How Not To Hate Your Body

Maybe you are a lady and you hate your body because you don’t deserve to have control over it, according to the highest authority on law in the land. Or maybe you are a man and you hate your body because it doesn’t look like what you see on TV or in pornzz or whatever.

Well, don’t worry! Because I have a few pieces of advice for you on How To Not Hate Your Body, whether you are a woman, a man, or a genderqueer person who does not conform to the binary system! Some of these ideas may seem silly and lame and non-snarky, because guess what? True things are often sincere things, and sincerity has never been “cool.” Right now, we’re going to dispense with ideas of what is and is not cool and we’re going to do our best to save your self-esteem and maybe your life in the process, so strap the fuck in for a loving ride (no, not THAT kind of loving ride, jeez, we are not a pornzz site, OR ARE WE).

1. Think of all the great things your body can do.

Your body is a miracle machine that runs a brain and houses a soul (maybe, if you believe in that sort of thing). So you have a physical disability or a mental illness or some other difficulty that makes life a struggle sometimes or all the time. I’m not minimizing your pain, any more than I would minimize my own. (Every few years, I get pretty deep into the whole “I want to kill myself” thing. It’s why I take so much medication all the time. It is Not Fun but I am still alive!) If you are reading this, your body is doing something right. You are able to perceive words and to understand that when they are strung together, they mean things. That’s amazing! Your brain is doing at least part of its job, and this is very exciting, because human brains make the world a fascinating and beautiful and terrible and evil place, and you can choose how to use your brainpower — for Good or for Eeeeevil. Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t that glorious? Isn’t that utterly fantastic? (Yes. The answer to all three questions is yes.)

2. Look in the mirror and tell yourself, “I love you.”

Remember, we are not being “cool” today, or at least not right now. So get up, go to a mirror (or set your phone camera to selfie mode) and gaze into your own eyes. Say, “I love you.” Say it. Fucking say it. Okay, or think it. You are a beautiful creature worthy of love and devotion, and there is only one of you in the whole wide world and there will only ever be one of you, ever, throughout time and space, so why not get comfortable with yourself? Why not love yourself exactly as you are? This doesn’t mean you don’t want to improve your behavior, your habits, your thoughts or your demeanor. You can love yourself and want to be better, all at the same time. And don’t just do the “I love you” thing once. Do it once a day. Do it twice a day. Do it every single time you catch sight of your reflection. If you tell yourself something over and over and over again, you will eventually believe it. This is why people internalize religious beliefs; they hear the same thing over and over and over again, generally when they are children and their minds are ready to absorb anything at all. This is also why people believe it when they are told over and over again, implicitly or explicitly, by family members or advertisers, that they are ugly or stupid or somehow less than desirable. You’re an adult now and it’s up to you to change your programming to the best of your abilities! So get on the “I love you” train and don’t feel like a dork for doing it.

3. Masturbate.

Masturbation is a wonderful way to give yourself physical affection and to enjoy the magic of the orgasm, the most fun thing a body can do! It also helps you familiarize yourself with the touch and sight and scent and hell, even taste of your special parts, which is great as far as health goes too (especially for ladies — it is such a complex velvet labyrinth down there, is it not?). You need to love yourself before you can truly love anyone else, so you may as well get all up in your own business and have a wonderful time. Whether or not you actually achieve orgasm, masturbation is a fabulous affirmation of your body’s ability to do awesome things.

4. Sleep naked.

When I was younger, I felt uncomfortable with my own body. So I started sleeping naked, in order to get more accustomed to being in my own skin, and guess what? It worked! I got used to just being naked, as if nudity were a natural state of being and not something to be ashamed of. Take that, Serpent in the Garden of Eden! Naked and unashamed, even after the Fall. Huzzah!

5. Every day, do something nice for your body.

Maybe you try chia seeds, which are good for you! Maybe you take a nice long walk with your dog, longer than is absolutely necessary. Maybe you get on the treadmill and listen to music for a half hour. Maybe you do some stretches to break up the day of sitting at work. Do one happy nice time thing for your body every day, to show it you care about it and are willing to take care of it, too.

6. Do not say anything about your body that you wouldn’t say to its face.

Haha, this is a joke, because we make jokes on Happy Nice Time People, did you know? Anyway, the true point here is that you shouldn’t talk shit about your own body. You wouldn’t do that to a friend, would you? Well, why would you do it to yourself? It’s mean and pointless and only reinforces old negative beliefs about who you are and how you look and why that matters. It’s a waste of time and a waste of breath and a waste of that big beautiful human brain you’ve got up in your noggin. If you can’t say anything nice about your body, don’t say anything at all. Every time you feel yourself about to criticize your own body, say, “I love you” instead. Hating your body hasn’t helped you in any way; let’s see what loving your body can do.

This piece was reposted with permission from Happy Nice Time People. Here is more of their awesomeness: