You’ve got curves, embrace them!

May 19th, 2011 by admin in Body-Image, Paris, Self-love
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11 years ago I visited Paris for the first time.  I was a couple years out of college and other than visiting Canada or Mexico I hadn’t been out of the country.  I was living on the West Coast and had a very good friend on the East Coast and we decided to meet in London and then fly to Paris.  The trip changed my life in so many ways.  It was wonderful and fun and exciting.  It opened my eyes to my love of travel.  And something else very important happened; I learned to love my body.  I had brought a colorful skirt with me that I was excited to wear on the trip.  At home I usually wore it with a white t-shirt and jean jacket.  Right before I left I bought another shirt to wear with it, something a little more form fitting and in a rich, wonderful purpley-blue color.  I remember trying the shirt and skirt on for my friend bemoaning the fact that it accented parts of my body that I usually tried to hide and she exclaimed, “Girl, you’ve got curves, embrace them!”  Hmmm, you mean the things I see as rolls can be curves?  The things I try to hide can be embraced? I was a bit skeptical but decided to venture out into the world with my curves.  And you know what?  As the day went on I got more and more comfortable.  As the day went on I got more and more confident.  I got glimpses of myself in store windows and felt OK.  I think I even got a hit on by a few Frenchmen.  And when I got back to the States that confidence continued.

So here I am in Paris 11 years later.  This time it’s a much longer trip and I’m in a rented apartment.  One of the reasons we chose this apartment is because it has a bathtub and taking a bath in Paris was pretty high up on my To Do list.  Here’s the thing though, it’s completely mirrored.  The first time I took a shower in there I was confronted by my image on 3 sides and it was a bit unsettling.  All of a sudden I realized that I was back to where I was 11 years ago!  When I’m home and I’m changing and confronted by a part of my body I don’t want to see I can look away from the mirror, but here there was no looking away!  Here I had to acknowledge what I really look like. Here there was no hiding.  So I looked, and you know what?  The more I looked the more I realized it was OK.  Are there parts of my body I wish were thinner or more toned?  Absolutely!  Are the parts of my body I wish were different?  Sure!  Do I hate my body?  Nope, not one bit!  Have I been criticizing my body more than I should?  Totally!  As I looked in the mirror, I again realized these parts of me that I want to hide are the parts that make me ME.  This is me!  This is my body!  And somehow really looking at it, instead of kind of acknowledging it or giving it a half-look and a grimace when I hurriedly get dressed, really looking at it helped me own it.  Really looking at it helped me love it.  And it reminded me of my friend, Holly saying, “Girl, you’ve got curves, embrace them!”  It made me think of how good we are at telling our friends how great they look.  We are so good at complimenting others and criticizing ourselves! So I’m making a pact with myself to embrace my body and myself.  I know that I can do that for at least the next month that I am in Paris.  I hope I can do it when I get back home too.  I also hope you will be a little gentler with yourself too.  If you have been hiding or judging, maybe you can take a little time to really look at yourself.  If you really look at yourself I’ll bet you will see something you love!

One Response to “You’ve got curves, embrace them!”

  1. Julie Jeske, M.S. Says:

    […] Embrace your body […]