In a previous post, I alluded to a coversation Anne and I had about body image. I’ve been trying to figure out how to write about that conversation without coming off as crude, insensitive, or worse, telling you that you need external validation to feel good about yourself.
Basically, we decided that our only (or main?) measure for body image was …
Would someone sleep with me?
(OK, maybe we phrased it “Am I bangable?”)
Being married women, we could answer that question pretty easily.
But it begs the question, what if you’re not married/partnered/currently sleeping with anyone? I’m not saying you should go out to your local watering hole for the purposes of answering the question, “would someone have sex with me?” (Shows how long I’ve been out of the dating scene … there’s an app for that now. Many.)
I also don’t like the idea that you should get validation from someone else.
However, Caitlin at Fit and Feminist wrote a great post recently about moving away from the Cult of the Body. She put into very eloquent words how I feel about physical appearance. It’s all nice and good and fine to care about your appearance, but if that’s all you have to offer, or if that’s the most important thing you have to offer, well, that’s sad.
I try not to get too hung up on my looks because I know I have so much more to offer than a pretty face or a “hot” body or fitting into a certain size or hitting a certain number on the scale. For me, fitness and working out have been more about how it feels – the thrill of a run, the focus and determination to achieve a goal, the enjoyment of a dance class or trying some new physical activity. The fact that it’s healthy and has physical benefits is a great side effect.
But what really matters to me runs a little deeper. Am I happy? Is my husband happy? Does my family know I love them? Am I spending enough time with my awesome friends? Do I like my job? Am I giving back to the world in some beneficial way? Am I getting the most out of life?
So when it boils down to it, what is my appearance good for? Sure, other people might judge me on it, and I might be reaping some benefits from it. You could say I’m priviledged with a “normal” (perhaps attractive) appearance, so it’s easier for me to be all “looks aren’t important” when mine don’t hold me back. Whatever.
At the end of the day, what am I getting from my looks that I like?
Well, to be frank, sex. It’s pretty fun, yes? And physical attraction plays a pretty big role in getting someone to bang you.
So, this brings us back to am I bangable? Yes? Then my appearance serves the one purpose it can that I care about.
Besides, beyond that, no one else notices my little body hang-ups … because they’re too busy being distacted by their own insecurities.
So as long as my looks fulfill the one need I have for them, I’m going to focus my energy on stuff that makes me feel good and gives me actual worth.
And once in awhile, take fun pin-ups pictures without scrutinizing my flaws.
For the record, this is my highest weight.
This is also one of my husband’s favorite pictures of me.
Portruding hip bones? Painful. Not bangable. That kind of outward appearance would work against me.