Loving a Woman’s Body

It’s springtime in America. I, like millions of other women, am trying to get my body back in shape for the dreaded bathing suit season. More cardio. More situps. More squats. Don’t you hate squats?

What if we loved our bodies like our husbands do? What if we looked at ourselves with higher esteem, adoring our firm parts and our soft parts?

I’m pretty sure men are just happy the flannel PJs are moving into storage for a few months, rather than analyzing how good your legs look in shorts. Heck, they’re just glad they get to see your legs a little more often.

I know it’s not an easy prospect to view your body more positively, as a great many of us suffer from chronically low body images. But confidence is attractive, and whining is not. A woman who is uncomfortable with her body will project that in the bedroom. So, sure, do your cardio, but try not to obsess about your supposed bodily faults. Avoid comparing your body to someone else’s. I’m never going to look like a magazine model, and you probably won’t either. (Just remember there was a lot of air brushing involved.)

If you want your husband to only have eyes for you, realize that viewing your body is an important part of his sexual enjoyment. Try to look at your body more like he does—with appreciation not disdain.

Guys, you might make an effort to compliment your wife’s body—especially the parts she may be insecure about. And ladies, your man doesn’t mind a little praise either. 

It may sound cliche, but focus your attention on your inner beauty and your outward behaviors, not on what you think the world thinks is important.

Women: Do you find it hard to measure up to our culture’s ideal body, or are you confident in your skin?

Men: Are you surprised women don’t understand their beauty? Are you in awe of the female form? Do you have a hard time convincing your wife how much you appreciate her body? Do you think it’s cultural that women have a perfectionistic view of their bodies?

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19 responses to “Loving a Woman’s Body

  1. Given the barrage of societal and media misinformation on the topic of beauty, I can’t say I’m surprised that women struggle to identify their own beauty. I find this a very sad thing indeed.

    The female form, in all it’s vast incarnations, is a lovely thing indeed. There is so much more to beauty than dress size. Sadly, I think some men also buy into the lie. It poisons marriages.

    I am in a constant battle against the messages my wife receives from the world around her. Because these negative messages never stop, husbands must never stop showing their appreciation of their wife’s physical beauty. I have personally comitted to give my wife at least on specific physcial compliment every day.

    • Scott, I loved your comment and that you commit to complimenting your wife daily. What a positive daily action. And Kate, it sounds like your hubby is just as kind. Yes, I agree, beauty is more than dress size. Sadly, even at an ideal dress size, so many women feel less than ideal. More on this topic later! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi Lori. We nominated your blog for the Sunshine award . Please come to our blog at http://www.emotionalaffaircare.org and get the award so you can display it here and let everyone know that your words bring sunshine and inspiration to others. Doug & Linda

  3. Scott: excellent observation. I think it’s great that you extend your role as a protector to something like media and social messages. Thankfully, my husband must have read the same handbook you read!

    And also, thankfully, I was raised by a strong mother in a very pro-female family of five daughters and one son. I’ve rarely struggled with social messages of inadequacy, but I have been disappointed in my own self for letting my weight get out of control. I haven’t felt ugly because of my weight (ok.. there are some bad days), but worse, I haven’t felt fit and healthy.

    More than anything, I resent the skewed idea of ‘normal’ that media presents. Size 6 really isn’t normal. And I shouldn’t have to shop at a wildly more expensive boutique store just to find attractive size 14 pants and extra large shirts.

    I need to lose 37 lbs to be at the top range of my ideal weight and even then, I’ll probably still be a size 12. I’m not wildly obese, but I am economically taken advantage of because of my size. Being made to shop in the ‘plus size’ or a different store is probably the worst blow to my figure.

    I was dizzy with delight when I finally got down to a 38C bra size and could buy them at Target for 1/3 the price as Lane Bryant.

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  5. Great post. Especially the part about “looking at your body more with appreciation than disdain.” I’m constantly telling my wife how beautiful she is, just the way she is. And she is constantly rejecting my compliments. Agreed, our media and societal “values” don’t make it any easier! One thing I didn’t see mentioned here is a woman’s private beauty. So many women have issues with this and think they themselves are ugly or at least not that attractive — and/or that they smell weird or even bad. Or that their breasts are too big or too small, etc.

    Women! Wake UP! Every inch of you is beautiful, even and ESPECIALLY your privates! The fact that you’re “not like everyone else” is a flawed argument…because no two of you are alike to begin with. You are ALL beautiful snowflakes; have you ever really looked closely at a snowflake to see all if its intricacies and divine beauty? Each one of you has your own distinctive look and perfume. Yes, perfume. You were made that way for a reason. Why not celebrate that instead of rejecting it? THAT is what is attractive to men…a woman who freely accepts and celebrates herself — and her sexuality.

    • Thanks for the positive messages, Ted. Celebrating the diversity of women is a great way to look at it. We wives need to really listen when our husbands praise our private beauty, not reject the compliments. This post has gotten a lot of attention from men and women, so it is clearly a hot-button issue for all of us.

  6. Ran across this post on Wise Bread. Ironically, it was posted the same day I left my comment, but I only just saw it. It talks about why shopping for ‘plus size’ is such a hit to a woman’s sense of self.

    http://www.wisebread.com/15-reasons-plus-size-shopping-sucks

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  9. And what if your husband, just after you had lost 35 pounds and 5″ off your waist, told you that you had really let yourself go? Talk about having a hard time creating a positive body image!

    • GA, I’d say the problem isn’t so much a body image issue as it is a husband who makes hurtful comments. Sorry to hear he was so insensitive to your needs despite your progress!

  10. I’m in love with a wonderful guy, and I’ve come a long way in getting over a negative body image. A lucky accident did it: I found out that for years he looked at pornography of women who were my weight or heavier. Rather than being shocked or hurt, I somehow readjusted my personal standard of beauty until I found those women beautiful — actually truly beautiful — and myself along with them. Now I perceive the scarecrow models as gaunt and maybe a little bit scary. I find I carry myself with more pride and spring in my step — setting a good example for my daughters’ developing body images.

    • Thank you for sharing your journey to self-acceptance. I agree that it’s especially important to provide a good role model to our daughters to accept themselves and their bodies. Cheers!

  11. Hello to all hope you are feeling well.
    I’m a photographer, studied at SJSU and can do some fabulous things with Photoshop.
    I can from experience tell you that we do alter the final product. The models that in the 16 to 18 age ratio don’t even look like the final product. We fix any skin imperfections; we alter body parts, and even substitute body parts on a regular basis.

    My current girlfriend is dealing with some low body image issues. To me she is gorgeous super sexy. Let me not forget to mention she is 10 years my Jr. Her stomach is flat she has the sexiest athletic legs, and of course I used her as a model on my website; she is gorgeous. Like I said all work is Photoshoped and so is she on my site however her body was not touched. I find it attractive so why bother.

    Whenever I touch her belly she cringes and gives me this fake smile, immediately moving my hand away. She feels she has a pudg, which is the skin as she curves her body. I love to touch it, its so soft and my had fits perfectly on it. It is such a turn on to see her after she has showered. I look forward every day and anticipate setting my eyes on her’ like I said she is hot. I am a very lucky man.

    I often express my sincere attraction towards her. However every time I do she blows up and starts putting her self down. She points out all the flaws she sees and honestly I don’t see it; it just turns me on to look at her. So to all women who are here, who might feel similar ( men are attracted to women, not hard little boy looking tings) we want what we don’t have curves, a soft feel it makes you feminine. Aren’t women attracted to striated muscle definition and hard things? Next time your with your man show more fight the fear remember he chose you over the rest.

    Photographer.

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  13. Newlywed, it’s funny that you have a hard time finding size 12 or 14 because I have a hard time finding size 0 or XS . I have to buy designer clothes to get stuff in my size all the time. Even at target, their xs sized shirts are more like a medium everywhere else.

    In my opinion, American sizes all run larger than their tags. Everyone knows that size 14 is more of an average size (I would refrain from using the word “normal”) than a size 6. That’s unfortunate though. I’m sorry, but there’s no reason other than lack of exercise and poor nutrition for an average size for women to be 5’4″ and 150lbs (unless she is very muscular).

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