Let’s get naked! Seriously, have you ever stripped down and just stared at your beautiful body in all its glory? Have you ever caught a glimpse of yourself in the mirror when you’re out of the shower, and thought, “Damn! I look good!” If your answer is yes, then I am so happy for you. Loving the skin you’re in can be challenging when you have all these external messages telling you not to love your body. Beauty standards are a social construct and they are ingrained at an early age. To challenge these can be difficult if you’re like me, a 32-year old fat babe who was told constantly as a little girl that being gordita was not pretty and actually unhealthy.
How do you challenge negative body image thoughts that creep up? I found a lot of support online from other self-proclaimed fat women that helped me along the way to feeling better naked. This is what has worked for me and could work for you.
1. Stare at your naked body in the mirror daily
If you find yourself shying away from mirrors whether you’re naked or not, dig a little deeper and find out why that is. Make it part of your morning routine to stare into a mirror and say something positive about yourself. Start at your own comfort level and try doing this with clothes on and progress to being fully nude. For example, I tell myself, “You are beautiful. That dimple makes you look so cute.” I know what you’re thinking, “I’m going to sound crazy! What are you talking about?”
First, make sure you are in a safe and private space. It’s just you and your thoughts. No one can hear you and you’re in a judgement free zone. I recommend doing this in the morning after you get out of the shower. It starts your day off right. You could also do this before bed time. Incorporate it into your routine so that it is something you consistently do.
Examine a new part of your body every time you do this. Be mindful that you may have negative thoughts float around in your head and that’s normal. Challenge at least one of them when they do. I struggle with my tummy sometimes. I allow myself to feel what I feel in that moment when looking at my tummy and release it to the universe. It’s important to acknowledge your feelings, not ignore it. Pretending like you’re okay with a part of your body when you’re really not doesn’t help you process your emotions. Instead, feel it, say it, release it, and challenge it.
2. Challenge your negative thoughts with something positive
I’ve been guilty of negative self-talk, especially about my body. And, I recognize that it comes from around 30 years of ingrained beauty standards. That’s what you’re up against when you’re trying to break free from these socially accepted standards of beauty. Be forgiving of yourself when you’re not kind to yourself and be patient. It’s an ongoing process. You’re never going to stop learning new things about yourself, your body, how to love it, and take care of it.
Our body can go through changes and it’s how we deal with those changes that’s important to our overall wellness. I find that challenging those negative thoughts with something positive helps. If I start to feel bad about my tummy, I remind myself that it’s cute and I still look damn good. Accepting that you’re worthy no matter your body shape or size is being body positive.
3. Walk around your home naked
Maybe this one is out of your comfort zone, but if you’re up for it, try it. I know a lot of people who walk around naked in their home. I love doing that because it feels comfortable and freeing for me. I’m probably the biggest I’ve ever been in my life, but I have never felt more sexy and in love with my body.
4. Have sex with the lights on
I am way past the point of having sex in the dark under the sheets. Yes, I was that person. And, it took the internal work I did to love my body to get comfortable having sex with my partner or masturbating with the lights on. As you start to get comfortable adoring your naked body, work on stripping down in front of your partner with the lights on. If you have dimmer this can be a gradual approach or try candles. Try using a mirror when having sex or masturbating. It’s something that you and your partner might find exciting.
5. Follow body positive advocates, bloggers, and authors
The work of body positive advocates helped me feel comfortable in my body. I read so many blogs, articles, posts, and books that tackled on topics like loving your naked body. I followed women online who created these spaces for fat body acceptance and self-love because it allowed me to feel safe to talk about my struggles with others. The work advocates are doing is important and is helpful to you along your journey. I encourage you to find those spaces and engage when you’re ready. It is scary to ask questions, so maybe you’ll be a fly on the wall for a bit. Observe and soak in all the body posi messages before you’re ready to open up.
And, if you’re looking for spaces like this, you can follow:
La Divina Latina
Photography by Green T Media