At a point in my life when I had little to no self esteem what-so-ever, I had a friend tell me to strip down stark naked, and go look at myself in the mirror for at least five minutes. They told me to come back to them and tell them at least ten things that I loved about myself. I haven't done that in a while...and that person is now not only my best friend but my husband. So while I know that you aren't going to look in a mirror for quite some time now... I have a similar question.Okay, how amazingly positive is this story? I love this way of using mirrors for good instead of evil, and I've decided that THIS is the exact exercise that I'm going to do on the first day that this project ends. I can't think of a better way to transition from no mirrors back to mirrors everywhere. In the meantime, here's a short list of things for which I have gained a new appreciation since this project started.
What are a few things that you love about yourself, that you wouldn't have realized that you loved about yourself before the start of this project?
1) My hands. As I mentioned yesterday, I've always liked my hands. In them, I see both of my parents - small nails from mom, index fingers pointing a bit inward from dad. Since this project started, my hands have been the body part I see more than any other. At first my pretty paws bore the brunt of many displaced beautification rituals: I bought new nail polish instead of new makeup every time I popped into CVS, and salon haircuts were replaced by manicures every few weeks. I'm not sure if these practices were sending me in the "right" direction in terms of decreasing my vanity overall, but they kept me sane. And it was nice to focus on a body part I felt like showing off, instead of worrying about bits and bobs that feel too bitty or too bobby. But most recently I fell in love with my hands all over again, by staring at them while I write on my laptop. With the exception of Mondays and Wednesdays (when I lecture for 4 HOURS each day!) I typically write more than I speak. In this sense, my hands serve as my voice, and that's pretty awesome.
2) My cheeks (the ones on my face). They've always been round. When I was a baby my parents called them bumper pads, since they could break a face-forward fall. I used to think they were too fat. Maybe they are. But they're also really soft. That's something I didn't notice or think about until this project. I love my chubby cheeks!
3) Armpits! Seriously. I never noticed them before. Even when shaving I never really looked at my armpits; I just watched to make sure I didn't leave any stubbly stragglers behind. But I started paying more attention a few weeks ago, when I decided to try a new deodorant. Okay, not really a new deodorant, but a new scent in the exact same deodorant I've been using religiously for the past 2 years (Powder Fresh Suave Clinical Protection Antiperspirant, which works just as awesomely as the name brand stuff, but cheaper!!). I'm a lady of rigid routines, so even switching the scent (to "Wild Cherry Blossom") put me on edge. I applied the new goods, and then thought a lot about my armpits and my deodorant over the next few days. A few conclusions: 1) my armpits are surprising smooth and well-behaved - no razor burn, no ingrown hairs, no excessive sweat so long as I use my Suave 2) I love both scents of my deodorant an applying them feels like I'm putting on perfume and a luxurious lotion at the same time, and 3) my armpits are kind of pretty.
So there you have it. A list of things I love more about myself now than I did before, and which I probably wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't started this project.
But now I'd like to hear from some of you! Go stare in the mirror for a while, naked or otherwise. Or maybe spend some time thinking about how your body feels or smells, instead of just how it looks. What do you love?
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