My relationship with my body is quite a lucky one.
Mostly because I have never been taught to be ashamed of it for aesthetic reasons. Sure there were children when I was younger who would tease my red (or as everyone wants to remind me now ‘more strawberry blonde’) hair and freckles because they weren’t used to something different.
I am thankful that there was always a caring adult in the background to reassure me that when I was grown it would be something to covert. And lo & behold inked on freckles.
Now I never think twice about feeling confident in the way I look. I have no more pimples and know this is something I can control with my sugar intake and good hygiene. My skin is sometimes dry and not silky smooth like it’s apparently supposed to be, but that is tiny in the huge scheme of things so it’s not something I obsess over.
So why do I feel so bad when friends indulge in negative speak about their bodies? Why do I feel so vain and cocky admitting that I don’t really have any hang-ups? Why do I make up small things like my knees and my ankles, which don’t particularly make a difference to me?
Mostly because I can see the confusion in their eyes as they ask themselves why they can’t have a body as good as mine and how I can be so confident in a world that thrives on telling women they aren’t good enough.
And here’s the thing; if I was to sit and scrutinize my body I’m sure I could come up with a list just as exhaustive as theirs but that would not serve anyone, least of all me.
So what’s so wrong about choosing to love my own body and taking compliments as they come?
Listening to Lena Dunham’s podcast on the body this past week she asks every interviewee, “Are you your hair?” And the answer for me is a big fat yes. My hair is probably the thing I’m most proud of. I am proud of the color, I’m proud of the way it looks nice and wavy without me having to do much, I love that it is often the first thing people notice about me and I am constantly worried about losing the vibrancy, even though the logical side of me knows this is inevitable.
So does this make me vain? Probably, I definitely don’t think I would cope very well if it all fell off. And I hope I don’t have to deal with that any time in the future.
But I also don’t think there should be anything wrong with loving a part of yourself that makes you feel confident and in control. The way I see it anyone who makes you feel bad for having too much confidence in the follicles that come out of your scalp needs to re-evaluate why that threatens them. Because everyone should be made to believe they are beautiful because I guarantee you are.