Charming and chubby. Who says they are mutually exclusive? Charming is appealing, pleasant, captivating, magnetic, alluring, and attractive. Chubby is seen as decidedly unattractive. For me, chubby means that my body is bigger, that I have love handles, big breasts, and a belly. But it does not mean that I am not charming because charm is a behavior, an attractive personality that exudes happiness and makes people feel better. My big body reflects my big heart under my big breasts and a big laugh in my big belly. My charm comes from my tendency to savor life at every level and to share it. I cry big tears at sad movies, sad books, or the sorrow in someone else’s life. A big smile brightens my face when I see a gorgeous sunset or others’ happy moments.
My chubbiness has nothing to do with my charm unless I let my insecurities about being chubby interrupt my charm. When I focus too much on how the world perceives a chubby body, I feel less valuable. My big heart loses the capacity to care; my big laugh and smile disappear. The only thing that changes, however, is my focus: I am still chubby, and I can still be charming. But here is the secret: in order for charm to coexist with chubbiness, I have to love my big, chubby body! I have to stop worrying about how the world perceives chubby people because when I pay the world’s view no attention, I am charming. And when I am charming, no one notices my outer shell—they notice the woman with a big love of life.
Thank You, Body
Thank you body for allowing me to experience every day completely.
Thank you eyes for the opportunity to see the beauty and majesty of the world around me.
Thank you nose for the pleasure of smelling delicious food and the familiar smell of my husband.
Thank you lips for tender moments kissing the soft, doughy skin of my newborn daughter.
Thank you mouth for allowing me to transform my thoughts and feelings into words I can share
with others through conversation, laughter, and song.
Thank you brain . . . for everything—for the memories you encode, for the emotions you allow me
to feel, for the deep thoughts you allow me to generate, for the information you allow me to
store and analyze, for allowing me to integrate my experiences into a cohesive sense of self.
Thank you lungs for allowing me to breathe in the richness of life—the bitter cold in the winter
air, the spring breezes, the moistness in summer showers, and the crispness of fall afternoons.
Thank you heart for your hard work through all of life’s adventures—pumping ceaselessly, loving
and sustaining me every second of every day.
Thank you stomach for transforming the food I ingest into needed energy.
Thank you womb for blessing me with a beautiful daughter and making me a mother.
Thank you breasts for nourishing my daughter through her first year of life.
Thank you arms for allowing me to hold close those I love.
Thank you fingers for allowing me to create, experience, and caress.
Thank you legs and feet for carrying me to the tops of beautiful mountains.
Thank you body for your diligence, loyalty, and love. You allow me to live and love completely. I am blessed to have you and look forward to our lifetime together.
These stories appeared in the July/August issue of LDS Living magazine and came from the book, Why I Don't Hide My Freckles Anymore: Perspectives on True Beauty, now available at Deseret Book.
More about the book:
Women today are bombarded by harmful messages in society about their bodies and appearance. We often feel inadequate and overwhelmed by the impossible-to-achieve ideals touted in the media. And sometimes our harshest critics are the eyes looking back at us in the mirror. No matter the source, when our image of personal beauty is threatened, it's important to remember who the rightful beholder of true beauty is—our Heavenly Father.