Time to Be Thankful

I've never really bought into the whole one-day-a-year-to-give-thanks thing. It's a nice idea, but. . . well, doesn't giving thanks feel like something one should do a bit more often? Gala and the iCiNG community do this every Thursday, and even though I don't participate on my blog, I like to keep the "Things I Love Thursday" badge on my sidebar to show my support and whatnot. But, since today is both Thanksgiving and a Thursday, I think it's time to run the first ever Fashion-y Blog TILT. It will be body-related and not in list form, but it's a TILT all the same. Can you dig it?

Today I am thankful for my appearance. It sounds vain, I know, and it pretty much is, but let me explain.

This photo is a bit of an older one (hence the bangs and sandals that would allow for frostbite should I wear them now); details on the outfit can be found here.

Over the past few years, I've become a lot more comfortable with my body. I was never one of those girls who stands in front of the mirror for the sole purpose of bashing every body part, but I've definitely had a mental list of my physical "flaws"at any given time - large nose, knobby knees, a non-flat stomach, over-large boobs - but nothing I've ever found particularly horrific. It may seem weird to list those "flaws" here where everyone can look at my photos and critique how I look, but the fact is I've been appreciating these so-called physical imperfections a lot more lately. Large nose? Not such a deformity after all. Gives my face character, I think. Knobby knees? I think I'm the only one who even notices these, to be honest. I am now nonplussed by them. Non-flat stomach? It's not really natural for most women to have flat stomachs. Even with large amounts of exercise I've never been able to achieve this, because it's a tiny curve I'm meant to have. And curves are a pleasing shape, after all. And my boobs? Again, curves are pleasing to the eye. I think I like 'em after all, even if they make bikini shopping quite difficult.

Yes, I feel a little awkward having written about my chest size knowing that classmates, family members, friends, and the like read this, but I'll let it be. Not something to be embarassed about, really. I've been thinking a lot about body image and how it shouldn't be considered vain or taboo to appreciate the way we look in all its uniqueness. Why should it be? Isn't it a much healthier mindset to find the beauty in ourselves and be proud of that than to be vocal about our hated features while keeping quiet about our loved features? I think so. And for that matter, since I'm spewing out random thoughts as it is, I wish compliments could be given more freely in our society. I often compliment strangers on their clothing or accessories, which never fails to elicit a smile and some friendly vibes (if not friendly conversation), but why is it inappropriate to tell a stranger, "Hi, I just wanted to say I think you have the most amazing legs"? Why can't we receive compliments like these without feeling overly scrutinized or hit on? The fact is, we all notice the way people look, albeit not to the same degree we notice our personal appearances, and it would be good for us to be more vocal about this in a positive way when we live in a society full of eating disorders, idolized stick-thin models, and obesity.

For now, I stick to the safe appearance-related compliments when I want to brighten someone else's day. Eyes and hair, folks, eyes and hair.

I would also like to add that, having spent the last 20 minutes or so ranting about body image, I think the preoccupation our society has with physical appearance is kind of ridiculous. Let's also take the time to appreciate the fact that our bodies are the vessels that keep us alive, that they pump blood, take in oxygen, fight illness, allow us to move and think and experience joy, and generally give us everything we have.

That's my long, rambling, tangent-filled TILT. I hope it didn't make me sound disgustingly positive, disgustingly appearance-obsessed, or disgustingly vain.

What do you love and appreciate about your body? It's a great exercise to list your "flaws" and then think of reasons to appreciate them, but I would also love to hear about what you find absolutely gorgeous about yourself. A collection of positive comments always seems to induce extreme happiness (another reason why Miss Gala's site is so fantastic), so let's make it happen. Go forth and comment, anonymously if you so choose, or proudly under your name. I am thankful for this in advance, haha.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Have a good night! And if you want more positive reading material, check out SARK. I'm currently reading her book Succulent Wild Woman (in tandem with Joseph Campbell's fascinating The Power of Myth, which you should also take a look at) and wow is that woman incredible.