“When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” ~Miguel Ruiz
When I was in fifth grade, the boy who shared the desk next to me said that I had a “roller coaster nose.”
At that age when things were starting to sprout from places I didn’t know things could sprout, and everyone’s watching each other develop under the microscope of pre-pubescent angst, that little comment sent me into a 10-year-old tailspin.
I would spend hours examining my nose from every angle in the mirror, only to affirm that indeed I’d been cursed with a roller coaster schnoz. I even stole clothespins from my mom’s sewing kit and would use them to pinch the lower spot of my nose in an attempt to get it even with the higher part.
So how did I get over this ridiculousness and get onto loving all my parts? As a budding singer, I latched onto Barbra Streisand who refused to have rhinoplasty because it would ruin the sound of her voice.
Years later, I would find inspiration in the ample-billed Jessica Simpson who once claimed her favorite body part was her crooked nose because it made her stand out from all the other blondes in showbiz. Cheesy, yes, but that is what got me on my road to healing that fifth grade wound.
Over the years I’ve had to process the hating of many body parts—nose, thighs, butt, teeth, even my dang pinkie toe. Someone once dubbed it “The Beast.” Here are some of the steps that got me to love all the bumps, wrinkles, juicy and jiggly parts:
1. Make a list of all the wonderful things each body part allows you do.
My thighs have climbed the Great Wall and danced across stages all over the world. My nose has given me the most wonderful olfactory memories, like my grandmother’s cooking and the hardwood floors of my first grade classroom. My mouth has kissed, sang, grinned, and puckered. What wonderful things have your many parts done?
2. Study the science of the body.
I went to see “Bodies: The Exhibition” and was floored by how complex we all are, and how despite all our aches and pains, we still function. Inside, we have tiny universes of veins, solar systems of nerves—we are incredibly beautiful worlds unto ourselves! If you can develop awe and reverence for how we all work, you’re going to be far down your royal road.
3. Develop a body-love practice.
As Westerners, we often live so much in our heads that our bodies feel a little left out. We need more than just food, sleep, and exercise to reach homeostasis. Body brushing, scented baths, hot/cold showers, dancing in the moonlight, essential oils…
Cleopatra was a pro at this. She wrote hundreds of books on perfumes and poisons, and she ceremoniously adorned her body with oils, essences, and jewels.
Keep in mind, this sensuality isn’t just for women. The first time I used a body brush on my man, his skin went crazy with delight. We’re talking goosebumpy, pink-blushing, chill-inducing crazy. Now he purrs like a kitten every time that brush comes near his skin.
Pick one up today at any health store (you can even find them at Bed, Bath & Beyond) or dedicate yourself to another body-love regimen.
Loving your body, and all its gritty and gorgeous parts is an ever-changing and challenging school from which we may never graduate. But the process can be oh so delicious and gratifying if you commit to it.
So, from my fifth grade self to yours: Truth or dare?
Truth? You’re beautiful!
Dare? I dare you to love all your parts!
Photo by joshDubya