No one is perfect. Not even the models on the pages of our favorite magazines. And yes to make it worse they are air brushed to look SIZES smaller than they are. Basically they are made to look perfect and flawless. And they are not.
We all have things about ourselves that we would change, or parts we would like to look better. our view of ourselves is often different that those around us. We are agonizingly hard on ourselves and are by far our worst critics.
WHEW – lets give ourselves a break!
Focus on you and only you. It doesn’t matter if you are a size 2 or a size 22. Work with the body you have and stop focusing on the “well if I just lost… pounds”, “if my thighs weren’t so”…let it go! This is about today, right now – whatever your size and shape. So let’s get to it. In this chapter we will focus on:
- Your Assets
- Your Body
- Your Do’s
- Your Don’ts
Yes ladies, I am going to ask you to do the unthinkable. And yes it is going to be hard. I am going to ask you to critique your body from head to toe. Before you get started, this is what you will need:
- pencil or pen
On the paper, draw a line vertically down the middle creating two columns. The column on the left should take up ¾ of the paper and the right should be smaller with only ¼ of the width of the paper. The column on the left is for your best features and the column on the right is for your problem areas. Here we go….
Step 1: Left column…a feature you like. List the exact body part and why you like it and what makes you feel good about it. For example: “My eyes — pretty color, nice shape, always get compliments on them. I love experimenting with different eye colors and make-up techniques.”
Step 2: Right column…Next only list the part of your body that is an issue or a problem – not a full explanation of why you don’t like it, just the body part. For example: “My thighs.”
Step 3: Left column…Good feature, why you like it and what makes you feel good about it. For example: “My waist – it has always been small, I love wearing belts and huge funky pins at my waistline, it is one of my style trademarks and what makes me…me.”
Step 4: Right column…the body part that is an issue – no explanations please (i.e. “My bottom.”)
Below is a sample of my chart.
|EYES – My eyes are a pretty color and nice shape. I always get compliments on them. I love experimenting with different eye colors and make-up techniques.||My thighs|
|WAIST – My waist has always been small, I love wearing belts and huge funky pins at my waistline, it is one of my style trademarks and what makes me…me.||My bottom|
Step 5: Continue until you have finished all relevant body parts. And remember you don’t have to have the same amount of items in the problem column as you do in the asset problem. Hopefully you will have more assets than issues!!!!!
The goal of the exercise it to identify the parts of your body that you may never have thought of as assets or areas to focus on. There of course are the obvious ones such as eyes, hair, skin, smile, neck, shoulders, arms, chest, tummy, waist, bottom, legs….but don’t forget the less obvious ones like…eyebrows, nose, mouth, lips, teeth, cheekbones, jaw line, collarbone, wrists, hands or fingers, ankles, feet or toes. An asset can be ANY PART of your body…if it looks good and makes you feel good…it’s an asset.
As for the column on the right, our problem areas we all are very aware of them and dwell on them daily, therefore there is no reason to delve deeper, listing them is enough.
Step 6: Friends input. Once you have put together you list, ask your closest friend(s) to tell you what they think your best features are, NOT your problem areas. I am sure you will get answers that you did not think of, as well as validation of others on your list. Make sure you write their answers in on the cart and put their name next to the answer. Note: It is best to do it in person, so they can look at you and your body to give solid, straightforward comments, but if that is not possible….as is was not for me, e-mail or phone work too. E-mail is better than the phone, because it will be in their words and will have full explanations.
Below is my completed chart:
EYES – Pretty color, nice shape, always get compliments on them. I love experimenting with different eye colors and make-up techniques.
Kathryn: You have wonderful eyes and nice long, lashes and nicely shaped brows.
Kelly: Eyes – great color
Amy: Eyes – lucky you! With those beautiful, bright eyes!
WAIST – Has always been small, I love wearing belts and huge funky pins at my waistline, it is one of my style trademarks and what makes me…me.
STOMACH – My stomach is flat, not as flat as it was before kids, but still flat.
SHOULDERS – My shoulders: they are thin and defined. When I expose my upper body, I feel sexy, thin and it takes the attention away from my hips and bottom.
Kathryn: You have a very feminine, very pretty neckline (collarbone, shoulders, etc.) I believe this to be one of your best features.
HANDS – My hands are thin and long. I love the look of really big rings. I feel very girly and stylish when I have a funky, cool ring on.
Maureen: Your hands are delicate.
Kathryn: Your hands are lovely and your fingers are long. Nice fingernails too – long nail beds and your fingernails are always clean.
Maureen: Your torso is lean.
NECK – My long neck makes me feel taller and leaner. I love it bear or with funky crazy necklaces.
Maureen: You have great legs. They are a pretty shape and thin.Kelly: Legs – good shape nicely balanced shape (thigh to calf) – could wear any length bottom.
Maureen: You have very pretty arms, thin.
Kelly: Arms – lean but not to thin.
Kathryn: You have fabulous hair – and you’re adept at styling it yourself.
Kelly: Hair – well styled and up to date but classic.
Amy: Hair – naturally pretty, healthy hair and stylish too!
Kathryn: Your teeth are sparkling white.
Amy: Smile – a warm, genuine, friendly smile that shows your true personality.
Kathryn: You have a lovely skin tone/skin color – light, but not “pasty”.
Amy: Skin tone—a nice natural skin tone that doesn’t show abuse from the sun.
Kathryn: You’re thin – nicely so.
Kelly: Body overall – thin and proportionate – able to wear clothes well – aware of personal style and capitalizes on this.
Amy: Figure – one that gets the guys doing a “double-take”! Sleek and slim, yet curvy! With your keen sense of fashion, you make all us girls jealous!
Kathryn: You have great toes.
Kathryn: You smell pretty.
This should also be an ego boost session. As you can see, my friends have seen many additional assets than I. This is true….women are very, very hard on themselves. We are very critical of our bodies and are always comparing and sizing ourselves up against others. That is why it is important to get the feedback of others….because it is the view of you from others – instead of the sole view of ourselves through our own critical eye.
The best advice I can give is find out what you like about your body…your legs, your small waist, your great hair, your killer eyes, your bountiful booty, whatever…and focus on it, draw attention to it…make it scream! Because the more you focus on your assets and less on the problem area’s the more others will notice those assets and better you will feel about you, your look and they way others perceive you.
Now you have your list of what we need to camouflage or take emphasis off of and more importantly we have the list of what we will exploit and make scream. It is now your job to make the most of what you’ve got!