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Favorite body parts

26 Jan
A windy morning in the hills
The thrifted scarf was such a find

What is your definition of beautiful?



Merriam-Webster states: The quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the sense or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.


A while back I read a thoughtful post on body image by Sal, from Already Pretty, which brought back to mind a topic of conversation I’d had this summer with some friends. When it comes to our personal assessment of beautiful it can be fleeting and subjective. How do we define our beauty? Is it spirit? Is it physical? Is it emotional? Can it be contained? It is likely to be all of those things and more.

I challenge each and every one of you to assess yourself; how are you defining your beauty? We are bombarded with how-to’s, tips, tricks, fixes and examples of ways to improve. One can’t improve upon something that does not exist; how can we define our beauty when there are so many messages reinforcing the ways with which we are falling short and require outside interference?

How are you using your eyes and mind to view yourself? Are they kind?

As I age I find myself navigating different phases of my body, mind and heart. Fascination has slowly replaced negative association. Nurturing has replaced self-deprecation. It has taken years to get here; it is not foolproof. We all have our days, after all. If we were to throw away every metric we use to judge physical beauty, would we still find the tonal changes of skin that come with age undesirable or would it just be different?

Different.

We strive to be unique and yet we want to belong. This is another example of an “either/or” scenario that clearly functions better as an “and”. After all, we’re just human. I checked in with some of my favorite humans not too long ago and asked them to share with me their favorite body parts. I asked that they not waste space in this post with humility, excuses or deflection; just name it.

I was impressed with the amount of attributes each person shared. We all inherently like certain, if not many, things about our bodies yet we’ve been conditioned to focus on the negatives. There’s a misconception out there that liking and appreciating ourselves is the great evil that is vanity. Here’s a sampling of what I heard, starting with my own.

“My butt. There, I said it. The shelf. It’s round! I like my skin, especially as it changes. I like the color and I have inverted freckles now, there’s a pattern of three on my right arm that always makes me think of dominos. I like my eyes and my smile. When I smile I feel more attractive. I get freckles and age spots on my face that one of my friends said looked like a heart shape. I like that! I love my legs, they’re really strong. I like my stomach area, too. And my hair. It’s naturally unruly but behaves really well with a little love” – Fabienne

“My moles. A lucky-placed one left and above my lip, a-la Marilyn, and three that form a triangle above my heart. My face. I use it all the time! It’s so expressive & zany ^,.^ The skin on my back and arms.  I’ve been told it’s soft, and therefore I get pet a lot by my friends and loved ones :)- Telene

“When it comes to describing just one particular body part that I like the most about me, I struggle to name one. Instead a number of body lines converging together come to my mind: especially the rear view of my arms, shoulders, hips and buns that melt together into my waistline. And as I’m writing this paragraph, I go through a list of my body parts again: hips, shoulders, arms, small of my back, my belly, etc. and  I’m realizing that, as a result of your survey, I’m getting closer to that ONE thing. So, I have to say that my waistline is my favorite body part because it is the place where my curvy hip and bun lines narrow down to a “deep valley” and then widen up again towards my shoulders and arms creating flowing curves of my female body. Now, put all that in motion with a sound of music and imagine it dancing!” – Barbie

“The obvious are my breasts. (Yes, I like them too) and my face, skin, eyes and hair.  I like my body shape as well although I tend to be critical about extra weight.  I like my hands and my fingers, feet and toes too. Wow. I didn’t realize I liked so much!” – Donna

“I like my hair, wrists, ankles and eyes. My hair (as you know) is wild and easy to wear. My wrists and ankles are actually fairly tiny and dainty. I need that since I’m fairly muscular (and round) and need the extra feminine touch. My eyes I’ve received compliments on over the years. Being almond shaped with brown into green (when exposed to the sun), they give me a little more of my Middle Eastern pizzazz-lol! Windows to my crazy soul!” – Ingrid


I have to admit I almost got teary-eyed reading my friends’ comments. I understand what a long road it was to get to this place of just liking who they were. I was surprised at my own list, I never thought it would contain so much. Did any of these comments resonate with you? Did any inspire you to see yourself differently? We’re never going to be completely above self-criticism but what if we changed the way we saw ourselves to be more realistic? What if we leveled our personal beauty playing field? 

Because you can dress it and undress and dress it back up again but you can’t detach yourself from your body. Why would we ever want to? The human body is an amazing organic machine. What are your favorite body parts? Make a mental or physical list and keep it handy. Refer to it every time you doubt yourself, any time you are comparing yourself to another. If you only make one resolution this year, change the way you see yourself before trying to change yourself.

There’s only one you: Fascinating, unique, one-of-a-kind beautiful you. I would love it if you shared with me and other readers what your favorite body parts are below. Say it loud and proud!

A special thanks to my girlfriends who made time in their busy schedules to participate. An additional thanks to Sal from Already Pretty for encouraging positive body image regularly. If you haven’t already checked out her site, I encourage you to do so.


Deets: Hot pink dress/H&M, scarf/thrifted, grey patterned tights/Hue, faux cowboy boots/ModCloth, silver belt/unknown, silver cuff and ring/Lois Hill, black gingko earrings/Braindrops.

 

 
 

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  1. Collette Osuna

    January 26, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Im really loving purple this season….your dress is so pretty..love how you styled it with those tights…really awesome look!!!

    Stop by and say Hello:)
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  2. Jodi

    January 26, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    1. LOVE the outfit on you.. pink is YOUR color
    2. your post on my blog DAMN cracked me up tonight.. thanks for the laugh
    3. good reminder to NEVER wear white tights/stretchies/nylony-thangs!!! EWWWW
    4. YOU changed your blog design???? LOOKS aWESome!!!
    5. ugh the bags under my eyes.. damn swim googles.. yeah, thats how I define my beauty, how big are the bags today.. .LOL

    love ya babes…(almost typed bags.. hah hah) dont mind me!! LOL

     
  3. angie

    January 27, 2011 at 8:25 am

    That's a very thoughtful inspiring post the kind we need to read again and again until we are brainwashed!Advertishments have done us wroooooong for years on end!!!Being young and slim and beautiful no matter what is not a way to live your life fully!
    BTW your tights collection is great and unusual!

     
  4. THE-LOUDMOUTH

    January 27, 2011 at 9:09 am

    I love your tights! The whole outfit is so unique. Very pretty.

    This is a great feature. I would've loved to see pictures of these women as well, but I feel that their descriptions were just enough to form them in my mind. :) My favorite part was when Donna said, "I didn't realize I liked so much!" We spend too much time focusing on the things we don't like.

    Me? I'm proud of my mouth. My lips, my teeth — they're my favorite. Secondly would be my womanly thighs. I've gotten compliments on my legs; even though they seem a little wide, I think it's a very feminine feature!

    The-Loudmouth.com
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  5. Yvonne

    January 27, 2011 at 9:43 am

    You're wearing my colors girl!! Love it! Those tights are awesome! I am working on building my collection of tights.
    Body parts, body image, beauty image. Hard for me to decide what I like best. I absolutely LOVE my hair – I will never cut it off. Ever. I'm very pleased with my forehead – it is line less and smooth. I really like my stomach too – nice and flat.
    But truth be told – I love me – all of me. Sure there are things I want to improve, but why shouldn't we strive to be the best possible. I still strive to improve my cooking, my job knowledge, my sewing, my knitting, my writing, my blog.
    I think if I were to stop trying to improve I would feel lost and without purpose. Sure, I have a fashion blog and I love clothes and makeup and shoes – but that is not the totality of me. It is just one piece of a larger puzzle. I believe a positive outer image comes from have a positive inner image and banishing negative self-talk.
    Obviously – your post gave pause for thought and introspection :) Well done!
    http://www.fashnlvr.blogspot.com

     
  6. Melissa

    January 27, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    What a WONDERFUL post. You and I most certainly ARE on the same wavelength and I can't wait to see what everyone says for their Fabulous In February positivity comments.

    This might be one of my fvorite posts. So very well written and insightful. Thank you for sharing this! You are beautiful!

     
  7. OutfitsTwinMummy

    January 27, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Thanks for your lovely comment on my post…..I just wanted to say I looooove your tights, I have bulging draw for my tights collection, I have a very similar pair to these that I have never worn…I have also just bought a floral pair because they are 'in' at the mo in the uk. I love the way you have styled your outfit. :)

     
  8. OutfitsTwinMummy

    January 27, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    OOPS, TYPO -meant drawer

     
  9. Emma at Daily Clothes Fix

    January 27, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Love your look – the dress is beautiful and the colour looks great on you. And a great post too.

    I think it's definitely true that you grow to accept and love yourself more as you get older. If only we could do that when we're younger too. But it is one of the benefits of growing up and accepting yourself for who you are and how awesome your body is (for what it does as well as how it looks).

     
  10. silvergirl

    January 27, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    great post and the dress is divine!
    Love the silver tie belt with it

     
  11. THE-LOUDMOUTH

    January 28, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Mentioned this entry in my new one :)

     
  12. Mackenzie

    January 28, 2011 at 4:47 am

    i love love this more than you know. those tights are EPIC! and with that pink dress? dang, girl. total bombshell.
    :)

     
  13. Laura Connell

    February 3, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I don't focus on the way my body looks as much as what it can do…so I love my legs because I'm a long-distance runner.

     
  14. Camillea

    February 4, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    I like my eyes and my heart – luckily they are both in the right place :)

     
  15. A

    February 5, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Sounds weird, but I like the small of my back. Karl Lagerfeld DOES say it's the sexiest part of a woman after all…
    x

     
  16. Jenarcissist @ the closet narcissist

    February 6, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Hey, I found your post through Medicinal Marzipan (she featured one of my recent posts in the same list), and I'm happy to see a coupla familiar faces in your comments! :) I've also been catching up on Already Pretty lately.

    I like my butt. One of my friends says I have the perfect butt, and I beam every time she says it. I used to think it was too big, but now I quite like it.

    I don't always love my legs. But I accept 'em as mine and am more than okay with 'em!

    Great post. :) And awesome boots, by the way!

     
  17. Dani- danielleislosingit

    February 6, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Loved the "change the way you see yourself before you change yourself" idea. I can't wait to come back to your blog:)

     
  18. Brianne

    February 9, 2011 at 7:01 am

    What an inspiring post :) Thank you so much for sharing. I was needing something like this just last night :)

    International Fashion

     
  19. beingelisabeth

    February 10, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    I love what you said: "Fascination has slowly replaced negative association." I am getting there, but it is slow-going! Lots of unlearning to do.

     
  20. Jackie

    February 10, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Loving this top! Great outfit. I like how you pulled everything together! Great blog!

     
  21. Joy

    February 24, 2011 at 4:41 am

    This is a great post! I often wonder, why does it take so many years for most of us to stop the self-criticism and start appreciating ourselves.

    We really do need (or at least most of us) need to be told to as you said — don’t “waste space in this post with humility, excuses or deflection; just name it.”

    This is a good exercise I’m going to try on a regular basis. Thank you!

    I’m lovin’ this pink dress — the whole ensemble is vibrant and beautiful! (Actually, your whole blog is!)

    :-)

    Joy
    Joy recently posted..Recipe for Happiness and the Courage to Love Ourselves

     
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    May 1, 2011 at 8:48 am

    [...] might enjoy a couple other posts I’ve written in the past which were also selected by IFB, Favorite body parts and Shine your light on [...]

     
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    February 13, 2014 at 4:24 am

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