I used to play peek-a-boo with my body. I hid and denied certain parts. On some days I would take a sneak peek, and then quickly put it all away again.
There were mornings when I would come squeaky clean out of the shower and then stuff this body back in clothes so quickly that I never even noticed my assets, great parts, or the amazing bounce-back factor of my body.
I even played peek-a-boo in relationships. To deal with my fears of exposing all of me, I created rules when it was time for intimacy: lights low, can’t look, can’t touch my soft belly, no jiggling of any parts or I felt fat. I denied my naked body to myself, and there was no way I was going to let anyone else witness the horrible appearance that I saw my body as.
However, outwardly I had developed a “fake” confidence. I could walk, talk, eat, and move with what an outsider would see as ‘owning it’! But on the inside, I was always the fat kid. A freak. Always playing peek-a-boo, hiding from myself, and everyone else. I could show that outward vision of confidence, and I was hiding my true self.
About 2 years ago I discovered the #IAmBeauty® Facebook Group.
As a hairstylist, it seemed like a fun way to meet new people and play with beauty. This group, hosted by the co-founders Sarah Grandinetti and Cassy Summers, offered daily challenges that at first seemed simple and easy but soon encouraged me to look at all those hidden body parts. No more peek-a-boo.
Within this group, I found a safe space with some of the most caring individuals I didn’t know existed. Those challenges helped break my shell. I didn’t have to hide me anymore. I was encouraged to look at those body parts, those issues that I was ashamed of. See them. Then, see them through someone else’s eyes. Caring eyes.
When these people delivered a compliment, it was different! It came from a place of no judgment that I’ve so seldom experienced. It changed so much for me.
So now I take time every day to delight in my body.
I think about touching my body like a lover would. Would my lover judge my body the way I do? Never. My body responds to this as well. The more I love, embrace and appreciate it, the more beautiful it looks and feels to me. I stretch, lotion, bathe my body like I’m taking care of a body that I deeply love. I look at it with the lights on.
There is an I Am Beauty Movement. It is creating more beauty than I ever knew was possible. You’re invited. This group and movement will redefine “Beauty” as we know it. It is energy. The energy of the possibility of finding the bliss and grace in anything that occurs, and including with ourselves.
Author: Leigh Pfeifer BP