Just the Way You Are …

This post is the first in a series to help celebrate Fat Talk Free Week. Learn more and become a fan on Facebook here.

As someone who blogs in the body image sphere, I’m obsessed with Bruno Mars’ latest song, “Just the Way You Are.” I liken it to Maya Angelou’s ground-breaking poem, “Phenomenal Woman,” (my fave!) in terms of its potency and power and, hopefully, lasting impact.

Oh her eyes, her eyes
Make the stars look like they’re not shining
Her hair, her hair
Falls perfectly without her trying

She’s so beautiful
And I tell her every day

Yeah I know, I know
When I compliment her
She wont believe me
And its so, its so
Sad to think she don’t see what I see

But every time she asks me do I look okay
I say

When I see your face
There’s not a thing that I would change
Cause you’re amazing
Just the way you are
And when you smile,
The whole world stops and stares for awhile
Cause girl you’re amazing
Just the way you are

Her nails, her nails
I could kiss them all day if she’d let me
Her laugh, her laugh
She hates but I think its so sexy

She’s so beautiful
And I tell her every day

Oh you know, you know, you know
Id never ask you to change
If perfect is what you’re searching for
Then just stay the same

So don’t even bother asking
If you look okay
You know I say

When I see your face
There’s not a thing that I would change
Cause you’re amazing
Just the way you are
And when you smile,
The whole world stops and stares for awhile
Cause girl you’re amazing
Just the way you are

The way you are
The way you are
Girl you’re amazing
Just the way you are

When I see your face
There’s not a thing that I would change
Cause you’re amazing
Just the way you are
And when you smile,
The whole world stops and stares for awhile
Cause girl you’re amazing
Just the way you are

With all the misogynistic/over-sexualized songs on the radio about girls and their booties and boobies and their who knows whats (all of which paint a picture that we’re just walking, talking sex objects) it’s refreshing to hear a song that actually not only respects women, but gives women hope that — though we of course don’t/shouldn’t need validation from a man to feel good about ourselves, there ARE men out there who think we are truly amazing exactly as we are … without any of the fixins’ society and the media tell us we need to improve ourselves: make-up, diets, hair extensions, expensive clothes, etc.

There are guys that simply love us for us: regardless of the size of the tag inside our jeans, regardless of if we have an unhealthy addiction to chocolate, regardless of if we like show tunes, etc.

I know, because I married my husband, who epitomizes the notion of loving me just the way I am — issues, baggage and all. For nearly ten years now, he’s been my rock … a constant vote of confidence when I felt unsure of myself and a voice of reason for me during difficult times where I needed a reality-flash. And on the physical appearance side, he’s loved me at my heaviest, at my thinnest, and now 7 months pregnant … and loved me just the same (if not more!).

That said, I know not everyone is that fortunate … and I also know that as women, we tend to doubt and question ourselves… and (though I call B.S. here) often equating our own value to our physical appearance; that til our appearance is ideal, we aren’t “worth it.”

Even in the song, Bruno Mars laments, “When I compliment her she won’t believe me.”

Let’s be honest here: how many of us have stood in a mirror and asked our boyfriends/husbands/best friends/moms: “Do these jeans make my butt look big?” or “Does this skirt/dress/top make me look fat?” If you say you haven’t, then you’re one of the lucky ones … but most women you talk to will admit that they have asked those questions and, even when they’re told they’re beautiful as they are, they question the authenticity of the response.

[And for the record, yes, I’ve been guilty of that, too.]

As someone about to have a daughter of my own in about nine weeks or so … it’s mind-blowing to realize just how influential my words and actions will be. That’s why it’s so important–especially with respect to young, impressionable tweens and teens today — to have strong female role models in their lives, women who exude confidence and self-love … coupled with empowering messages from the media (Bruno Mars’s song is proof that they’re out there, if you’re willing to listen) that they are beautiful as they are … and don’t need to change who they are for anyone.

Please join me in helping end the vicious battle of “fat talk” — this week and every week. Let’s build up this next generation of women to be more confident than our generation, so that someday, our daughters will laugh at how narcissistic and vain our generation was at one point …and realize just how far we’ve come.

How about you? Do those lyrics speak to you? How will you participate in Fat Talk Free Week?

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5 thoughts on “Just the Way You Are …

  1. That is my new favourite song!! I remember sitting in my car and tearing up after listening to it for the first time. (that probably has to do with the hormones, hahaha) My husband on a daily basis tells me how beautiful I am and I always put myself down saying I’m not. It gets to a point where he gets so mad at me. I still don’t see myself as such, but I can appreciate he must see something. So now when I hear this songs it reminds me of him. He now even starts to sing it a little bit (albeit horribbly!) to me when I get in the habbit of putting myself down.
    It’s been awhile since I’ve listened to a love song and thought of a boy, but this song will forever hold a place on my I pod because it reminds me of him 🙂
    Thanks for this post. It made me go listen to it again.

  2. LOVE THIS!!! Every time I hear that song, I totally think of things like Fat Talk Free week and Operation Beautiful-type messages. This song does it for me in such a big way. And yes, I participated in fat talk free week too, I’m just behind on reading your blog 🙂

  3. A year or two ago, after my bout with anorexia and when I began bulimia, I went to a pro-mia site. I got support there and found ways to be a “healthier” bulimic. What I was looking for was advise on how to throw up because I have no gag reflex.

    I have never considered suicide, but I have cycled through mild eating disorders, cutting and burning. I am one of those individuals, as you say, who looks healthy but who’s inside is a mess.

    And it saddens me in hindsight that support groups band together to encourage this behavior… isn’t it bad enough the way the media encourages eating disorders? I just wish somehow we could wake up to the harm this is causing, and that’s me included. I am still waking up to it.

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