My good friend HM Anderson, one of the most self confident and happy people I know, shared on Facebook her secret to loving yourself and your body. With her permission I am honored to share her advice here:
Sometimes people wonder how I am what I am. HM, how do you, at 250 pounds and 41 years old, manage to think you are just about the cutest thing in the world. Well here are my SIX STEPS TO LOVING YOUR BODY!
1) Mind your health. Or don’t. Eat healthy. Or don’t. Exercise. Or don’t. Believe it or not, you can love your body no matter what you eat or how much you exercise. Do not turn your food and exercise into a moral issue. It is not. It is a practical issue.
2) Understand that no one else cares about your body as much as you do. If you are meh about your body, chances are most people will be meh about your body as well, but less meh than you. If you love your body, chances are other people will love your body as well, but again not as much as you. People are generally self-absorbed. And that is ok.
3) Seek out images of people with similar body types on the internet. Look at all kinds of images – clothing ads, fashion blogs, and porn sites. Note how the bodies look in different clothes and different poses, and what you like and don’t like about the images. There is power in seeing the beauty in other bodies like yours. It takes away your feelings of “I don’t deserve to feel good about my body.” Especially seek out images that focus on parts of yourself you struggle with. Blitz yourself with these images that you choose, because you are being surrounded by hundreds of images you didn’t choose anyway.
4) Many people hate this part, but take selfies. Loads and loads of selfies. You can post them or not post them, but the point is to understand the power of your position, your clothing, your expression, the light, time of day, mood, and type of camera in terms of the image you create. If you will take about 500 selfies, I guarantee you will find an image of yourself that you love.
5) Understand that you do not exist as a flat image. No one thinks of you as an image, they think of you as a person. You are branded in someone’s memory by how you look, how you sound, how you smell, what you said, what you did, your profanity, your sense of humor, and many, many other traits.
6) Finally, and most importantly, do not fuck people who do not think you are gorgeous. Or are at least smart enough to TELL YOU that you are gorgeous. Fucking someone who says that you are not attractive is going to eat away at your soul, and you will have to start out all over again.