I’m not someone who hates the way that they look, but I can’t say that I love my body most days. I’m slowly getting better about it, and the main thing that changed was living with people who are immensely comfortable in their own bodies. My friends don’t have the so-called “perfect” bodies, but none of them seemed the slightest bit fazed by this. Further, they tend to be more comfortable wearing less.
As someone who is rarely comfortable being minimally clothed or naked in front of others, it definitely took some getting used to living with people who truly live for less is more (at least when it comes to clothing). In fact, these friends tend to keep some clothes on the coat hooks so that they have something to wear when they head out to smoke on their back porch (this all said, they are very respectful of other people who may not be as comfortable with no or minimal clothing).
Seeing people’s naked bodies on a regular basis made me slowly stop viewing my body as unattractive. My friends have lumps and bumps, and are rarely self-conscious of how they look. I credit my friends’ attitudes towards their bodies with helping me be more comfortable wearing shorts this summer.
I almost never wear shorts, even on the hottest of summer day, as I dislike how my legs look. I shared my dislike of how I look in shorts with one of my housemates, and she encouraged me to wear them – and to even try just wearing them around the house at first. I can’t say that I wore shorts exclusively this summer, but the one pair I do own did get some wear and I even wore them out of the house a few times.
When I explained to another friend that I wanted to change how I viewed myself, he suggested that I think of what my body does for me and try thanking it. For example, instead of viewing my thighs as “fat,” think of how strong they are and how that strength works for me. Every day I tried to pick at least one body part, and be thankful for it. Since one of my jobs is rather physically demanding, this has been easier for me than wearing shorts! Being strong makes my job easier, and my body tends to be happier with a few more pounds on it.
After five months of actively working on my body image, there is some improvement. It’s definitely not an overnight change, and even though I no longer live with my clothing optional friends, I am still actively working on improving how I view myself. I have noticed that I don’t stress about what I’m wearing nearly as much, and I also think that I am a little bit happier overall.
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