Why Do Women Hate Their Bodies?

Des Bishop stood (sat?) in for Sean Moncrieff yesterday on Newstalk, and he had an item called ‘Why Do Women Hate Their Bodies?’ It immediately started me thinking about the part(s) of my body I’d like to change. Rather than bore you with that, though, I’d much rather concentrate on what I like about my body. Why on earth would I want to share that with you? In the hope that you would take another look at yourself – literally and metaphorically – and realise that there is so much about your own body that is fabulous.

I’m not very tall, and it used to bother me a lot. All my siblings are 6’ and over – including my sister. But I inhabit my space and I’m not afraid to stand up for what matters to me.

I have big feet. It makes getting shoes difficult (not as difficult here as it was when I lived in Asia, though!) and I’ve always bemoaned the size of them. Yesterday, though, I thought about how lucky I am that I have feet that are not deformed or arthritic. I’m also lucky that I always have shoes.

I don’t have perfect legs, but they work perfectly.

‘Buxom’ is not a word that could ever be accurately applied to me – but my breasts are ‘working breasts’ not just there for decoration. For over seven years straight, they provided nourishment, comfort and immunological protection to my children. The children of strangers also benefitted from my milk, as I donated my spare milk (and there was a lot of it!) to the milk bank.  Without my milk, my eldest would not have survived her first few months. I wouldn’t trade any of that for a bigger cup size. My cup runneth over.

No one will ever write poetry about my eyes, but I’d be lost without them. And they are never afraid to look you in yours.

My stomach is not as flat as it could be, but – newsflash! – I’m a woman, not a stick-insect.

Sure, my smile may not light up a room, but I smile a lot – and I smile from the heart. I’m lucky to have so much to smile about.

I don’t have a dinky little nose like Nicole Kidman, but I am still overwhelmed by the smell of jasmine, baking bread, coffee, spices and babies.

When I sit down and think about it like this, I don’t hate my body. Even if I did, it wouldn’t get me anywhere. To a large extent, our bodies are genetically pre-determined. There are certain things that we absolutely cannot change about the way we look. I have other things to battle – other fights to fight. I don’t need to fight myself.