My right breast sags a bit more than my left one.
My complexion isn’t all that stellar, probably because I never took to heart all the proper ways to moisturize on a regular basis.
I’ve struggled with my posture. I think I’ve always been a bit lazy in response to that whole “standing up straight” counsel.
My babes—who are no longer babes by a crazy long shot—did quite the number on my abdomen. That area looks more like the rolling hills of West Virginia than the salt flats of Utah. Much more convenient to blame it on the little creatures I birthed than on any Little Debbie snacks I ate. Just keeping it real, my friends. Just. Keeping. It. Real.
Suffice too say, no one has ever contacted me to be on the cover of… well… of anything.
Can you relate? Nearly all of us are in the same boat, right?! We are breathing and living and making our way through life in actual bodies, rather than Photoshopped bodies.
And yes, I know. I do know there is something to be said for striving to be healthy and taking care of ourselves. It’s just so much more freeing to embrace that It’s possible to do that and simultaneously make peace with the imperfections.
We aren’t going to have perfect bodies. We just aren’t. Physical imperfections and flaws are inherent with being human. And they are so inherent with aging.
Even Jennifer Aniston, who by many is considered a strikingly beautiful woman, has physical imperfections. We don’t truly comprehend this, of course, because I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen Jennifer Aniston naked or without make-up and cool clothes. Actually, I’ve never seen Jennifer Aniston in person, so literally the only time I see her is in the media after a whole slew of professional handlers have worked their magic in accentuating her looks.
I just have to believe that if she and I were having coffee on a Saturday morning, she wouldn’t look all shiny and flawless. She would be real. Like in sweats and an old Chicago Cubs sweatshirt, with her hair pulled back and her finger nails in desperate need of a file.
And it totally wouldn’t matter that my complexion isn’t stellar. We’d just be two gals laughing and reflecting on what is average and what is beautiful about life. I’d tell her about my husband and my kids and my dog that has the hugest heart but not a lot going on in the smarts department. We’d share inside jokes and vulnerable reflections about things in life that have disappointed us. And inspired us.
My point? When you are tempted to compare yourself to all the images you see from the world of entertainment and advertising, keep in mind the lengths a team of professionals have gone to so things look flawless for the shot.
Think about having coffee with the Jennifer Aniston who hasn’t been prepped for the camera.
When I was taking a shower tonight, I was reflecting on body image struggles and the ways my body has changed since Randy and I married nearly 17 years go. For some of you reading this, you’ve been married a lot longer than that. For others, you’re just merging from the onramp on to the super marriage highway.
Doesn’t matter where you are in your marriage. We all have to make peace with the imperfections of our bodies, whether they are the imperfections we have now or the ones to come. We all have to reconcile the difference between reasonably striving for health versus holding ourselves to wildly unreachable physical standards.
You know what I hear from just about every husband who comments about this whole area of body image struggles? That sexual attitude and confidence are way more attractive.
Your attitude and enthusiasm for sexual intimacy with the man you married outshines the physical imperfections over which you’re borderline obsessing.
So what will it take for you to make peace with the imperfections? I seriously am asking, because it’s a question I cannot answer for you—but that I long for you to answer for yourself.
As for me, I am not going to lament one iota over my right breast being a bit saggy. I guarantee my husband is not thinking about that when we make love. I don’t care about being saggy. If anything, I think my beloved would be a bit braggy about my mad skills in the bedroom.
The first thing he would underscore? My enthusiasm and passion for sex! I absolutely love turning him on sexually, and I love being turned on as well.
The older I get and the longer we are married, the less inclined I am to let body image struggles sabotage sexual intimacy. I’m making peace with the imperfections.
For one of my favorites posts of all time on body image, check out A Body That Never Quits, as well as my page of posts on body image.
For more reading, you can cruise through my list of past posts. as well as my page with a bunch of posts on orgasm.
And I have a 5 video series available on building better sex in your marriage. Great way to invest in your marriage! You can find out all about it at this link: Better Sex in Your Christian Marriage.
Copyright 2020, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.
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3 thoughts on “Sex and Body Image. Making Peace with Imperfection.”
Julie you hit the nail square on the head with what a man wants from his wife. Confidence! Enthusiasm! Attitude! Passion! There is nothing more sexy when a woman embraces and exudes these.
Julie. Thank you for your open, candid, and heartfelt post. I’m a guy with body image issues and it is something I’m working on. Your encouragement to not let these issues sabotage is meaningful to me. I struggle with my imperfections rather than accepting them with grace. That’s where I want to get to but its hard. I have a small penis and was teased in high school in the locker room. Mercilessly. I am a grower not a shower but that doesn’t help. My wife recently confided what I’ve known for all of our marriage. I am not big enough for her. She kept it in all these years. But I could tell. I admire her for being truthful and sharing this as something she desires. She said that she has a desire to feel full and filled and I can’t do that. On one hand it’s great we are communicating better. On the other, it stokes the shame I have about my penis being inadequate for her.
So we are working through this with the help of a counselor. Or at least trying to. She’s made some suggestions but they are hard for me even if they are really helpful to help my wife discover and fulfill her desire.
Anywyay. Your post came at a time when I needed encouragement. I know it was aimed at women’s bodies and I have true empathy for women who have issues with their bodies. I can’t understand exactly how you or they feel. But I want to say that I am hopeful that we can all find a way through this challenge. It’s hard.
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