it all.

  • lisa

    Inspiring as always, Sal! I’m not good with accepting compliments either…I think I’m going to start working on smiling beatifically and saying a simple “Thank you!” rather than automatically flying into self-deprecation mode.

  • AsianCajuns

    Sooo inpsiring as usual, Sal! I was having a down jiggly thigh moment last night and this morning – your blog is always the perfect cure!

  • The Budget Babe

    Sal, I had a moment of body shame last night and thought of you! haha, aren’t you proud? I was bra shopping online and um, burst into tears as I contemplated my size. then the bf comforted me, and i tried to muster up some strength, Already Pretty-style, and embrace my girls as they are. its funny how sometimes you think you’re over something when you’re not really? that little residual stuff. oh well, i feel better today and always feel better after reading your blog 🙂

  • seriouslyright?

    cheers to that! I’m bedridden but I’m feeling good about myself haha :0)

  • missKaren

    I love you even more for this. After two years of anorexia in my late teens and years spent toward mental healing, I’ve realized that it’s how I treat my body and mind that defines how good I feel about it.

    Now I love it for what amazing things it can do (thanks in part to Discovery Health specials). I find joy in my accomplishments, I find confidence through my abilities, I love living simply for living’s sake.

    Ironically, I’m in advertising and much of my days are spent picking through pictures of models. I not only understand social pressures, I feed the beast.

  • dapper kid

    AMEN!! Haha, I always compliment strangers on the train or tube about their style, and if they have nice features. They either blush or say ‘thank you’ in a rather puzzled way, I love it lol. And I always have to remind my friends, that *that* celebrity whose body they want has a fully paid for team of experts to help her achieve it! It’s their job to look good, otherwise they would be a broke nobody.

  • elena-lu

    i do try to see beauty and compliment others because i want to spread some love and joy around but as lady melbourne said i dont always get a thank you –its more of a “what are you REALLY saying?” kind of response! as if im up to something! i used to be bad about accepting kind words but now i just say thank you and dont analyze it! it hard though i mean how many years of perfection have we had shoved down our throats from movies magazine even our friends and family? its hard to turn it around but it is possible!!

  • Winnie

    Yes! We should all give this a go.

  • we wear things

    haha i wish it were so easy.. it’s so hard not to be selfconscious

  • Jen

    Yes, yes, yes! This is what women should be focusing on.

    Every day, on my way to work, I keep my eyes open for any woman that looks good, for any reason, and compliment her. Sometimes they’re shocked, sometimes they’re pleased, sometimes they compliment back…but it’s always worth it.

    And as someone whose mother had a bilateral mastectomy due to breast cancer, I can attest that having any type of breasts is preferable to losing one’s breasts.

    Jennifer Nicole
    http://awakenedaesthetic.com
    (I don’t use that Google account!)

  • Sara

    Yet another great post! Great job Sal! As a mother of 2 young girls, I think it’s especially important to teach them to love themselves as much as possible while they’re still young. I think for me, I find myself more self conscious around other women than men. I think that women are harder on eachother sometimes and it really shouldn’t be like that. Life is hard enough as it is…we should empower one another rather than put eachother down. 🙂

  • rubybastille

    Cheers!

  • Alexandra

    Sal, as a long-time lurker of Already Pretty, I really need to finally take the time to let you know how much I love reading your blog. It seems as though just when I’m feeling kind of down on my body shape, you come out with a post like this one, and once again, I am happy and confident in my own skin. Fantastic fashion and heartfelt inspiration? What more can a girl ask for? 🙂

  • Sal

    Alexandra: Kitten, you made my day. SO glad to hear that you can get a boost from reading my stuffs.

  • amber

    oh i loved this! especially at a time like this…looking and feeling frumpy. thanks for the pick me up!

  • Cedar

    I volunteer at a hospital, in the physical therapy department, and I think this act, more than any other so-called “empowering” thing I’ve attempted throughout the years, has dramatically altered the way I view my body–it IS my partner, not my adversary, and I am grateful, everyday, for all the things it does for me–allows me to walk, always me to lift, allows me to see, filters my blood, keeps me thinking, etc etc. And seeing patients who STILL appreciate their bodies despite what I see as a “failure” of the body (and a REAL failure, like kidney failure, not “Oh my thighs are so fat!”) is empowering as well. This volunteer work has helped inspire to both not sweat the small stuff, but reminded me how important it is to keep in shape and take care of myself (if you saw what the aftermath of open heart surgery was like, I bet you’d start watching your diet a little closer).

  • The Seeker

    I think this is very important and something we all should try.

    xoxo

  • Liz Powers

    I feel like I need to tack this to my mirror. I’m a medium-sized girl facing 30… and am always “trying” to lose 10 pounds. Yeah, it’s diet and exercise, but it’s also in the attitude. Great post. xo