Finding Body Image Freedom
Reprinted from my book, Healthy Selfitude
Most of us have little things we hold onto that help us feel confident or sexy, more worthy or desirable. For me, I was absolutely “addicted” to wearing toenail polish. Silly as it may sound, I actually had developed a kind of irrational co-dependency on fancifully colored toenails. So in an effort to explore this, I embarked on an experiment (from a place of genuine curiosity).
I tried to do something that — at the time — would have been unthinkable. To teach a yoga class (where people stare at your FEET) without polish on my toes <yes, I know… sigh>.
At first, I remember the panic and fear that I felt just after I took the polish off.
I remember how conscious I was of my toes that night in the classes. I journaled through the experience and really learned that there were things that were “ugly” about my toes/feet and they were things I didn’t want to embrace about myself. Yes. Warts and all! The paint was a metaphor for something that covered up my imperfections, rather than embracing them.
The exercise was incredibly revealing. Not only could I learn to love myself more after living without toenail polish <who knew!>, I extended this challenge into other areas of my life. I tried going to meetings with friends or colleagues without certain elements of makeup. I was terrified of leaving the house without lipstick on, so I started there. Sans lipstick I dared to go shopping, teaching and working. Naturally, I learned that I am still a compelling, lovely person with or without my toenail polish or lipstick. Today I do wear them, but now I do it consciously, rather than unconsciously. In the past, I used to wear them to cover up imperfections (and a part of my true self). Today I wear them because they flawlessly accompany a great outfit.
Society, media, others teach us that we can’t possibly be happy if we don’t have the latest item, fad, face cream, lip gloss, and toenail polish.
My little private journey led me to a new kind of freedom. Internal freedom that had nothing to do with what the outside world thought.
How about you? Can you live a day (or week or month) without your makeup / toenail polish / facials / hair products?
If you take the challenge and find your body image freedom, tell us about it!
Robyn Hussa Farrell, Author & Editor, #RealDeal