My experience with cultivating positive body image may seem a bit backwards. I know many women who feel like they’ve only ever been valued for their looks, feel like so few people care about their life philosophies, goals, personalities, senses of humor. I felt like plenty of folks respected my inner self but no one saw or valued my beauty, my body, my physical self. And I felt that way for YEARS until I figured out that scads of people saw and valued my beauty, my body, my physical self. It was me. I was the one who couldn’t acknowledge what was good and sexy and amazing and gorgeous about my own body.
I already had the inside figured out, now I needed to work on the outside.
And since I’d already spent what felt like eons trying to change my body’s shape, size, and form, I started tinkering around with how I presented it to the world instead. I began to dress with care and creativity, shirk certain trends and seek garments that worked with my specific figure. As I learned about style and how it overlapped with my tastes and my body, I began to feel more confident. I began to BE more confident. I began to see and value my beauty, my body, my physical self.
It wasn’t until I had made some serious headway in the body image department that I began to feel everything merging in an organic, marvelously inevitable way. I’d loved my inner self for ages, but loving my outer self helped me to accept my whole self.
I cultivated positive body image from the outside in. I didn’t plan it that way, I don’t think it’d work for everyone, and, again, I can see how it might seem a bit backwards. But I’m kind of amazed by how successful my unorthodox methods have been.
Do you feel like you own journey toward improved body image will be from the outside in? Inside out? Some hybrid? Or are you approaching your own questions of self-love from an entirely different perspective?