This woman's story rocks. It's bold. It's honest. Many will likely relate. As an added piece of awesome to this story, listen to the song (Dancing With Myself by Billy Idol) she danced to during her photos as you read:
My entire life, I've been comfortable in my own skin. In school--as girls around me listened to the media, saw the magazines, and had their own internal and external battles--I could never relate to them. Sure, there were times when I changed my clothes because I didn't like how my body looked in something. I've looked in the mirror and recognized my breasts were saggy. I've worn spanx. The truth is, it just never got me down. I was able to easily brush off anything that was less than perfect and never dedicate much sentiment to it.
I think I owe this to my mom. She's demonstrated comfort with her body for as long as I can remember. She would walk around the house naked after showering. I'm sure she could list off several things she disliked about her body, but it never stopped her from owning it. She was imperfect but open. She let herself be natural and led by example for her three girls.
The only guilt I've ever felt about my body was when my friends were struggling with self-acceptance and I could not help them. Encouraging words came off as arrogant. I found myself pretending to dislike my body and make self-depreciating statements, just to fit in.
Project, I found myself manufacturing insecurities again, in order to fit inside the box. I thought about writing affirmation "xyz" on some body part that has made me change clothes in the past, all to remotely connect to a group of women and a project with a mission I adore. I'm sharing my truthful experience instead because I realized, just like there is no cookie cutter version of what women should look like, there is no cookie cutter way women should feel. Not all "pretty" women are confident and not all imperfect women are self-conscious.
I'm honored to be part of this group of women who are exposing themselves, physically and emotionally, and trust that my honest experience will be accepted. I will not be an outsider because I am comfortable on the inside.
It's certainly time to stop being self-conscious about being confident. Let the quote on the back of The Body Project t-shirt forever remind you, "You're allowed to fall in love with yourself. I promise." And seriously. If I had the chance, I really would ask the world to dance, completely natural, open, and free and hope that if that did ever happen, I'd be dancing, too. <3
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