Why are women so hard on themselves, even those who are relatively healthy and look fantastic by most standards? Perhaps it’s because we’ve bought the lie that men want pencil-thin, couldn’t-pinch-an-inch-if-my-life-depended-on-it kind of women. But I want to let you in on a little secret: Although women may not like their curves, men love them!
Don’t believe me? Listen to what a few of our male friends said to my husband and me in confidence as I was writing this book…
“Women who have no meat on their bones don’t look like women at all. They look like prepubescent girls. Those stick figures may appeal to the perverts out there, but I want a full grown woman, with a full grown body. I want someone whose round curves I can drink in through my eyes and trace over with my fingertips.”
– Herb, age 44
“My wife may weigh a bit more than the typical supermodel, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love how she looks, so as long as she’s happy with herself, I’m great.”
– Paul, age 37
“I don’t want to buy a girl a $20 meal only to have her pick at it and eat one-tenth of it because she doesn’t want to get fat. Give me a break. She probably goes home and eats half a cheesecake because she’s starving by the end of the evening. Give me a woman with some hips, some thighs, and an appetite for good food and fun.”
– Dave, age 25
“My wife’s hips have gotten a little wider through the years, and her breasts may have fallen a little southward since I fell in love with her over thirty years ago. But when I consider the four beautiful children who’ve passed through those hips and nursed at those breasts, I’m more in awe of them than ever.
To everyone else, she’s a grandma. To me, she’s a goddess, and I celebrate her presence in my life every day.”
– Terry, age 59
Men frequently seem desperate to help their wives understand that their bodies are beautiful just the way they are. Of course, you don’t have to struggle with excess weight to wrestle the body image bear. Sometimes he attacks from the opposite end of the spectrum. Kathy writes:
I’ve struggled with an eating disorder for about 20 years. I’m not severely underweight or bulimic, but I long to be free from the constant preoccupation with my body. I know it robs me of my sexual confidence, as I can never just accept the fact that my husband thinks I’m attractive (mainly because I don’t think I’m attractive). But like the chicken and the egg thing, I have to wonder, which came first? My eating disorder or my sexual insecurities?
Regardless of which came first, I believe both of these body image bears can be slain with the help of a good counselor, so don’t hesitate to seek one out if you can sympathize with Kathy’s struggles.