This very morning while perusing my favorite web new sources, I came across a picture of my favorite actress. I only knew it was her because of the caption underneath the photo. The image itself looked more like her skeleton. I rationalized her dramatic weight-loss on an upcoming role. I thought about it all day long. I am thinking about it now. I am so tired of the forced size 0. It’s got to stop.

A couple of weeks ago I posted on my personal blog about plastic surgery. I asked readers to tell me what they would like to “have done”. The responses were entertaining to read. I found companionship in wanting physical change. I want my lips fuller, my friend would like more breast density. Though, I did mention that for me and my body, we have decided against using plastic surgery. My decision came when I heard Elder Holland in the Spring 2006 General Conference.

“In terms of preoccupation with self and a fixation on the physical, this is more than social insanity; it is spiritually destructive, and it accounts for much of the unhappiness women, including young women, face in the modern world. And if adults are preoccupied with appearance—tucking and nipping and implanting and remodeling everything that can be remodeled—those pressures and anxieties will certainly seep through to children.”

A week after my post, an e-mail came into my in-box from a reader named Beth who made a strong point:

“Centuries ago, it was all the rave to have a bulging stomach: signifying fertility and wealth. Only a few decades ago, women were want to have almost no chest at all. You know, so the beads would hang straight? I think we would all agree that perfection is not simply how perky one’s chest is, or how “fertile” our bellies look. Plastic surgery is just another way that women are being objectified and demoralized. I wish we could better understand Elder Holland’s quote (and his whole talk).”

Beth was right. I didn’t understand Elder Holland really. He was encouraging me to discard desires to want to change God-given physical attributes, not hang onto them with a pious sense of displeasure. To be a daughter of God means that I love what He gave me.

Upon further contemplation, I started to wonder about our premortal lives. I’d like to think that we were given a catalog (much thicker than Sears) of bodies to choose from for our earthly experience. Perhaps it was the first use of agency for which we had fought so earnestly. If we had any inkling of what our lives would be like here, it would make our body choice more effective.

Yes. Let’s see. I will take the less-full-lips on page 78. The full-lips will only induce my tendency for piercings.

Hmm. I don’t really mind the inflatable/deflatable breasts. Keeps people guessing.

I’d like to channel my premortal self and ask her the extensive background about choosing my thighs, but for now I am just going to trust her.

They do make for a nice lap to sit on.

See? My attitude is changing already.

At the end of her e-mail Beth had a question for me, and I’d like to pose it to you (yes you, reading at the computer while your kids are playing outside on their scooters). What is it about your body that you love?

(My answer: You should see my wrists, seriously delicate and dainty. Even better in action when I am typing.)


May 10, 2007

41 Comments

  1. j5t

    May 9, 2007

    I like my wrists. I like my hands when they’re playing a guitar or cooking or tickling one of my kids. My hair has potential. I love, absolutely LOVE my body when I am pregnant.

    I have thought and thought and thought about why my belly area (and back area) isn’t (aren’t) more appealing. I do believe that my premortal self knew that if my midsection was slender, then the temptation to show it off would be very, very strong.

  2. kelly mccaleb

    May 9, 2007

    i recently found out i’m not actually as pretty as i always thought i was. i’m rather plain and portly, actually. but i always assumed myself gorgeous because i’d look right into my intense blue eyes in the mirror and be so mesmerized as to not glance elsewhere. oh boy! was i missing a lot of crummy stuff i just found out of boredom. but no matter! i’ll just keep focusing on those dreamy, dreamy eyes…and think about how i have all eternity to be perfect.
    p.s. my calves are amazing.

  3. Tiffany

    May 9, 2007

    I have great, thick (thanks Dad), naturally curly hair and I also have my father’s dry skin which means dry lips no golden tan BUT also no blemishes. I get one pimple like twice a year. Thanks Dad!

    I often tell the young women that I teach at church that when they say things like – I am fat, my ears are too big, I hate my big feet, my belly button is too high – they are basically telling Heavenly Father that what He created is junk. HF doesn’t not create things that aren’t beautiful. Do not slap Him in the face for creating such a masterpiece.

    Along those same lines I think women are too hard on their pregnant and post-pregnant bodies. Do you realize the UTTER AND COMPLETE MIRACLE your body just went through to create another life? Give it a break!

    I had a great yoga instructor when I lived in Utah that always had us thank our bodies at the end of the session. Thank your feet and your hands, thank your body for working so hard all day.

    I always thought that was so refreshing to hear. We need to give our bodies more credit.

    Marjorie Hinckley said years ago during a Women’s Conference at BYU that she massages her own feet every night and thanks them for getting her to all the places she needs to go. I have never forgot about that. What an example.

  4. Dalene

    May 9, 2007

    Tiffany–I love your comment! I had never heard that story about Sister Hinckley, but I’m going to try to take her wisdom to heart.

    I’ve said this before, but I believe we as women should more actively define beauty and femininity from within rather than allow it to be dictateto us by a world that is superficial and false.

    Courtney, perhaps your question is the first step.

    Once I stopped comparing them to those of others I began to love my eyes. And no, it doesn’t hurt that other people notice them as well. But I don’t just love them because they can be rather pretty; I love them because they allow me to see the beauty around me.

    As for your catalog idea, I really ought to learn that you should never take something home without first having tried it on.

  5. Maralise

    May 9, 2007

    I’m not sure I could pinpoint one thing I REALLY like about my body. You see, none of my parts are especially interesting on their own, but I like the combination. Taking away my big bottom would only make my chest look huge, slimming up my legs would only make my bottom look bigger. Get the picture? Of course, I would like to be healthier, toner, even skinnier. But, regardless, I like the package enough to keep it.

    And on the plastic surgery question…I would unhesitatingly get a boob lift and a tummy tuck (although I’ve heard it’s really dangerous…maybe not). So there.

  6. Elizabeth

    May 9, 2007

    I love my eyes. They are big and brown and I think they might have some magic in them. I often find that when I look at my husband right in the eyes during one of those special moments, he gets this adorable grin (almost shy) and melts into butta and then whispers, “Wow. You have the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen.” He did that last night, except I think I’m the one that melted into butta.

    My ears are also neither big nor small and they don’t stick out either. It’s nice.

  7. Leisha

    May 9, 2007

    I love the big scars all over my middle half from 6 surgeries in 9 years because… It reminds me of how each time I was in the hospital I would get a new perspective. I would realize that I had become an observer of life, no longer a participant. I desperately wanted to get back to being a participant! My big dream was to be able to take my kids to the grocery store and go to Target by myself. It also reminds me of what a great husband I chose. The kind of husband who would sleep on uncomfortable cots next to me in the hospital for months. The kind of husband who would bathe me when I couldn’t move. My scars put things into perspective for me at least once a day when I get out of the shower. I love them for that!

  8. Sharlee

    May 9, 2007

    I have very stylish ankles. Got them from my mom. They were her one point of vanity. All my sisters got them too. Lucky us!

    I also have very nice thighs–if you look at them from the side, not straight on, that is. Really, if you saw only my thighs (from the side), you would think I had a very hot body. Trouble is, short of wearing short shorts (and positioning yourself so that people can view you only from the side), how do you show off nice thighs?

    Seriously though, great post, Courtney. I do love my body. I love that it gave birth (five times!), produced enough milk to make all five babies strong and healthy and juicy, carried me through Italy, Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Arches, Zion, Goblin Valley, Little Wild Horse Canyon, and University Mall during the Christmas rush; to the top of Mount Timpanogos, to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, and up and down my stairs a million times each day. I love that it can twist into a pretzel during yoga, bend to pull a week, straighten to lift a child, and curve to snuggle with my husband.

  9. liz

    May 9, 2007

    I like my cervix. It can go from 5 to 10 centimeters in about 15 minutes, which has allowed me to give birth au naturel to four lovely children. I don’t wish to gloat, for I know this is not everyone’s childbirth experience, but I am thankful for it. Pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding have been very empowering for me as a woman and have caused me to love my body. It’s like I finally figured out what it was designed to do.

    As for the rest of me, I don’t love every part, but I would’t trade the whole of me. Bodies are like everything else in life — part great, part so-so, imperfect, but it’s all just fine in the end.

  10. Pflower10

    May 9, 2007

    I’ve always wanted stylish ankles, instead I have something akin to cankles. Great posts everyone.

    The things that I used to love about my body/ my self are changing all the time. I sat here thinking and thinking about what body part I have always enjoyed and I’ve realized that as I change so does my favorite body part. And the worst realization that I’m having is that I DON’T have a favorite body part or love a part of my body right now. I am at war with myself and I need not to be.
    In your first article on Plastic Surgery I stated that I love my flaws. And I do love my flaws, I think it’s our “flaws” that make us individuals. I also think that it’s a little boring and unnatural to look at “perfect bodies”.
    I don’t think I can dissect by body in parts to love, so I’ll just say I love what it does for me everyday and I will try to take good care of it so that it can love me back.

  11. Justine

    May 9, 2007

    I love my body. I love all the wierd shapes of it. I love my big butt. I love my too-big boobs. The only substantive change I would make is somehow make it so I could stop waxing so dang often. But that’s it.

    I feel like my body reminds me of every experience I’ve ever had. Kind of like Leisha, which is such a beautiful comment.

    We wear our scars of life with pride and rememberance. They keep us who we are. My poochy tummy would never have had the chance to be that way if I hadn’t had my kids. My worn out knees would never have been like that if I hadn’t given in to the exhilaration of running. My hands would be pristine were it for all that living and creating I’ve been doing!

    I love this beautiful Botticelli body of mine (as long as I only have to be seen in a swimming suit once or twice a year)

  12. Pflower10

    May 9, 2007

    PS. I’m not opposed to having surgery to put things back from whence they came!

  13. Natalie

    May 9, 2007

    My legs used to be my answer. Actually I guess they still are. I cried when I got a varicose vein when I was pregnant with Kade. But my body is just that, my body. I am ok with it. And I”m lucky to have a husband who tells me I’m gorgeous everyday.

    For the record, I think I said I “want” new boobs. I don’t know that I’ll actually ever get them.

  14. Wendysue

    May 9, 2007

    Liz’s cervix answer was cracking me up!

    I would have to say that I love my body for being generally healthy. I’ve never broken a bone, or had any major health problems. Sure I’ve had my bouts with Mono, strep throat, and not being able to handle the hormones of BCP or of tiny babies growing inside of me, BUT my body can handle most everything and take care of itself. Thank you amazing body!!

    As I was reading this post I kept thinking of the words to an India Arie song “video girl”

    “I’m not the average girl from your video,
    and I’m not built like a supermodel,
    but I learn to love myself unconditionally,
    because I am a queen. . .

    I know my creator didn’t make no mistakes on me,
    my feet, my thighs, my lips, my eyes
    I’m lovin’ what I see. .

    Am I less of a lady if I don’t wear pantyhose?
    My Momma said a lady ain’t what she wears but what she knows. . .

    Don’t need your silicone, I prefer my own
    what God gave me is just fine”

  15. Megan

    May 9, 2007

    I love this post. It’s not everyday someone makes us think about the parts of the body that we love. I think I love all of your posts to tell you the truth.
    Where do I start?
    I love my eyes. They are a brownish green with many dots in them. I’ve never seen anyone with dots in their eyes before so it makes me feel a little unique.
    I used to love my booty when I had one. It has since melted away to almost nothing, but I pretend it’s how it used to be.
    I love my barely there chest. I dance, so I find the smaller the better. I’ve seen girls complain and whine because their large chest got in the way of their dancing. I would like to thank my daughter for reducing them even more in size after she stopped nursing.
    I also love my skin. I have blemishes, but that’s not what I mean. I have an olive skin complexion that tans up nicely and rarely burns. Thanks you my Cherokee heritage!
    I will stop there. Thank you for reminding me that there are things that I love!

  16. Heather O.

    May 9, 2007

    I never thanked my body for being able to function pain free

    That was a mistake.

    I love my clavicles, too. Hey, you asked.

  17. Wodin

    May 9, 2007

    A lot of people have commented that they like their eyes, and I have to admit that I really like my eyes, too. They are a kind of slate blue that is understated but pretty. Plus I have hugely long eyelashes that just rock. And I have really lovely eyebrows with a natural arch. The entire ocular area is a plus for me.

    I also like my mouth. I have great lips (they’re full and pink), and the $3,000 on braces were well spent. Actually, I don’t mind my face at all. My nose is kind of unusual, but not big or anything. I have nice cheeks, and the general shape of my face is kind of nice.

    I also love my hands. They are huge. I inherited my hands from my farmer grandfather, and the palms are just enormous and the fingers are long and they taper nicely. Big hands really make it possible to play the piano. And the fingernails are strong and unbreakable.

    I never realized it, but that is a lot more to like about my body than I had ever considered. Thanks for making me think about myself in such a positive way.

  18. Ashley

    May 9, 2007

    As a commenter on the above mentioned “what I would like changed with surgery,” I too have thought a lot about women’s issues with their bodies this week. I work for an female M.D. and we have had a rush of women and girls with eating disorders. It’s unbelievable how it can take over someones life! So starting now there is a new attitude in town! I have decided that I have amazing calves and ankles. Even that mean boy in the 11th grade (who said my thighs were big) can’t influence me on my body image if I don’t let him.

  19. Alyssa

    May 9, 2007

    its interesting i think about this all the time … i think about what will i tell my daughters or the young women if i ever teach them at church? i ponder how you can stop the influence from seeping in and then i realized that my parents had done it … they had kept me from wanted to be a size 0 when i wasnt that since i think i was 12 – and the way they did it was self confidence.

    too often you hear little girls talking about how they look fat … in their rainbow bright stretch pants that is … and where do you think they hear it? they hear it at home, they see their moms looking in the mirror saying im fat and being on every fad diet … we must remember that we are the role models for the children and that to them we are wonder women – they dont care if we are a size 2 or a size 16.

    so i think the more we can build up young girls’ self confidence by telling them constantly how beautiful they are and constantly reminding them of their self worth and their value as a daughter of God.

  20. Tall Girl

    May 9, 2007

    Can we love and dislike things about our bodies at the same time?

    I love that I am tall (can carry a few extra pounds ok) and then hate it at the same time. Mostly because I can’t just walk into a store to buy clothes off the rack and sometimes I want to be inconspicuous and it is hard to be that at my height.

    I love my long legs but they are covered in very bad vericose veins. I love my skin it tans easy but I have a bazillion moles. I love that I have thick hair but it is naturally curly, but not the good kind, just the kind that looks messy and frizzy and requires too much time to no look like a wild woman.

    I have great lips and smile, but I say that only because my husband just loves my lips and smile and people have told me that I have a nice smile. I guess I am undecided.

    I suppose I don’t love any part of my body unconditionally. I better work on this. Thanks Courtney for the heads up.

  21. Kati

    May 9, 2007

    Sharlee, you just made my day! Stylish ankles? That’s one I’ve never heard! I have no clue what a stylish ankle would look like, you’ll have to show me those -dare I say- “sexy” ankles sometime. 😉 (I’m still laughing about that, by the way.)

    I love my body, despite it’s many problems. I don’t have a body that lets me do what I want pain-free, or carry me all of the places I need to go, it has a lot of limitations, but it’s still my body, the one I’ve been given, and I love it’s many quirks. All of the scars from various surgeries and procedures are like battle scars, reminders of what my body has made it through. It is so remarkable all that are bodies can put up with, and I’m always amazed at how intricate everything is, how every little part works together to make everything run smoothly. I think it’s amazing that we have health at all, there’s so many things that could stop working at any moment. I have a couple of siblings in the medical field, who have worked with cadavers, (something I could never stomach), and both have said it is actually a very spiritual experience, to be able to see the body, and witness up close what a magnificent creation Heavenly Father made.

    My favorite part of my body would have to be my hair. It’s long (getting close to my waist), red, and very naturally curly. I love it! I used to not appreciate it, when I was an early teen, but now I enjoy it so much. I like my hands too. I have long, slender fingers, and fingernails that are really strong and grow fast and people ask me if I have a manicure, but I don’t, they’re real. There’s many things I don’t like, but I’ve learned/am learning to accept them. My body makes me unique- I think a perfect body would be boring. It’s just so incredible all that our bodies do for us…

  22. Justine

    May 9, 2007

    By the way, Courtney, you rock. This is a most excellent discussion.

    I just want to hug all you ladies!

  23. Erica

    May 9, 2007

    Hmmm.

    Well, I don’t have my mom’s nice-from-the-side thighs, and I’m not sure if I inherited her stylish ankles. I’ll have to ask! (Hey Mama. . .)

    I don’t mind my calves though, and on certain days, I’m quite fond of my green, long-lashed eyes. (It feels very weird to say that. Isn’t complimenting yourself sort of an unspoken social taboo?)

    I also like my hands because, even though they’re too small, they type 80 wpm and play Chopin and Arensky. Like so many of you, I love my body for what it allows me to do. I’m so grateful that it keeps picking itself up and pushing forward even when I don’t give it the top-notch care it deserves.

    That’s all!

  24. Rynell

    May 9, 2007

    Body image is something that has plagued me for my entire life…31 years and counting. I am built sturdy, not thin. I was a solid kid, and (thankfully) an athletic adolescent. And now after several pregnancies, I have extra padding which I try to eliminate, but not obsess over.

    As for what I like about my body: I have to say my muscles. I am strong. My husband never has to call a man to help him heft a washing machine or heavy furniture. I used to try to bring an entire carload of groceries inside the house in one armload.

    On the flip side, I am learning to love my cervix. It has been unhappily labeled “incompetent” by medical folks. I have held on through long months of bedrest to bring 3 children into this world. My (proud) muscles atrophied and my physical strength wavered to accomplish the greatest marathon of my life.

  25. Tiffany

    May 9, 2007

    I just remembered something funny. My sister in law once told me I have nice achilles tendons.

    ???????

    I looked down and noticed that they are very pronounced. She pointed out that hers could not be seen at all. I then decided that I have nice achilles tendons.

    Funny the things we girls pick up on.

  26. sarah k.

    May 9, 2007

    I love my feet. I have long spaghetti toes, and the baby toe is curled on its side. Dainty little ankles, and lots of tendons poking out all over. I also have great cheekbones. When I turned 30, I lost all the baby roundness of my face, and now I almost look sophisticated, with my hollow cheeks, pointy chin, and exotic, far-apart alien eyes. At least in pictures.

    My body is a machine. I can run for an hour, and hold a baby for two or three. Not at the same time. I am a milk truck. I feed a whole person just from what my body makes each day. It’s funny to think my baby is made of milk.

    I have these cute little rolls on my back.

    I think the parable of the talents applies not only to abilities, but to other attributes, as well, including physical ones. Maybe we knew what we’d get, and maybe we didn’t. I don’t think we cared. I believe that the prospect of birth and life was far greater than any caring we might have ever had about our physical appearance. I think we knew it would be hard, but we wanted it anyway.

  27. Sharlee

    May 9, 2007

    Alyssa wrote:

    too often you hear little girls talking about how they look fat … in their rainbow bright stretch pants that is … and where do you think they hear it? they hear it at home, they see their moms looking in the mirror saying im fat and being on every fad diet … we must remember that we are the role models for the children and that to them we are wonder women – they dont care if we are a size 2 or a size 16.

    * * * * *

    This is so true. I worry sometimes though that in our efforts to save our daughters from eating disorders and society’s obsession with physical perfection, we fail to teach them to honor their bodies as they should. Sometimes we swing so far the other direction that we send out the message that we needn’t take care of our bodies at all.

    While it is absolutely critical that we don’t pass our hang-ups, our insecurities, our over-emphasis on appearances on to our daughters, we *do* need to teach them that our bodies are gifts from loving heavenly (and earthly) parents and that we should honor them by keeping them as strong and healthy as possible through exercise, adequate rest, and proper eating. The focus, though, should always be on health, not “thin-ness”; on how we feel, not on how we look.

    P.S. Erica, of COURSE you inherited the stylish Gilbert ankles. You’re beautiful through and through, darlin’. Tip to top, inside and out. You are my Mary Poppins girl–practically perfect in every way.

  28. cardine

    May 9, 2007

    I love my fingers, hands, wrists, arms, elbows, ankles, calves, scars, hair, ears, eyes, eyebrows, nose, lips, teeth. I think my breasts are practically perfect, and I’ve got a great butt. My back is awesome, too. And I like that I have long legs. My belly button is cute. And I like my blue vein that makes me look like I have a black eye sometimes.

    The funny thing is that if any of you saw me, you would either not notice me or likely think that I am lacking in beauty. But I love me (not unconditionally at times – I didn’t mention some parts of me – but it’s still love).

  29. Kate

    May 9, 2007

    Let me guess CJane… Cate Blanchett?

    I have been struggling with my body for YEARS!!!!!

    Before the birth of my two princesses, I had a great body (mind you I was in my early twenties)… strong, athletic, six pack, perky breasts, defined shoulders and arms, the list goes on. After Ella was born everyone was saying:
    “oh you’ll bounce back fast if you’re breast feeding” ummmmm, gained more weight.
    “You’re weight will drop off when you’re done breast feeding” ummmmm, gained more weight.
    “You just need to drink a lot of water” like over three gallons a day? Not working!!!
    “Stop drinking soda” yeah, stopped for three months, can’t tell a difference.
    “Just running around after your toddlers will whip you back into shape” Uh-huh.
    “You need to be exercising at least 2 hours a day, 5 days a week” Oh, o.k. that’s totally reasonable with a full time photography job, an over full time job of being a mother and a wife, cooking every night, laundry, making sure the house is spic and span, church duties, etc. You get the point.

    I think it stinks that I fall into the never-ending trap of having “the” perfect body and that I pit myself against celebrites, when I know full well that they have nannies to watch their kids while they go to the gym, they have personal chefs that cook their organic/ayurvedic rabbit food, they’re probably snorting cocaine, they have plastic surgery done once a month, etc… So why do I worry aboout my bod the way I do when I know I will never get plastic surgery, make myself throw up, starve myself, etc. to be the ideal?

    Two kids later, my cottage cheese bum, thunder thighs, saddlebags, breasts that need three bras to hold em’ up, arms that are now sagging over my elbows, are what I call my middle aged body. Am I satisifed? Hell NO! But I have got to come to peace with my body and appreciate what it does for me. After all, I’m ALIVE and HEALTHY

    I always look back at past pictures and think to myself? “what was I complaining about? I looked great. If only I could see myself as that RIGHT NOW.

  30. Tiffani

    May 9, 2007

    I love my nose. I like how it bounces slightly when I say any word beginning with W. I like my eyes. They are kind of green/kind of blue. When I wear the right shade of blue/green, my eyes sparkle. I love my hair. For that, I can thank Heavenly Father for sending me my most fabulous hair stylist! I love my legs in a great pair of wedges. They are not “perfect”, but I’m happy with them. I feel very blessed that even though I don’t look like I did pre 3 children, that I am happy with my body. Even if others wouldn’t call me a hot mama, I feel like one!!!

  31. Holly

    May 9, 2007

    I have really good teeth which makes for a great smile. I was told by two different boys (back when I was single) that I had a “nearly perfect smile.” No joking, they both said the same thing, and instead of taking the compliment to heart, I got all hung up on why they thought it was NEARLY perfect.

    However, my smile is not always noticable as I tend to be shy around people I don’t know…I need to let it out more often. I guess I don’t because I am a little self conscience about all of my “wobbly bits.” Despite my “bits” I feel fortunate to have a husband that thinks I’m sexy no matter how wobbly. Especially since I dated a lame-o guy in high school that wouldn’t let me eat certain foods so that I didn’t gain weight.

    I also have good feet with high arches that I’ve always loved, especially after a nice pedi. My ankles are good too. And when I was a freshman in high school a guy that asked me to homecoming told me that he really liked my eyebrows. When plucked, (I must admit) they are great.

    Courtney and everyone else, thank you for this discussion! It is so important to focus on the positive!

  32. Marilyn

    May 9, 2007

    Great post Courtney. On your other post I said that I would not ever have plastic surgery, and that I would just like to have lasik eye surgery and braces. I still feel that way, but there are things that I like about myself. I am proud that I have given birth 4 times all-natural, no pain killers. Before children I was very thin, well now, not so much. But I love my hair, specifically the color. I have only highlighted my hair once several years ago and I won’t do it again. I decided that my God-given color is beautiful and perfect for me.

    I also love my eyes, a greenish brownish color. Pretty.

    But probably my favorite thing about myself are my lips. Full. But not too full.

    I have really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments and I will try to work on providing a great example to my 3 daughters on what real women look like and hopefully someday they won’t go through the terrible body image thing like I have.

  33. brooke

    May 9, 2007

    so i guess i must’ve said something like, “i will take the fat arms to help me…” what now? hold babies? not even have the slightest inkling to wear tank tops? oh what was i thinking?! 🙂

    i truly believe we have certain attributes to keep us humble– i believe even moreso that heavenly father wants us to overcome the natural [wo]man and get over the physical hang-ups. which is so difficult. but i look at my daughters all the time and think: they are so much more than the sum of their parts– they are truly miraculous and amazing simply because they are them.

    and for the record: i love my feet. they’re really bony and can fit into all sorts of cute shoes… no matter if i’m in a fat or thin phase, pregnant or postpartum, stretchy jeans or skinny jeans. it’s really quite lovely.

  34. Noelle Tomco

    May 9, 2007

    Every Wednesday I take a power lifting class and my teacher always says ‘aren’t you glad you are here?’ Do you know how many people can’t do what you are doing?’ I often just crack a smile and continue to concentrate on my bulging midline. I am grateful for this post. I realized how lucky i am though i also realize every single day that my eating makes me feel so out of control. if i ate like i wanted to all the time i would have to have a crane to get me out of bed. it is a fine line between being grateful for what God has given you and letting it just go to being healthy and doing something to be your best self and not going over the top extreme with that. i need to be happy with my floppy middle and be grateful that i am healthy.
    ps. i love my long eye lashes and thin ankles and wrists. when we’re in heaven and we all have those robes on and all you can see is wrists and ankles i’ll be the ‘thinnest’ one around.

  35. Geo

    May 10, 2007

    I love my skin . . . when I’m in North Carolina . . . because that’s where I turn into head-to-toe silk (Rob appreciates this too). I also love my hair in that state, not because it does anything right while I’m there, but because it consistently does everything wrong, to the point of frizzing and undulating in the yummy humid lushness that is the Deep South. If I stay at the beach long enough, it even considers dreading itself.

    I always love my “beauty marks,” particularly the one by my eye, the downy one on my earlobe (love dem earlobes), and the scattered ones Rob calls his constellation. Yep. I love my shoulders, though I don’t show ’em off anymore. Clavicle—ditto and check. Bellybutton—check. My multi-colored chameleon eyes—check, check. My hands—check, check. My brain—for keeping the pros and cons networked and running. Other parts for practicality and also recreation (if not yet procreation).

    Loved your post. Very nice to come home to.

  36. Rachel

    May 10, 2007

    I have taken many figure painting classes in art school. It’s been a rare opportunity to really study the human body and then to describe a body’s beauty on canvas. People will ask me if all the models are skinny, tight, and athletic. Actually, no. But I can’t think of one body that wasn’t beautiful and amazing. God’s creations are ALL beautiful. Some bodies are old and wrinkly. Some are plump and round. For me, what makes each model intersting is their unique qualities, be it a long neck, round belly, or lean muscle.

    Even though everyone’s bodies are so different, they are also all very familiar and consistent. We are all created in Heavenly Father’s image. I can use the same methods to measure out any body I see on paper.

    What do I like about my body? I probably appreciate my hands more than anything else. With them, I can do most anything.

  37. Rosalynde

    May 10, 2007

    Hi Noelle! How fun to run into you here! You are indeed a beautiful woman with gorgeous eyes, great skin, great hair, and a great figure—and beautiful on the inside, too! We miss you here!

  38. Tami

    May 10, 2007

    You women have inspired me to look at myself in a different way than I always have. I was really having a hard time writing what I liked about myself. I even had to leave and come back to have the courage to do this. But here it goes.

    My long slender hands that have younger than their age looking skin. I love them most when they are covered in dirt from digging in the garden!

    My lips are pretty good (especially for kissin my hubby).

    My feet get extra special attention and I think I must really like them to give them so much attention. They look best on the beach all covered in sand (and in cute shoes).

    My hair deserves a round of applause because it is pretty versatile and I have yet to get many grey hairs and I am 50. Genetics. Thanks Dad!

    Hoorah! I am kind of liking this so I think I am go to keep on going here girls.

    My legs are long and would look pretty good in a mini skirt if I wore them, but I don’t, but I think they might look pretty good.

    I have always loved my shoulders. I think they are my very bestest feature. My collar bones are pretty good too. So in general the area between my chin and by boobs is pretty exceptional.

    Oh this is SOOO liberating. I might just come back to this thread occasionally for a little pick me up. Elder Holland is right we don’t need plastic surgery just a little gratitude for what is good.

    Courtney you are the bomb! I have to wonder what else is lurking around in that pretty little head of yours to inspire the world. You are a wondeful gift to this world indeed!!!!!!!! Give your Mom and Dad a big hug for me for bringing you into this wonderful world.

  39. Carrie

    May 10, 2007

    Thanks for this post. And thanks to the person, way back up at the top or in the middle somewhere who said that our pregnant/post-pregnancy bodies are amazing because they brought a new life into the world. I really need to remember that and be thankful for it.

    I like the color of my hair and I love the shape of my eyes. I like that my eyelashes and brows are very dark, even though that dark hair is also found above my lips and I have to Sally Hansen it once a week…but at least I can run to the grocery store without mascara and I don’t look too different. I like that my lips and cheeks are pink without adding anything to them. I generally like my face. And I like that my teeth are pretty straight except for one of my bottom teeth that goes in a lot exactly like my grandmother’s. I like my double-jointed thumbs and the fact that I can roll my tongue and also turn it upside-down and make that rolling r sound (which I’m told is genetic.) I like my long arms and my little son has my arms and I like that.

    And finally, my husband REALLY likes my breasts, even though I’m totally lopsided, and so I like them too.

  40. Miggy

    May 11, 2007

    I kinda have a lot of stuff I like about my body. . . Is that vain? I like my wrists–they’re very small and delicate. In fact once my mom was looking at a bracelette carved out of bone and the lady said she’s never seen it fit an adult because it was too small and my mom said “let me get my daughter in here” and it fit me. I have nice lips. . . they’re full-ish and a lovely shape. I also have nice hands . . . and I’m grateful that the both work so I can paint, play guitar, hold my baby, cook, etc. I’ve also been told that my nose is the kind of nose you would want to model your nose job after. I find that a lot of things I like about my body are things that I’ve been complimented on. . . I think some things I liked before the compliments, but others I didn’t notice until a few people said something about that particular body part. Interesting.

  41. bon

    May 20, 2007

    All my life I have wished for fuller lips. I have a teeny tiny baby-doll mouth, with lips that are a touch on the thin side. I had always viewed them with disdain until I had babies. I gave birth to three little girls who have mouths and lips so like my own, and for the first time in my life I see myself more clearly. How could I have hated my lips?

    Not to sound vain, but I now realize that I have a perfect and petite set of lips, and a beautiful mouth in general! I smile sadly when I see actresses with lovely mouths disfiguring themselves for a puffier pout, is that look supposed to be attractive? I smile with my adorable lips.

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