Don’t Hate Your Legs, They Take You Places

“Don’t hate your legs, they take you places” - Unknown

Everyone has a physical feature on themselves that they don’t like and wish they could change. I’m sure you’ve already identified yours - it could be just one thing or it could be an entire list.

For me, it’s always been my legs (among other things) which I thought were too short and bulky with the dreaded “thunder thighs.” I would fixate on what I believed to be the “perfect legs”; this delusional notion of perfection introduced a new kind of self-consciousness in me. As I’ve matured, I’ve learned to accept my appearance, however, I still find that I struggle with it from time to time. This struggle is especially intensified when comparing myself to others. Why do we do this to ourselves and how detrimental is it to our confidence? Most importantly, are we looking at beauty in the way that we should be?

It’s easy to get caught up in our world of social media and illusionary perfections…because isn’t beauty just another social construct? It’s ridiculous that beauty is overwhelmingly defined by the way that we look because looks are subjective and beauty standards change over time and vary across different cultures. The beauty expectations placed on us make us feel like we need to fit a specific mold of what it means to be beautiful. When we worry about these superficial aspects, we are unintentionally limiting ourselves. It’s a frustrating cycle that only promotes negative thoughts and decreased self-esteem. You may only worry about these things occasionally or you may worry about them a lot. But the fact that you do at all is a problem.

And although we should focus on the things we love about ourselves, maybe we have been looking at beauty in the wrong way and in the wrong context.

We need to emphasize the value of function over appearance because our thoughts and our actions are far better indicators of our beauty than what we look like. We can train ourselves to think in a positive, effective manner that strengthens our beauty through our thoughts while reminding ourselves of the beauty in our actions. So think about that feature on yourself that you’re not confident about and remember all of the significant ways it contributes to your life.

If you don’t like the size or shape of your eyes, instead think about the breathtaking things you have seen with them.

If you don’t like the appearance of your nose, instead think about the glorious scents you have experienced.

And instead of hating the way your legs look, think about all of the places you have gone with them and all of the places you have yet to go.

The value of function over appearance contributes to the inspiring idea that there are things that make us feel beautiful that have NOTHING to do with our looks.

I feel beautiful when I can make my friends laugh at some obscure and awkward quip.

I feel beautiful when I cook something that’s more complex than cereal…and don’t burn it.

As a figure skater, I feel beautiful when I glide along the ice and feel the crisp air caress my body.

For me, these feelings of beauty are encompassed by a little chill of excitement and a warmth of pride that radiates from inside. We should emphasize our own personal feelings of beauty and redefine what it means to feel beautiful.

So, what makes you feel beautiful?  

I think it’s essential to really think about this question. Once you realize how beauty feels to you, you have the power to unlock the seemingly mundane areas of your life where beauty is present. You have the potential to improve yourself by instilling confidence from within - a confidence that will help you overcome the things holding you back by creating invincibility in everything you do.

Can you imagine a world where everyone feels unconditionally beautiful? I want to live in that kind of world because there is strength in beauty. We face so many barriers every day - let’s get rid of a barrier that we have the direct power to control!

So please remember that:

YOU are your thoughts and your actions.

YOU have the power to define what beauty means to you.