It comes up in my life all the time, and it may be something you're familiar with as well. It's when I compliment a female friend on either a photo of them or how they're looking today, such as their hair or their outfit, and they deflect that compliment. I see it on social media when someone puts up a photo which gets a compliment and their response is "No, I'm looking old/ fat / having a bad hair day" and they find some way to turn down that compliment.
It's not our fault - we're all conditioned when we see magazines with certain body types on the cover, Hollywood movies and TV shows with certain types of females and female bodies that are deemed acceptable by the media. I do think this is improving, but for those of us who are around my age we've had a long lifetime where this has been the case.
When we're feeling unhappy with our bodies, or we wish there was one thing we could change to look a certain way, it really comes down to the fact that we've been given the wrong paradigm for viewing our bodies.
We always seem to think a body needs to achieve a certain type of appearance. When you think about we are seeing our body as an ornament that needs to look a certain way. But our body is NOT an ornament. It's not here to look a certain way. It is the vessel through which we live. The function of our legs is not to be slender and a certain length and to look a certain way in short shorts. The function of our legs is that we can walk and run and get to where we need to be. The function of a torso is not to give us an hourglass figure. The function of our torso is to contain all the vital organs that keep us alive.
Our body is the vessel through which we look at nature, look at a beautiful artwork, and smell that divine food that someone's cooking for us or our coffee in the morning.
Our body is the arms and torso that we throw around someone in a hug when we love them. That's what our body's for - it is to experience life through our senses.
And our body is the vessel through which we live out our dreams. When we have a dream to go to a certain country, or to write a book, or to achieve something in our career, or whatever the case may be it's our body that fulfils that dream for us.
It's our brain and our hand and our eyes that write the book. It's our mind that works out how to book a plane ticket and it's our body that boards that plane to go to the country we wish to visit.
So our body is a vessel through which we experience our dreams - we fulfil our dreams and experience life. It is not an ornament. And it's only by shifting that perception of ourselves that we can start to see our body in a better way.
We feel that our confidence in our body and our positive feelings towards our body relies on us looking for our "good" features. We're still using the paradigm about our body being an ornament and we can never win that game. And the media don't want us to win it, they want us buying expensive products and going on diets that don't work. It keeps us spending money, it keeps us controlled by them.
But we can think for ourselves and see our body in a whole new light. Not as "good enough" because "even though my hair is frizzy at least I like the colour of it". It's not about that at all. It's about loving that our body is doing it's best to fulfil the goals that we set it.
We're upgrading from the idea that our body is an ornament that needs to look a certain way and having good points and bad points that are all visual. To view your body as a vessel that's for experiencing life. And you can still have fun! Getting your hair and make-up done or buying an outfit that you love. But see it as a CELEBRATION of your body not trying to make your body enough.
For some people I hope you already view your body in this way, and for others I hope that you're open to seeing your body in a new light. In a way that you can enjoy your body and celebrate it rather than always wishing it was a little bit different. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments, or women I'd love you to jump into my Facebook group Sisters With Heart and share your thoughts there.