Womanly belly love
Feeling a lack of body confidence about your belly? Feeling fat and ungoddessy? It’s time to take control, from body magic rituals to creative photography and retraining your well-meaning friends. These are some body image tips you really won’t have seen before…
I’ve spent a good chunk of my life focused on my belly. I’ve looked at it from the front, fully bare in the mirror, and then quickly switched my body to look at it from the side. And then the front again. Followed by how it looked in clothing from the front. And side.
And not in a good way.
I’d be happy with it the mornings after I refrained from eating late the night before, or when I was doing a cleanse, or had been throwing up the entirety of my insides from a stomach bug (insanity, no?). I’d be terrified of it when I had just consumed a 5-course meal and was wearing a form-fitting shirt that earlier that day (pre-breakfast) had seemed to look sexy.
And then, on the eve of my 30th, I decided I was done. Absolutely, positively, f*ckin’ done. It was time to LUV my stomach, the core of womanly power, hotness appeal, and intuition.
I mean, who decided we should go through life believing we are supposed to hate our amazing, unique, scrumptious bodies because they don’t look like a 12-year-old boy’s?
So whether it is your stomach that makes you feel as if the entire world will call you out for being too fat (the way they did to Britney on the Video Music Awards – ridiculous), or your thighs make you think the hot guy on the other side of the bar is texting his friend about the elephant legs he has just spotted (who does that??), here are 7 ways to accept your gorgeous, goddessy body:
1. Turn off the telly. And the internet (at least the sites that bash women’s bodies). You know what I’m talking about. TMZ. Hello! OK! Yes, they are our guilty pleasures, and there is nothing wrong with that. But they also fly to remote islands, using super-duper spy lenses to take pictures of famous actresses who have one tiny patch of cellulite on their thighs that their boyfriend doesn’t even notice when they are up close and personal. And then their sister woman’s magazines, like Allure airbrush the hell out of every picture that touches their pages, literally creating impossible-to-attain bodies. I mean, c’mon, people, when will this craziness end?
Well, they aren’t going to end it because they are making too much money doing what they do. So you have to be the strong one and shut that sh*t off. Or at least skip over to the stories about the latest celeb to be caught with their pants down. Now that’s good stuff.
2. Take your own pics of your sensuous, smooth, sexy tummy (or other body part). Never thought I’d be the type to take nude photos. But as I approached the big 3-0, I decided I needed to push this belly-acceptance ahead into overdrive. So I had a good friend (who is also a good photographer) take some pics that focused specifically on my stomach. Trust me, you will have a different perspective of what you look like once you get photos taken of yourself.
No need to necessarily go nude, but be sure to highlight the area of your body that you have qualms with. This can include dressing it up with bindis or other stick on jewelry, henna, or even some drawn-on hearts as a shout out to your navel, thighs, etc. – wassup, lovelies!
3. Spend some quality alone time with your lovely lady parts. This goes beyond vibrations and finger manipulations – it’s more of a tantric, caressing and crooning appreciation. Sit in front of a full length mirror, or get a small one you can hold above you while lying on your bed, and get to appreciating. Thank your stomach for digesting all that you eat with care and precision, and manifesting this nourishment into the sight that you see with, the brain that you do your life’s work with, and the mojo you have sex with. Feel the skin with your fingers (it almost always seems to be softer than you would expect, even if there are bumps, nooks, or crannies), and tickle yourself so that you and your belly are laughing together. Trust me, the laughter will take you far.
4. Rock it out, belly-dancing style. No offense to the skinny girls – ya’ll are hot and awesome too – but dancers who have a bit more flesh to move around are so damn sexy, don’t you agree? Especially if they are showing their belly.
If you aren’t quite comfortable tribal bellydancing in public, check out this beginner’s belly-dancing video. There are also belly dancing classes all over this whole wide world; search for a local one here, and get those hips and tummy a-shimmyin’.
Or, take on a burlesque dance experiment – you can’t help but feel sexalicious when dressed up in lingerie and garter belts, shaking your lovely lady lumps, booty, and other bounties.
5. Connect through rituals, magic, and goddesses. Whenever I feel myself getting worked into a tizzy about having a fat-day, I immediately go to my goddess tarot cards. Suddenly, I’m faced with beautiful drawings of goddesses that got the curves-a-kickin’ in all the right, womanly, places. Ahhh, that’s better.
There are also many wonderful rituals you can do when you feel that spiral pulling you downward and you’re not entirely sure you can find your way out on your own.
bind/banish negative body image spell
One of my favourites is a bind/banish negative body image spell, where you’ll need salt, sugar, black or white rope, red or pink candle, and a piece of paper stating “negative body image”. Light the candle, and focus on the piece of paper, reciting:
“I bind my negative body image,
I banish it and replace with excessive love.
It’s a new start,
There’s change in my heart.
Im now proud to say my name is______”
Put the paper in a container where you can burn it, throw salt at it and set on fire, then repeat the above phrase. Once the fire is out, throw the sugar on top of the ashes and recite the words one more time before either burying the ashes or letting the wind take them away.
But also feel free to come up with your own ritual that feels good to you, even if it is just giving a shout out to the much maligned body part first thing in the morning or before you go to bed. And the more often you do it, the bigger impact you’ll feel.
6. Refuse the “I look so fat in this” conversations. Lordy, I know this one well. It was one of my go-to phrases with friends for many, many years while trying on clothes, sitting at cafes, or as pointless references in conversations.
Something that went along with this oh-so-well was the comment from friends or acquaintances, “You’ve lost weight! You look great!” While I appreciated the sentiment, the fact that I looked great after I’d “lost” five pounds (i.e. my period ended so I was no longer bloated) is inextricably linked to the fact that I won’t look great when those five pounds come back in 3 1/2 weeks (or before).
I decided to tell my friends to no longer mention to me if they noticed that I’d lost weight, even if they just wanted to tell me I looked fantastic. I explained kindly that although I knew it was being said out of love for me, and that they were hardly trying to imply I looked like a heiffer previously, my psyche still liked to go on its own rant about it so it would best for all involved that they just smile and nod.
7. Get your partner, lover, good friend or massage therapist to rub your tummy. Act like you are Buddha and need your belly rubbed. Blame it on an upset stomach that only a little abdominal chi nei tsang massage will rectify. Say that the only way anyone is getting a smile out of you today is to softly tickle your belly button.
I don’t care how you do it, just get some tummy (or thigh, arms, backside) lovin’ whatever way you can.
What is amazing about each and every one of these approaches is that they will undoubtedly make you feel better about yourself. There’s really no way around it. So why continue to expend any energy whatsoever on NOT revering your totally bangin’, incredibly desirous, never-ending pleasure-producing body? WHY, I ask?
That’s what I thought. Get it, girl.
Our intrepid journalist shows off her nice tattoo – and tummy. Hurrah!
These last 3 pics were taken for some low-fat yoghurt ad campaign and were meant to repel you. Er, what? They’re fantastic! Especially the ‘American Beauty’ riff! Mookychick gives these photos a 2 thumbs up!