Appearance, Insecurity, & Self-Love
Welcome to Cuntlove’s first advice column. I don’t claim to be an expert at anything. Rather, I hope that this advice column will become a place of discussion and support. I invite all readers to join the discussion and offer advice, or at the very least direct the person seeking help to the appropriate resources. Personal stories and experiences about the issues at hand are appreciated. That being said, let’s get to it.
What advice do you have for people who are self-conscious about their appearance and how it impacts their lives. Our bodies play a large part in how we interact with each other in a sexual way and do you have any suggestions on how we can overcome this hurdle/fear?
I was going to state women, but decided to be generic regardless of who the person happens to be. I always hear women talking about their weight and trying to lose it. My perspective is that doing things that we are passionate about impact how we feel about ourselves. As I was writing this sentence the phrase “Self Love” came to mind.
I realized while thinking of a way to answer this question, that most resources I’m aware of that deal with self-esteem, self-love, and body issues are directed towards women. There’s definitely a lack of support when it comes to men and the way they feel about their appearance, and how that impacts their lives.
That being said there are a lot of blogs that deal with the issue of masculinity and how it is represented in the media, as well as blogs that deal with the pressures men feel when it comes to their appearance. If anyone is interested, you might like to check out Mark Simpson, or Critical Masculinities, although Critical Masculinities is currently on hiatus, you can still find a lot of interesting information in past posts.
The pressure to be “attractive” to “look a certain” way is definitely not just a “female” issue, but the lack of attention given to one versus the other is astounding. I could direct you towards the radical self-love movement, or books like Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance, but they are clearly aimed at a “female” audience, so even though they might be helpful they probably won’t address issue of “masculinity” in a critical or helpful way.
Our bodies do play an important role in the way we interact with other, especially on a physical level. It can be a hard “fear” to overcome. When you don’t feel good about the way you look, you can feel very vulnerable exposing yourself in that way.
Attraction is obviously important in a relationship, but what we find attractive isn’t as clear-cut as the media (or whoever) would have us believe. I’ve always been attracted to the people I’ve date, but physically they vastly differed from the image of the ideal male specimen I had concocted in my mind when I was a teenager.
Loving yourself goes a long way. That doesn’t mean you have to put on a show of total and utter confidence, because intimacy is also about opening up to someone about your fears. It’s when those fears stop you from opening up to another person in the first place, that it becomes a problem.
You’re absolutely right though, doing things you are passionate about will definitely impact how you feel about yourself, and feeling good about yourself is definitely something that is attractive to others.
There are a millions things we can all do to work on self-love and self-confidence. From reading up on the subject, to taking care of yourself in ways that matter, showing compassion for yourself and others. Even cheesy things like making gratitude lists on a regular basis. It’s incredible how many things we actually have going for ourselves when were able to see them clearly; beyond all that self-doubt and fear there’s a heart, and if you can get in touch with that, you’ve got one hell of a good start.
I feel that most of the fears we have about our appearance have to do with the “other” or at least that’s how we externalize it. As in, will I find love? Will someone find me attractive? Will someone love me? I’m not going to lie and say that appearance doesn’t matter, because it does. It’s one of the first thing we notice about a person, but a lot of it has to do with how a person carries themselves, the confidence they exude. In short, a person’s ability to enjoy life and love themselves while they’re at it goes a long way.
Even though we externalize these feelings and fears and often focus them on what we perceive others will think, it’s really all about you and the way you feel about yourself. Everyone deserves to be loved. Everyone deserves to feel that for themselves; to love themselves. That’s the hard part, I think. After we’ve achieved that, the rest comes easy.
I can’t tell you how to achieve that level of self-love, if I knew that, I could solve half the world’s problems, but I hope I was able to make you think, and maybe that will spark something in you and in the people reading this.
Love Olga xoxo