22 May Body confidence is sexy!
My husband tells me I am the sexiest person in the world. I don’t always agree; and I doubt many others would agree with him. I am chubby, my boobs are uneven, and my eyes look weird when I smile. Yet I know he thinks I am the sexiest person in the world; and knowing that gives me body confidence – which he says makes me sexier.
I am telling you this because it seems many women lose body confidence when they become mothers. Body confidence is having a positive mindset and attitude about the body you have. It is like looking in the mirror and thinking “That’s my body: it may not be perfect, but it’s mine.” It can lead to positive body image, self worth, and self confidence.
Body confidence differs from body image in that body image is how you visualise yourself and encompasses your beliefs, assumptions, and feelings about that visualisation.
A body image is something you always have and can be positive or negative. Body confidence can come and go.
Lack of body-confidence is like standing in front of a mirror and saying “Yeah it’s my body but I don’t like it – let’s hide it!” This can lead to negative body image, lack of self worth, and depression. Negative body image has been associated with issues such as depression and eating disorders.
Unfortunately, it seems that the message of being body confident is coming across as “change your body until you are body confident”. We are told to gain body confidence by joining a gym, starting a diet, or fitting into those size-too-small jeans. These are health and fitness goals! Attaining these goals does not automatically lead to body confidence or a positive body image. You could change your body however you want but that does not mean your body image will change nor that you will gain body confidence.
On the same token, you are allowed to have these health and fitness goals and have body confidence at the same time! For instance when you have a goal to lose your muffin top, but feel confident in your bikini bathers. It is feeling good about your body despite your percieved flaws. I say percieved because a flaw, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
As a mother, your body may have changed. Maybe you gained stretch marks, a cesarian scar, a muffin top, your boobs have drooped or other percieved flaws. Maybe these changes led you to lose your body confidence.
So, how do you get body confidence, or get it back? Here are some suggestions:
- Get a different perspective! Ask your partner (or other significant person in your life whose opinion you value… mums are great!) what they like about your body. Eg. I dislike my stomach fat, but my mum says she envies my waist and my husband says he likes my hips. Two positive reviews of that area outweigh my negative view and give me body confidence.
- Pamper yourself on occasion! I know, easier said than done when you have kids. But think about how wonderful you feel once you’ve just had your hair washed at the salon. You feel a million dollars! You walk out of there feeling sexy and confident. That feeling is body confidence.
- Wear sexy lingerie! Even if you are wearing your gardening clothes or doing the school run in your slippers, having sexy lingere on underneath can make you so much body confident! Obvioiusly this would bring out the body confidence in the bedroom as well.
- Ask yourself if your body is doing what it is meant to be doing? Are you healthy? Are you fit? Would you die if you were hit with a food famine tomorrow, or would that extra padding save you? Knowing that your body is doing what it is meant to be doing (even if you are exaggerating the circumstance) can help you accept your body for the way it is and increase body confidence.
- Be you! Don’t feel you have to change your body to fit some social norm of “perfection”. Life would be no fun if we were all the same.
- Remember body confidence is sexy! You are sexy! With all of your perceived flaws, all of your perfect imperfections, all that you are, is sexy with a bit of body confidence!
I hope these ideas have given you a different way of thinking about your body and helped you gain some body confidence. Love yourself!
About the Author
Rebecca is a mother of two from Victoria. She has a passion for psychology, writing and helping others. Get in contact via Facebook for more information.