A Teachable Moment

Here’s something I’ve noticed over the years about women (and girls back when I called them that) and that is that very few, like 1 out of hundreds…maybe thousands of women, who are actually proud of their bodies. Proud in the sense that women actually like themselves (visually), how they look (clothed and naked) and feel that they are pretty, sexy, desirable, etc. I’m sure it’s society to blame but…

…there’s plenty of that stuff to go around.

Many times when I compliment a woman on how she looks—i.e. in the form of a truly sincere and meaningful (to me) comment about her outfit or her hair or her body…whatever…it’s like she understands that this is what I’m supposed to say, that I am merely being polite and I can’t possibly mean any of those flattering things. Seriously, if you’re a woman you know I’m not exaggerating…you’re so uncomfortable addressing your own body image (whether that discomfort is derived from society as a whole or specific trauma) that you cannot, even for a second, imagine that the nice words being said about you are true or sincere.

You just don’t believe it.

And that disbelief affects more than you know. It affects how we (the men or the women attracted to you) eventually see you because the more that you deflect and downplay and distract with deprecation or self-belittlement…or even giggles, the more we come to be convinced that you are right and we are wrong. That somehow we’re not seeing reality—the real you—so we adjust and conform our perception to more closely align with your perception. So eventually you end up not having to deflect or downplay or distract us anymore…and not uncomfortable anymore…and ultimately…

…surrounded by people who just stop noticing the physical part of “you”.

That, in itself, is such a sad and desolate thing, to never be noticed, to simply pass through life as if a shadow or a ghost but to add that it is the people who love and feel deeply and strongly for you who are the ones you’ve taught to ignore you, well…

…that’s the saddest thing of all. Um…

…but it’s not like you’re going to change a pattern of behavior (learned your whole life) as a result of one semi-articulate dude on the internet so let me ask you to one simple thing. The next time someone—anyone at all—compliments you on how you look, your smile, your clothes or even your body…immediately smile and simply say “Thank you”. Do that a couple of times…

…and you’ll soon be able to see what you’re teaching people.

Believe. Go. Do.


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