Jo Boon explains why it’s okay –and not arrogant –to love your body.
I love my body. Am I being egotistical or body positive?
Like most people, I used to have issues with my appearance. I saw my nose, arse and feet as too large, my skin as too spotty, and my boobs as too small. Overtime, however, I have realized the nonsense in these insecurities. I have a great body, I like my figure and my features are my own. I am distinctive.
I don’t mean to imply that I expect others to find me attractive. Rather, I am proclaiming happiness with what I have. My nose is large, but it gives my face character. I love my arse and, despite what I used to think, it fits with the rest of my body. I do have spots, but I am human. My feet are a perfectly normal size. My boobs are small and perfectly proportioned, perky and never give me back pain (sorry to people who face this).
I am never going to be the most beautiful cis woman in the world, but my flaws make me interesting. It’s true to say that ‘looks don’t matter’ , but I do think it matters how you see yourself. The relationship you have with your own body is most important, since body dysmorphia is more common than people realise.
There are little ways to love your body. I have stopped constantly wearing tights to hide my pale legs. I have stopped always wearing foundation, despite my imperfect skin. I have stopped buying creams to try and change my body. I am not suggesting these are things everyone should want to do, but they have helped me.
I think this confidence can be drawn from multiple sources. There are not ‘good’ and ‘bad’ sources for confidence, but it is important that they are from within. I felt guilty for a while that my new love of my arse originated, to a certain extent, from male approval. That seemed like very poor feminism. However, that’s really just enforcing the gender binary. Through a relationship, I was able to see my body in a new way –their love contributed to my own. Now this confidence rests within me; I wouldn’t care if everyone said they hated my arse. I like it.
Despite all of my flaws, I am relatively privileged on the scale of what society values (being a pale, slender redhead). Sadly, society is still racist, sexist and ableist in its beauty standards.
When I say ‘I love my body’ I don’t mean I have the ‘right kind’ of body. Instead, I have learned to embrace what I have. Society may label your features as ‘flaws’, but show them they’re wrong. Love what you have and love others.
I hope that by loving my own body, I will contribute to showing others how beautiful theirs bodies are too.