“Symmetry is pleasing but not as sexy. Einstein is cool but Picasso knows what I am talking about!”
At first when I read this quote in Amy Poehler’s book Yes Please, I thought what the helllll does this mean. Then I couldn’t get this quote out of my mind. It became so big, profound, and powerful that it made me look at my body in a completely different way. I think everyone could interpret this quote differently but let me explain why it impacted my self confidence.
Scientists have proven through studies that people prefer those with symmetrical faces and bodies. I love how Amy puts it, symmetry is pleasing but not sexy.. Difference is sexy. In my opinion we live in a shallow society where we have a very twisted idea of what sexy is. We view sexy as a Megan Fox type who looks like perfection in every magazine which are perfectly photo shopped.
Picasso would understand Amy because he lead a beautiful revolution in the early to mid 1900s. He painted pictures of women with unsymmetrical bodies and faces. He painted naked women with curves and flaws. He found the beauty in the imperfection. I wish he was alive today sharing this beautiful movement.
How did I pull self confidence out of these random facts and stories? Let me share with you my body’s journey in the past two years: I was a fit, active individual who loved running multiple times a week often up to 10km a day. Then I became ill and went on a cocktail of medication for a chronic illness to improve my life. Like any medication can do, I gained 70 pounds in six weeks. That is a lot on my 5’4″ frame. This was devastating to my self esteem. I had never felt so ugly and unattractive. I was engaged to my husband and had to buy a new wedding dress that I didn’t love five weeks before my wedding. I had to buy a completely new wardrobe and every picture I saw of myself I cringed.
I’ve lost some of the weight but not all. I had to put away half my clothes because they didn’t fit. But somehow I had to come to peace with my body, I had to gain back my confidence. I am not all the way there but here has been some ways I have begun to change the way I view my body:
1) True beauty comes from the inside: Yes we have all heard this a million times but it has taken on a new meaning for me: people care more about how you make them feel about themselves more than they care what you look like. I want to be someone who makes other people feel valuable and that their thoughts and feelings matter and are respected.
2) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: I am not talking about anyone else but me. In my eyes I have to see myself as beautiful, sexy, and powerful. It is when I view myself like this that I am more likely to take the best care of my body. It is then that I can take steps to focus on health over shape.
3) Own the curves: at first during the weight gain I tried to cover myself up with oversized clothes. Then I learned how to dress for my body type. I also try to put in more effort into my wardrobe and makeup at times.. No matter what size you are, you probably don’t feel your best with no make up and sweatpants. How hot do you feel when your look is on point? For me it’s a whole lot!
I’m sure at one point all of us will go through a change whether from illness, medication, aging, or pregnancy. The important thing is to love your body, love who you are, and focus on encouraging others.