I hate my pudgy stomach. Two C-sections, countless cookies and cakes and brownies and too few hours engaged in cardio have left me feeling really full around my middle. I like my arms, my thighs, my shoulders, calves and even my butt, but my belly? That.thing.must.GO!
However, my husband will routinely put his hand on my belly and squeeze, meaning it in an endearing way, and I always freak out. “Don’t touch my belly fat!” I immediately make plans to get to the gym and sweat for an hour.
But see, I’m doing myself a disservice here. I wish I could see my body the way my husband does. He sees a woman when he looks at me. He likes my curves and all my edges (heeey John Legend), and doesn’t see imperfections. He sees me, and the way my body is supposed to look.
When I see myself naked in the mirror, I see a project. Tone those arms, lose that gut, slim those thighs. But when my husband sees me naked, he thinks, “Mine. Mine. Mine.”
It’s difficult for a woman who struggles with self-image to accept that what her man is telling her is genuine, but ladies, I’ll let you in on a little secret: when you begin to look at yourself and say, “Yeah, my body is banging, even with the cellulite,” you begin to see what he sees. You begin to see an attractive woman and all the cool things your body can do.
Men don’t look at the female form in the same way we do. Yes, they enjoy traditionally beautiful women like Beyonce or Scarlett Johansson, but “regular” women turn them on in ways we as women can’t even imagine.
So the next time your man compliments your body, don’t shirk away from it. Accept it with a smile and say, “Thank you.”