Thursday, August 14

No Thigh Gap Necessary... Part 2

this is me mid sentence while pulling hair out of my mouth, not gawking at someone, promise. :)
(for the sake of complete exposure, here are some of the pictures that didn't make my last blog post cause I thought they were too ugly.)

In my last post I opened up and revealed the things I didn't like about my body, and then as I started getting comments from my readers on instagram, facebook, texts, in person, and on the blog. I realized that we ALL have things we don't like about ourselves. Even those crazy beautiful people that we have been comparing ourselves too. I knew this before, but it was just such an overwhelming response that I figured i'd talk a bit about it.

I'm a hairdresser, as I start the consultation section of the appointment I ask my clients: "What's one thing you love about your hair, and one thing you wish you could change?" Almost every time the answer is "I can tell you 10 things I hate about my hair, but... hmmm... what do I love?? Let me get back to you on that." Or something along those lines. Well, I feel like that is the exact same way that we feel about our bodies. We can list tons and tons of things that we wish were different about our bodies, but it's so infrequent that we think about things we love about them, so it's hard to know what to say.

Think about it. The salon is just one place where people go to get what they don't naturally have. That's how I make my living, from people coming to me wishing for something different. I give perms to people who have straight hair, and brazilian blow outs to those with curly hair, I put extensions in those with thin short hair, and cut off and thin out those with long thick hair, I dye blonde girls brunette, and bleach brunettes to be blonde, I color unwanted grays, and wax unwanted hair.

But the thing is, it's not always a bad thing. Most of the time I help women embrace the natural texture of their hair by giving them a cut that helps it lay in a more manageable way. Most of the time I give them those sun kissed highlights that they usually get in the summer, but it's winter and they are wanting a little sprucing up. Most of the time I just do trims in order to help their hair stay healthy. Most of the time I am trying to help them truly embrace the most beautiful parts about themselves, and finding ways to emphasize those instead of changing them entirely. Or, in some cases, just giving them a beautiful blow-out to show them what their hair can already do if they just take the time.

So, i'm gonna bash the excuses in my head like "well if I tell them that I love this part of my body everyone will think that I am just trying to brag about myself and think i'm self-centered" and "what if it's something I like, but they don't like? Or even worse, what if I say that I like something about my body, but they think it's hideous?" and instead i'm just gonna just say it.

-I like my height. Being short just fits my personality.
-I like the color of my hair, not because I want my hair to be that color, but because it is easy to change. It's right in-between blonde and brown and so when the time comes for me to bleach it, it lifts easily and fast, and when I want to be brunette the re-growth isn't terrible. Also, i'm so grateful that i'm not going gray yet.
-I like the color, and size of my eyes. I have big blue eyes that aren't squinty in pictures when I smile, and they brighten up my entire face.
-Even though I think my lips are crooked and soak up way too much chapstick because of their size, they are my most complimented feature, so they have to appear on my list of "likes" because it's always nice to be complimented.
-I like my long fingernail beds, weirdest "like" ever. But... when I was in hairschool and we were working on our nail technician section, everyone wanted to do my nails cause I don't get overgrown cuticles, and my nail beds are skinny and long. I was even told I could be a hand model if my pointer finger wasn't so crooked. ;)

I'm not going to lie, that list was hard. It was seriously difficult to come up with a list of things I liked about my body. But... i'm not done yet. There's one more thing I want to try. In my last post I listed out things I didn't like about myself, but... deep down I know that I have to like them because they are a part of me, and because i'm lucky that they at least do their proper functions, even though they might not look great while performing those functions. So, let me just say...

I complained about my thighs, those same thighs that don't have a gap between them, but have never failed me in getting me from point a to point b. I complained about my crooked fingers, those same fingers that are currently typing on this blog, the ones that help me share myself with others. I complained about my thin hair, that never grows. But on the positive side it takes a total of 10 minutes for it to dry without a blow dryer. That's just awesome, trust me, from all the thousands of blow outs I've done. I know. And, I only have to get a haircut every 6 months. Woot woot! I complained about my big feet, and hideous toes, but I've learned that the size 7.5 shoe is very common (usually it is on women who are much taller than me, but common nonetheless) so it's easy for me to share shoes with friends. And who really cares about toes anyway? They're always ugly. ;) I complained about my rib-cage being too big and broad, but I've learned that it's great for storing my organs when a baby decides to take up 90% of the room in there. Thank goodness for my spacious rib-cages that let me continue to sleep through the night without needing to wake up to go pee in those final stages of pregnancy. I complained about my hips that don't give me any curves, but those hips attracted the best husband ever, so I'd call that a win. I complained about my arms looking like sausages in the right (or wrong) shirts, but who likes to wear tight long sleeve shirts anyway? Good riddance from my closet! I complained about my freckles and how sometimes they look like acne or acne scars, but they also hide what few acne bumps and acne scars I have very well. I complained about my belly, and the excess fat that loves to live there. But, that belly made Bayli, and will make my future children, and I know from friends and family who couldn't have their own kids, that a little, or a lot, of excess fat is nothing in comparison to being able to see my own face in the reflection of my daughter, knowing that she is mine.

so... I challenge you, just start with the small things like answering these two questions for me in the comments below. what's one thing you love about your body, and one thing you wish you could change? and then, tell me one great thing that unwanted part of your body still does for you? I promise that you will feel a sense of relief once you admit it, and I promise you will think more highly of yourself once you realize that even those terrible unwanted things about yourself still do amazing things.

Food for thought: "Be who you are, and say what you feel, because those who mind, don't matter. And those who matter, don't mind." -Dr. Seuss


  1. Seriously I've loved these. I'm so hard on myself for both physical and emotional flaws that I 'feel' I have, while simultaneously being quick to notice all of the good and pretty characteristics others possess. I really need to work on seeing the same beauty in myself and cutting myself the same slack I do with others. I am definitely my own worst critic.

  2. Hmmm. One thing I love about my body is.... My collar bone. Sounds weird, but it makes me look skinny along my chest and shoulders and draws attention up to my face. One thing I wish I could change is how wide and low set on my legs my knees are. That also sounds weird, but I'm too self conscious to wear shorts and skirts/dresses that cut off at the knee because my legs look stubby (which doesn't help my height of 5 feet even at all!) instead of being long and skinny and bony! HOWEVER. Those knees help me live, literally. Do everything I want day to day because I can walk. They help me enjoy my favorite sport- tennis. They help me kneel down on them in prayer, which is really how I get through my days. Thanks for this follow up post Valeri. I really enjoyed it. You help me grow spiritually through your example constantly. You are wise beyond your mortal years, for sure!

  3. For me it's my legs. I have a love hate relationship with them. I have a wide hips my legs are curvy and I have big thighs. I also have a lot of muscle in my legs. I remember complaining about them one day to my husband and I was shocked to find out that they were the one of the things that first attracted him to me. It seems like I always find something I don't like about myself, but my husband always compliments me on all of these flaws. I like every woman looking for man of the mirror and find things wrong with me but I remember someone telling me that we are our worst critic and that's so true. Women are God's most beautiful creation. But we view each other as competition when we should be lifting each other up. I love this because it brings us together. Thank you for sharing your story!!

  4. Love both of your posts girl!! Thanks for being such a good example :)

  5. Yes. :)

    God bless you and best wishes!

    90s', from the other post