This week, I am happy to be speaking about the BODY and why we love it. Many of us have a love/hate relationship with our own bodies based on age, weight increase or decrease, health issues, diseases and dis-eases, mood, and more. Let’s face it, no matter how beautiful your body is, there has been at least ONE time in your life when you felt a little hate for it, right? Maybe you were a week before your period (ladies), and the bloating just got on your last nerves. Maybe you had a severe acne breakout and you did not feel so beautiful because you were seeing more bumps or dark spots than your normal skin tone. Maybe you were pregnant and felt very fat and un-sexy because you lost your sex drive and/or was too tired to get in the mood. Let’s not leave the men out — maybe you got a little richer and started over-indulging on those beers and then you looked like you were five months pregnant and you saw another guy with a 6-pack. Maybe you were going through a low period in your life and started abusing your body with alcohol, drugs, over-eating, etc. And since men have two heads, maybe your lower head was going through a “slow period” and you felt a little insecure. Almost all of us have seen someone with an unbelievably incredible body and felt a tad insecure about our own body…it happens. I could go on and on, but I am sure you have been there (at least once in your lifetime). In all honesty, it is pretty normal to have that on and off feeling about our bodies, and when it comes to body consciousness, we are our worst critic. It does not matter who is telling you how great your body is…if you feel (at that time) that your body is not beautiful, they may as well be speaking to a wall. Put those instances and nuances aside, can you really say “I LOVE MY BODY” and mean it?
For me, loving my own body came with loving and accepting myself from a very early age. I grew up on the skinny side and inherited small wrists and calves (and the slimmer genes) from my father’s side of the family. When everyone in my neighborhood used to tell me that I am walking on my hands because my calves were noticeably slim (not because I was literally walking on my hands), I just smiled and said “Galang bout yuh bizniz and leff mi cyaaf dem. Betta cyaaf dan cow.” Even now when folks tell me “Oh My God, your wrists are sooooo small,” I just smile and tell them to buy me custom-made bracelets. When fat or big-boned girls tell me how skinny I am (because they are looking company), I tell them that at least I can touch my toes and don’t have to worry about obesity. And these days, when I am getting more mature and seeing very visible changes in and on my body, I just say “WOW” and keep it moving. You see, I have more appreciation for my body now than I ever did, and I have always loved my body. I have taken care of it over the years and I know that my body is healthy, fit and beautiful. I have always been very flexible but have traded in the cartwheels, hand-stands, back flips and walking on my hands because with age comes
timidity. These days, I push myself by trying to master yoga postures and by staying active. I get a kick out of it when I prove that I am fitter than many decades younger than me. I really get a thrill when I pass myself in the mirror and smile because I love my reflection.
As a female, you will either move from having a coca-cola bottled shape to becoming more of a pear or God forbid, an apple if you do not take care of your body. As a male, you will most likely start looking like your pregnant wife if you are not careful. In an age where the images that our children are seeing in the media are so air-brushed, augmented, lifted, lipo-sucked out (new word alert!) we have to start teaching them to love, respect and accept their God-given bodies. As parents, we also have to lead by example and we have to feed them right. Childhood obesity has been on the rise for many years now, but THAT is another topic.
A beautiful body does increase self-confidence. Feeling good about your body is a great way to start feeling good about your overall self. You do have the power to change your body. If you are not loving YOUR body, start doing whatever it takes to get it beautiful so you can start loving it and then you some more.
Last week, I asked a number of women (and I chose women because we are more body-conscious) to send me one sentence saying why they love their bodies so please scroll down to see what many had to say. I got so many responses and photos that I had to create a special place for all the beautiful women who sent them to me.
Cheers to loving our bodies,
Helen Morgan, FL
“I love my body because it is beautiful and it always whispers to me when it feels something just isn’t right.”
“I love my body because it is invaluable and because it is the most powerful tool-instrument created for the universal purpose of mankind, it is multi faceted and reflects the beauty and creative mind of the Master builder.”
“I love my body because it’s the only one I have thru good and bad times. We work well together.”
Ethlyn Grant, MD
“I love my body because it is the core of my everything without this beautiful gift from God nothing would be possible.”
“I love my body because it represents my roots.” Chardelle Moore, MD
“I love my body because it represents, my beautiful brain, my source of passions, emotions, laughter, pain, creativity, and memories.”
Taishi Hyatt, VA
“I love my body because I love me; I stand for me and no one else can give account for me but me. I love myself and my body always.”
Andrea Miller, Jamaica
“I love my body because I got the tools and will power to change it!!”
Dolly Riley, MD
About the Author:
In the world of work, they say attitude determines your altitude and if this is true then Yaa Gyasi Peppy Parke may as well have coined the saying herself. As her nickname suggests – Peppy, as she is known on the entertainment and promotions circuit — has the positive attitude and incredible energy to connect people and foster community building wherever she goes. She is passionate, energetic, and perseverant and is the epitome of PEP.
A native of Jamaica, Ms. Parke has been living in the DC area since January 2003 and holds a Masters degree in Management with specialization in Public Relations and an Undergraduate degree in Business and Professional Management. She is the founder and creative director of Peppy Entertainment & Promotions, LLC; the creator, producer and host of PEP Talk TV and Radio; the cultural communications ambassador of the Universal Negro Improvement Association – African Communities League (UNIA-ACL); the director of communications for East River Family Strengthening Collaborative, Inc.; a fitness & wellness enthusiast and instructor; and so much more.