I devote large portions of this blog to promoting body positivity ’cause — quite simply — I believe women in today’s society need to hear encouraging messages and words of affirmation more than ever before.
However, lately it’s occurred to me that these “body positive” mantras often come from a sole female perspective. While this isn’t a negative thing, it does exclude one crucial component from the overall equation.
Let’s face the facts. We ladies care deeply about how we’re perceived by the men in our lives. Often, we have absolutely no idea what they’re thinking when they give us the requisite once-over. But, deep down, we crave their wide-eyed approval, reassuring us that we’re still desirable.
Seriously, though…what DOES a guy think when his girl enters the room — tiny flaws and all? I’ve recruited a certain dapper dude (otherwise known as mah boyfriend) to answer this question. It’s about time we added a male voice to the “body image” commentary and shed some light on what they see behind our self-deprecation.
So, without further ado:
To an Insecure Girl from the Guy Who Finds Her Incredible
Before we go out on a date, I’m usually the first to get ready. I’ll be sitting on the couch, scrolling through some article on my phone, and then I’ll look up and catch a glimpse of you getting ready.
You’re straightening your hair. Picking out jewelry. Zipping up that dress. Then, you examine yourself in the mirror. You’ll stare silently for a while before beginning the inspection: legs, arms, torso, backside…the list goes on. Finally, you give this look.
A look I know too well.
A look that reads: Disappointed. Not impressed. Not good enough.
You’ll leave the bathroom, unaware that I’m gaping at this radiant goddess in front of me. I’ll say “You look incredible,” and you’ll respond with a small, quiet “Thanks.”
But I still know what you’re thinking: Disappointed. Not impressed. Not good enough.
So, here’s my response to those toxic words poisoning your mind.
They’re simply not true. Nope, not all.
Before I reveal what’s really going through my mind when I say “You look incredible,” there’s something else you need to know. And this might just be the most important thing I’ll ever tell you. So, take notes. Remember my words. Make sure they stick.
You, my love, are beautiful — both on the inside and out.
Did you read that? Carefully?
I repeat: Beautiful on the inside and out.
You’re probably wondering right about now, “Did this joker actually say he cares about my character? Not just my physical appearance?”
Listen. I won’t lie about the male species. We do respond to visuals. And there are plenty of men out there, who focus only on visuals. Those guys are pigs, though. Assholes.
I apologize for the pigs and assholes you’ve encountered throughout your life. They’re not real men. Maybe they’ll learn to become one someday.
But, the real men — who respect their peers, support their loved ones, and stay true to their morals — those men want a real woman.
I want a real woman.
I don’t want an airbrushed model on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit or that busty chick in some Playboy spread. I want the beauty standing right in front of me, who I can see with my own eyes. The feisty spit-fire I can debate with over cocktails. Someone with hopes, dreams, and goals.
A real woman is kind. Intelligent. Funny. Compassionate. Ambitious. Strong. And it just so happens that this man is attracted to this real woman.
I’m crazy about her smile, her infectious laughter, and the way her voice pitches when we discuss a topic she’s passionate about. I melt when those huge, engaged eyes stare into mine, embracing this moment just between us. I love how she plays with her hair when she’s nervous or casually sips her drink with those smooth lips.
Those artificial, photo-shopped images you’re obsessing over — the ones you think all men desire — they can’t satisfy a real man.
They’re just ideals that many girls wish they could emulate. But I find this sad because a real man doesn’t want an ideal. He wants you.
I. Want. You.
Because you’re real. And they’re fake.
Stop comparing yourselves to those other girls. Stop scrutinizing your reflection and thinking “my thighs are fat” when, in reality, they’re gorgeously toned. Stop pinching your stomach and sighing “this isn’t flat enough” when there isn’t even extra skin to pinch. Stop jiggling your arms and moaning “Look at all this flab hanging from my biceps” when such nonsense couldn’t be further from the truth. Stop staring at your chest and wondering “If these boobs were fuller, maybe he’d be more into me” because, babe, that’s outrageous!
Just stop! Don’t stack yourself up against those false representations. You know what will happen?
You will decompose.
Decompose before my eyes. You’ll gradually become consumed with dangerous thoughts, like “If I eat less, I’ll look like her,” or “Gotta skip lunch and dinner if I want that perfect body.”
No. That is not healthy. That is you rotting away. And you’ll lose yourself in the process. These ideals — the ones you constantly compete with — they’ll win. Please don’t let them win. Never in my life would I want to witness you deal with such torture.
My desire is to see you grow.
Grow into that strong, capable woman you truly are. Grow into that confident bombshell, who loves herself and takes pride in her uniqueness.
Your physical shape or size simply doesn’t matter. A real man will love everything you have to offer. He won’t hear the negative voices screaming in your head. He only sees you marching to the beat of your own drum.
And that’s what a real man finds most attractive.
So, when you finally walk out of the bathroom, and we leave for our date night, pay close attention when I say “You look incredible.” Because here’s what’s on my mind…
I’m so blessed by you. Blessed to sit across from you. Blessed to slip my hand into yours. Blessed to learn more about you. Blessed to make memories we’ll both cherish.
Knowing we’re spending this evening together — me and this lively, passionate goddess — makes my heart race. How did I get so lucky? The most beautiful girl I’ve ever known chose me, and I’m truly honored.
In a world full of illusions plastered on computer screens and magazine covers, you’re all I see.
Because you look incredible.
A Real Man