So the other night I was lucky enough to have a front row seat at the Bare Naked Ladies concert at the big Fresno Fair. They were truly fantastic and my husband even caught an autographed drumstick (the kind you use with drums, not the kind you eat from a Chinese chicken)! However, that is not the point.
The point is that I was very pleasantly surprised by their opening act, a singer named Caitlin Crosby. What impressed me was not so much her music (although I enjoyed it) but her message: Love your flaws.
At first, my eyebrows were raised and my eyes rolling. I thought, who is this cute little blond chick to be telling me to love my flaws? Has she even looked at herself lately? It’s all well and good to tell people to love themselves the way they are but when you’re giving that message from a place of perfection, how am I supposed to take you seriously?
What won me over was her genuine passion about the issue of body image, especially for females. And even thought she may have looked perfect to me, I’m sure she has things about her body that bother her. She’s chosen to take those things and love them anyway, and her authenticity really shines through in her lyrics and her words.
Caitlin and her friend Brie Larson have created a website, Love Your Flawz, that attempts to “re-brainwash” us into loving our bodies despite what the media tells us about perfection. It’s a great start, and I hope to see it develop and spread.
I’ve certainly been inspired to share my thoughts on the topic, although limiting it to one post may prove quite the challenge.
The first time I remember being aware of my body as good or bad and not just “that thing that gets me around” was in second grade. I don’t know how it came up but my friends (all girls, of course) and I decided to disclose how much we weighed. I had never been made to feel overweight, and even though I wasn’t, knowing I was heavier than others changed my self-perception forever.
I have almost always been a normal weight. My dedication to health and fitness has kept me relatively slim. The most my weight has ever swung is 10-15 pounds. So why the struggle?
I struggle to love myself as I am while striving to be the best version of myself I can be. I struggle to stay a certain weight while not beating myself up when I can’t. I struggle to live free of what the media tells me is beautiful without giving up t.v. or magazines or crawling under a rock.
What it comes down to is realizing what my attainable personal best is and what the desire for impossible perfection is.
I do have a happy weight. Really. It’s not very far from where I am now, but sometimes it seems impossible to achieve. Sometimes I think I should just let myself be “good enough.”
But I know this goal weight/body shape is the result of a happy, healthy lifestyle and that it is not unreasonable.
Are those few extra pounds really that noticeable to anyone but me? No. Are they damaging my health? No. So why is it so important to get rid of them?
Because they are a reflection of letting my good habits slip. They are a warning sign to get back on the health track before I forget what being truly healthy feels like.
I will never be rid of cellulite, and I am actually okay with that. I’ve come to understand that it’s just the way my fat cells are structured. Oh, well!
I can’t grow two inches. My height is average but I’ve almost always felt just right.
My bra size is pretty average, but hey, my breasts are healthy and “all you need is a handful!”
I’ve never been a huge fan of my nose (especially in profile) but I would never change it either. It’s part of who I am, and lucky for me most people are so busy looking at my eyes they never notice my nose.
Joining the Flaws Movement
I hereby join the movement to overhaul the way people (women especially) relate to their bodies. I know it must start with me, so here’s my pledge:
I will recognize beauty in all of it’s forms.
I will find at least one beautiful thing about each person I see.
I will not complain about my body to anyone.
I will focus more on what my body does for me than on how it looks.
I will remember that I am a role model for my sisters, friends and future children and I will pretend that they can hear everything I say about my body, spoken or unspoken.
And you? What flaws do you love? What is your pledge? How will you partake in this revolution? Have your cellulite call my cellulite . . .