by Natalie DeYoung
Most women in relationships have found themselves in this familiar situation…
Their loving partner has scheduled a night on the town for Valentine’s Day. The lady puts on a little more lipstick, a little more mascara, and the suede heels that look smashing with everything. She squeezes into body-shaping garments so that darling vintage dress will skim smoothly over her curves and hide those pesky panty lines.
During dinner there are drinks, talking, entrees, talking, dessert, and then more talking. A touch of the hand, a knowing glance; she knows she looks beautiful in that dress, accented by the soft lighting.
As the evening winds to a close, however, there is no hiding. At home the heels come off and so does the dress. It’s nothing both parties haven’t seen before, and it’s not very pleasantly packaged in that body-shaping spandex. Perhaps self-consciousness sets in, or even self-disappointment. Worse, maybe that sneaky self-loathing kicks in – once that emotion has been tapped, it’s not easy to find a way back to smoldering temptress.
When the curtain has been drawn forth many times in an intimate relationship, it’s easy to forget that sexiness is mostly in the mind. In their frantic comparison of their own belly with that of an airbrushed model, many women fail to remember that the brain is the most erogenous zone of the body. Of course, no belly can measure up to the look of a photo-shopped model. A woman is flesh and blood; a photo-shopped body is a manufactured fantasy.
In reality, women are much sexier than they believe.
First of all, let’s face it; sexiness is not measured by the size of a woman’s dress. Sexiness is how a woman inhabits her body. It’s openness. Flirtation. Enjoyment. Confidence.
It’s in her laugh, the way she holds an unbreaking gaze. Thoroughly enjoying a delicious bowl of penne and not shying away from the tiramisu; after all, eating is a sensuous experience. The act of a woman feeding her body while looking across the table at her partner is intimate and powerful, almost like communion in its sacredness.
Sexiness is not entirely a physical quality, either. A woman’s most prominent personality traits and quirks are what make her uniquely sexy. Maybe it’s the ability to laugh over the terribly high-pitched karaoke or perhaps it’s a mind that easily talks philosophy. Whatever a woman’s strengths, they are irresistible to their partners. That’s why her partner chose her.
At the end of the day, when a woman’s loving partner sees her – all of her – they don’t see the flaws she thinks she may have. They don’t see that her favorite jeans no longer button comfortably or that she went up a cup size this past year. They see a naked woman in front of them. A goddess. Botticelli’s Venus in the flesh, with whom they are lucky enough to be intimate. When a woman remembers that she is beautiful just as she is now, not minus ten or even fifty pounds, she invites her partner to see her that way as well. After all, as David Hume said, “Beauty in things exists merely in the mind which contemplates them.”
Ladies, start contemplating your own beauty. Your relationship – and life – will be the better for it.
Join in the HaveHeart Instagram challenge! Take a photo of your gorgeous smile and tag it with #HaveHeartBeauty and your positive body image pledge.