April 9, 2010

Appreciate Your Own Architecture

Pears, triangles, hourglasses…we give our body shapes such flattering names. They bring to mind delicate fruit, the powerful Sphinx, and shapely timekeepers. Why then, are we so darn hard on ourselves? I loved the Dove commercials that feature women of various sizes, shapes, and ages. It's too bad other companies haven't picked up on this idea. We need it.

I see so much beauty in the women around me. Like the soap ad, they are a vast array of girls from different backgrounds and decades. They are fair, some toned, dark, and blond. My dearest friend towers over me in height, and is a strong, robust woman. To me, her eyes, her smile, and especially her laugh, makes her one of the most beautiful women I know.

You don't have to be thin to be beautiful. We tell each other this, but who buys into it when they look in the mirror? Examine the centuries of art we have today: artists played admiring tribute to the beauties of their ages. Those beauties did not all look like Victoria Secret's models.

I know what it's like to be a skinny girl. Through no effort of my own for most of my life, I've always been on the petite side, and never had to worry about watching what I ate until mid-life. (Oh, how that has changed!) What I do wish people understood, is that no one wants to hear how "tiny" they are. Or "How do you stay so small!" It's embarrassing. Unless they've worked out and earned it, thin people can be just as self-conscious about their figures as those who have more body mass.

The cold hard truth many people don't get, is being thin doesn't mean someone is healthy. If someone is not eating, they aren't getting the nutrition they need. Thin people suffer from common ailments such as stomach problems, ulcers, depression, fatigue, back pain…some of the thinnest people you know may be some of the unhealthiest. I speak from experience. At the happiest and healthiest times in my life, I have been several sizes out of my skinny pants.

Now I'm not advocating being medically overweight, but I wish to impress upon you, that appreciating your body for what it is, admiring the curves and dimples, freckles, and sunspots, is a compliment to the very Force that made you. You are a work of art. Like the Sistine Chapel, you were planned, framed and filled out, created to take your place in this world and make it a better place.

Don't seek substitute processed images in the mirror. See yourself for who you really are: the woman with the skin that glows, the arms that embrace everyone they meet, the pretty painted toenails, hair that is a beautiful silver, not gray--the small perky breasts, sparkling eyes, the quirky incisor that overlaps a front tooth…Your spirit brings your Cathedral to life. It doesn't matter to anyone who loves you, how you compare to the computer-manipulated supermodels in the magazines. Why should you love yourself any less?

Appreciate your own architecture. Like Mona Lisa, you are an original.

1 comment:

Anne Patrick said...

What a beautiful post, Danielle! Thank you for reminding us that true beautiful lies within.