I love my body.
When I say this, I frequently hear lots of clapping and even cheers. I give talks across the country about my personal recovery from an eating disorder, and people in the audience are often fed up (no pun intended) with assaults against women’s bodies. It is not often that we actually hear someone say, “I love my body.”
Samantha Brick recently attempted such a thing and did not receive applause for it. Of course, her self-proclamation of being beautiful was tagged with her belief that women hate her for it. I don’t think women hate me because I love my body.
Like Samantha, I do think I’m beautiful. I also know that women don’t hate me for that. In fact, I am told that they respect me for it. But I would argue that Samantha and I have different definitions of beauty.
When I say “beautiful,” I don’t mean society’s picture-perfect face and body. I mean beautifully strong, healthy, and happy. In fact, after getting a massage a couple of weeks ago, my masseuse enthusiastically reported, “Your body is very happy!”
My body is happy even though I have cellulite on my legs and still get frequent pimples on my chin. It is happy despite the fact that I will never have chiseled calves or rock hard abs. My personal definition of beauty no longer includes these things. After being tortured for years by an incessant voice in my head saying, “You aren’t good enough,” I finally stopped listening.