You'd Be So Pretty If...

How to teach your daughter to love her body—even when you don't love your own.

Vintage Valentine's Day: A Love Letter to My Behind

Say nice things about a body part you don't love.

It's Valentine's Day, a day on which we traditionally express our love for others. But when's the last time you expressed some love for yourself to yourself?

I wrote recently about the value of celebrating not only the milestones in our lives, but our good health, too. I mentioned a fellow writer who underwent a double mastectomy at the age of 38. If you do nothing else today, please take a moment to read her poignant blog post about saying goodbye to her breasts. Go ahead...I'll wait.

Pretty powerful, don't you think?

Since I first read Catherine's post, I can't stop thinking about the time I've spent wishing this or that were different on my own body. It's a very common, very real experience for most of the women I know. It goes a little something like this: We focus on our "flaw" (or, more likely, "flaws") to the extent that we not only don't appreciate the important things like our bodies' good health, but we fail to appreciate what we like about ourselves. Those "imperfections" become our focus, and some of us spend a significant portion of our lives trying to change or hide them.

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Today, I challenge all my readers to celebrate their bodies' "imperfections." That's right, I said celebrate. Find three nice things to say about that body part you haven't always loved. While you don't have to do it publicly, I'll start the challenge by sharing that I haven't always appreciated my backside. With that said, here's my little love letter to my behind:

1. You sure can fill out a pair of jeans nicely.

2. You respond really well to exercise; lunges have made you firm and round.

3. You keep me nice and comfy during long hours of sitting at softball and baseball games.

There...I did it. And so can you.

 Happy Valentine's Day!

Dara Chadwick is the author of You'd Be So Pretty If… :Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies—Even When We Don't Love Our Own.

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