Here’s how to accept your body shape and size by saying “this is who I am” – and meaning it! These tips for accepting your body are from photographer Rosanne Olson’s 54 women in her book, this is who I am.
In this book, Olson included each woman’s thoughts about her body, appearance, and a negative body image. Here’s a Q & A with Olson herself, including her thoughts on how couples can become happier and healthier together.
But first, a quip from Maria Shriver, author of Just Who Will You Be?: Big Question. Little Book. Answer Within.
“As long as I was trying to anticipate what people wanted from me, as long as I was trying to fulfill other people’s expectations, I was in a losing game,” said Shriver. “That’s what I want to focus on…letting go of other people’s expectations of you so you can own your own life, write your own story and live your own legacy.”
Letting go of other people’s expectations is a big part of accepting your body’s shape and size – and so is developing a healthy relationship with your partner. It’s all part of being who you are honestly and authentically, and that’s what both Rosanne Olson and Maria Shriver focus on in their books.
This Is Who I Am: Our Beauty in All Shapes and Sizes is one of the best books I’ve written on accepting your body shape and size. Here’s what Olson says about writing it…
Accepting Your Body Shape and Size – Say “This Is Who I Am”
“The main message of this is who I am is that of compassion for self and others,” says Olson. “I am trying to promote the message that we can appreciate ourselves even if we are not currently in the desired (elusive) state of perfection (which we rarely, if ever, are). Any time we can look at ourselves with acceptance and love, we enter into a better relationship with ourselves. This can’t help but spill over in a positive way into our relationships with others.”
How couples and families – not just women – can benefit from this book
“Using the book as a catalyst for conversation with one’s partner (or child) is a great way to explore feelings that may be difficult to talk about. I have heard from many women who have said they find connection with an image or an essay. I know of a therapist in the Chicago area who uses the book in her office as a starting point for conversation with some of her clients. I know of a woman who was able to share for the first time her story about sexual abuse by her father after reading one of the essays. I also know of a mother of a middle school student who bought 20 books to give to her daughter’s girlfriends.”
How both men and women are affected by this book and photos
“Both men and we women grow up with the image of the “perfect” woman embedded in our brains by popular media,” says Olson. “And though women are the most affected, the men in our culture are trained to look for that “perfect” woman, as well. It creates an impossible standard for both genders. I think the book may be of use because it looks at real women and their stories with compassion. The book helps us see that there are many kinds of beauty-not just the retouched women in the fashion ads.”
Reader Feedback on this is who I am:
“This is very powerful and beautiful and makes me pause to think about how I feel about my own body. I think that at 56, it’s time to stop the endless negative self-talk about too much weight. These women remind me to try to appreciate more so that the cells can get on with their work. I would like to stop offering that resistance. Thank you for the help…plus, thank you for the beauty and appreciation. That is so obvious…you have created a truly sacred space for these women to be.” Michele-Los Angeles
“I just read through your book “this is who I am” and I am astounded. I am a 17-year-old student who has struggled with appreciating my beauty since the fifth grade. Your book changed how I look at myself. I have always been afraid of being nude because I am so insecure about my body. I have struggled with depression for five years and I attempted to commit suicide – because of the way I look. I am a size 12 and wish I was a size 2. After reading your book, though, I appreciate my body and I appreciate my imperfections. Thank you for publishing this book and I hope you continue to publish them.” Hannah-San Francisco.
For more natural beauty tips, read How to Feel Beautiful No Matter What You Look Like.
Books for Women Have Trouble Accepting Themselves
- Do You Have the Guts to Be Beautiful?
- This Is Who I Am: Our Beauty in All Shapes and Sizes
- Ambition Is Not a Dirty Word: A Woman’s Guide to Earning Her Worth and Achieving Her Dreams
If you have any questions or thoughts on accepting your body’s shape and size, please share below…
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.