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AN ESSAY: Let’s normalize and appreciate women’s bodies

AN ESSAY: Let’s normalize and appreciate women’s bodies

The relationship most women have with their bodies remain complex than just good or bad. Not that surprising, though, since the society has very specific standards for beauty. Most men (alright, not all men) do a really good job of appreciating the beauty of the female body. However, there are certain parts that they do appreciate more than others. Men and women alike rarely normalize some body parts, too, and it’s high time to completely do so.

We shouldn’t feel forced to find something so natural as something disgusting.

Photo from Canva

Let’s normalize and appreciate women’s bodies

To be honest, I’m getting sick and tired of hating myself over physical characteristics that I have no control over that men can be allowed to have and women will be shamed for having. Sometimes, women look at the mirror and feel like shit for having something as natural as body hair, cellulite, stretch marks, and many more.

For once in our lives, we just want to be able to look at ourselves and feel comfortable enough with what we see. We just want to feel comfortable enough with ourselves and actually believe it when someone says we’re beautiful. We need to start normalizing female bodies because news flash: it’s natural to have body hair, stretch marks, and cellulite.

Photo from Angela Baltan

For example, body hair.

I mean, visible body hair is rarely seen. It’s so rare that a celebrity embracing their underarm hair becomes a news story. Women have been told not to have any hair on their bodies. Why? Well, it all comes down to being conditioned into thinking that we have to be desirable to and for men. Having body hair has wrongfully been dictated as bad hygiene. If you’re hairless, you’re clean. If you have hair, you’re dirty.

Isn’t it weird to see that it’s only directed towards women? Men have an immense amount of body hair and it’s fine to look at. However, the moment that we see a woman with a speck of hair on her body, she looks gross or disgusting. It’s annoying, really. Men are allowed to have hair on their arms, legs, and even face. Yet, women have to shave or wax theirs just to be somewhat accepted to look as ‘pretty’ or ‘fine’ looking.

Photo from Angela Baltan

Another example is stretch marks

A few years ago, headlines declared a revolution of stretch marks. However, it has yet to be normalized. As much as we love putting stretch marks at the front and center, they have yet to become widely normalized. Showing these in a simple photo helps women accept something that they may have been taught their entire lives that they needed to hide and/or remove.

Aside from normalizing stretch marks, we also have to enter a territory where it remains a thing that exists on a body. They must be embraced, appreciated, and loved wholeheartedly for all they represent. Of course, this includes childbirth, weight gain, and some other life transformation. Men can and do get stretch marks. Women undergo more bodily changes that predispose them.

Photo from Angela Baltan

As a woman, it’s hard to love my own body. 

Maybe you hate your body. Or maybe, you just wish your body looked a little different. Well, you’re not entirely alone. As a woman, it’s hard to love my own body, too. Most women experience body dissatisfaction in their lifetimes. Learning to love your body when you really don’t remain a difficult task to do. Going from “I hate my body” to something more positive takes time and conscious effort.

Before you can learn to love your body, you need to relinquish the idea that you wouldn’t feel sad, lonely, or rejected if you looked different. The more you internalize this idea, the less attached you will be to meeting societal’s unnecessary and unfair beauty standards. Then, you will understand that you won’t deliver what you want. Being happy with your body comes from the inside.

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