Geeks Vs Loneliness: finding ways to love your body

A few words on being kinder to ourselves...

Hello and welcome to Geeks Vs Loneliness, the spot on the site where we try and talk about things that may be affecting you, or people you know. No strict rules or anything. We know that not every piece will help every person, we just hope that something in the large collection of articles we’ve run in this series will be of use to you somewhere along the line.

This week, we want to talk about the human body. Because it seems increasingly that human beings are being trained to dislike, and even hate their bodies. To reject the fact that every human being is different.

This can go from something as simple as constantly feeling wrong, and needing to lose weight, to body dysmorphic disorder (LINK PLS), for instance, that we’ve talked about previously.

Truthfully, we don’t think many of us hold our bodies in particularly high regard (yep, we’re guilty too). It’s staggering, too, when you consider what an incredible piece of machinery it is. And yet when we go through periods of not liking ourselves, through to full-on self-loathing, it’s our bodies that bear the brunt.

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Do you, then, keep checking yourself in the mirror, to obsessive levels? Or keep weighing yourself several times a day? Do you find yourself using heavy amounts of make-up to try and hide yourself away? Or wear clothes that hide as much of your body shape as you can? These are just a few of the symptoms, and our guess is we’ve all done it some degree.

What, then, can you do? Well, it ain’t easy. But you have to find a way to like yourself a little more.

Try, as best you can, to stop looking in that mirror so much. If you find yourself looking ten times a day, cut it down to seven. Then five. Then three. And so on. Also, resist as best you can the idealistic view of what a human body should be that’s presented heavily on social media and in glossy magazines. Everybody knows it’s nonsense. Everybody knows that Photoshop and filters are in play. But knowing, and accepting, are not the same thing.

Can you perhaps do things that make you feel a little happier, a little more positive? Have a quick exercise spurt, go for a walk, eat more fruit, give yourself more ‘me time’? Is that feasible? Because disliking yourself and your body isn’t generally something that comes about in isolation. Finding ways to improve your overall wellbeing is going to have broader ramifications for you.

Mostly, though, this: you matter, and it’s very likely you’re a lot better than you give yourself credit for. And think on this, if it helps. We interviewed a leading Disney animator once, and he was dealing with a question about character design, and getting a look right. He suddenly stopped and pointed at a man across the room. Said man was hunched up, looking – politely – a little bit dishevelled (we practice that look too). And the animator in question just said, out of the blue, “you’re beautiful”.

We asked what he meant. And he said that asymmetry, imperfection, is what makes human beings perfect. Symmetry, and trying to look identical? It’s unrealistic for a start. But our little imperfections, he argued, is what makes us special.

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He’s right. And we do all need to be nicer to ourselves. We certainly need to be nicer to our bodies. They’re going to be with us a very long time.

Thanks, as always, for reading. And you stay awesome.