Picture it - You've been working hard in class and finally nailed that gorgeous combo, or super sweet move and you captured video or photo evidence of it. YES! You look back through your camera gallery to see if that combo/pose was IG worthy and ....
(Picture it. Sicily, 1912)
You cringed at the way your body looked. Yikes! What are my feet doing? What am I, a bread bank? Why do I have rolls there? So you hide your accomplishment because you don't think you look perfect. You are perfect, by the way, but until that compliment comes from yourself it can be hard to accept. The pole community has a lot of (often thin or chiseled) icons that we strive to be like or pull inspiration from. It can be hard to see value in what we've done when we can't move the way they do or when we don't look like them.
Our bodies do so much for us (thank you body!), but it's easy to forget all that our bodies do, and it can be hard to love ourselves and how we look sometimes. COVID has certainly ensured we've seen some less than desirable changes. Don't get us wrong - we're still cute - it's just harder to haul our butts over our heads now.
(Hey! It was our civic duty to order take out!)
How can we be kinder to ourselves? In short self love is kind of a muscle you need to work. Like our tucks and pikes for pole conditioning! It might never feel any easier to do, but the results of conditioning those muscles are worth it!
So we have a little challenge for you all, just to start moving those self-love muscles. Write a little love letter thanking your body for all that it does for you, and really take your time with it. Bonus points if you can compliment yourself! Pretend you're looking at a stranger, what nice things might you say to that person? It might feel weird or hard to do but so are tucks and pikes, and you do those regularly.
We'll get you started with a letter of our own. The letter below is just to help you get an idea. Not everyone's bodies work the same, so please feel free to write a letter of your own ♥
I know I'm not always the kindest to you. I tell you you're not good enough to share your accomplishments with the world, sometimes I avoid dressing you in cute outfits because I don't think you're worth it, sometimes I avoid giving you a well earned tasty treat because I don't like the way you look, and I'm sorry. You deserve better.
You heal all of the scrapes and bruises I carelessly give to you. You build muscle and become stronger to adapt to all of the crazy things I ask you to do. You try your best to bend and extend, to twirl and dance, and accomplish all of the physical goals I set in front of you.
Thank you to my feet who point and flex, who carry me through the day, and tap happily with the music. Thank you to my legs who lift me without a second thought (though not always without complaint), who love to dance, and hold me safely in leg hangs. Thank you to my stomach. Though I'm the cruelest to you, you are unreasonably cute. You've built the muscles needed to hold me upright when I sit, and to curl and help lift my bum into the air. You turn what I feed to you into the fuel that will power the rest of me. You wiggle when I laugh and are a warm, soft, lovely place for little critters to rest. To my arms, you do your best to lift me onto hoops or poles, and hold me in place. You pick up cats, and groceries, and gently lower me into bed at the end of a long day. You give the best hugs.
Thank you for taking care of me endlessly and without much appreciation. I will do work to show you more of the kindness you deserve.
It's okay if that was weird. It's normal if the idea of writing your body a letter made you cringe. It's a challenge for a reason ☺. The letter was just to get you started. Keep being kind to yourself. Treat yourself and your body like a friend. Be patient with yourself, give yourself a pat on the back when you've done something great, compliment yourself on how your Christmas ham looks in those pants. In addition to showing ourselves kindness, we also need to physically take care of our bodies (take walks in the sunshine, SLEEP, drink water, and eat foods that make you feel good - note this usually means healthier foods... though if you want a "bad for you" snack you should totally have it!)
Life's too short to hate your body.