Just the Way You Are
During lunch with one of my girlfriends, we stumbled onto the topic of feeling self-conscious about our bodies. She was telling a story of how she and another friend were taking part in a group weights class at their gym. As they entered the classroom, my friend noticed that a woman was only wearing a sports bra on her upper half and she thought “Wow, she has a nice body! She’s totally pulling off the look.” About the same time, her girlfriend made a comment that the woman was “fat,” which automatically made my friend self-conscious about her body. She wondered whether or not her friend would think she was fat.
This all brings me to my question, how many times have we all wondered how we look in the eyes of others? And, more importantly, should it even matter? Should we cower from expressing ourselves the way we want to because we’re afraid of what others might think of us?
While I was getting ready to head to the climbing gym this morning, I was reminded by singer/songwriter Bruno Mars that the answer to these questions is a resounding “NO.” I was listening to Pandora and his song “Just The Way You Are” started playing. As I stood there staring into the mirror while putting on makeup and putting my hair in a bun, I listened closer to his lyrics and they struck a chord with me:
“When I see your face
There’s not a thing that I would change
Cause you’re amazing
Just the way you are.
And when you smile
The whole world stops and stares for a while
‘Cause girl, you’re amazing
Just the way you are.”
With those lyrics in my head, I looked at my reflection and said the words to myself. And guess what? The self-image I had of myself began to change. With every repetition of Bruno Mars’ words, pieces of self-doubt began to disappear.
But let me back up. This past March, I gave birth to my daughter. Ever since, I’ve been struggling to accept my new body. The stretch marks that line my stomach are a constant reminder of the extra pounds I have yet to lose. Furthermore, I felt like I gave up my body to my baby once I began the process of nursing.
Needless to say, my body is not the same, and after listening to Bruno Mars’ lyrics, I’m okay with that. In fact, I’m proud of what I look like now because of the end result –the look of love in my daughter’s smile. So from now on, anytime I feel down about what I see staring back at me in the mirror, I’m going to remind myself of these words (and I encourage you to do the same): “You’re amazing just the way you are!”