How we guys can help our women feel better about their bodies

Image: Sergey Zolkin

Last week I wrote a post asking how we guys can help our ladies stop ignoring their beauty. It was triggered by a blog post by Katie Portman titled, ‘Five Things Women Need To Stop Doing To Their Bodies’.

Katie posted a short note as a comment on my piece, but after chatting on Twitter later, both of us simultaneously had the idea that she should write a whole post on the subject. And so she has. Her weekly Friday Five post this week is, as a special one-off, written for men rather than women. The post is called ‘Five Things Men Can Do To Help Women Feel Better About Their Bodies (And Looks)’.

I really recommend that we guys take a look. It’s honest, insightful, practical, and yes, challenging too. No matter how good a job we are doing in being a great partner, or how brilliant a Dad we are to our daughters, there are still things we can always do better—particularly in helping the women in our lives feel good about their bodies. I’m pretty sure most women will be desperately hoping their guy reads the post and, more importantly, does something about it as a result. Let’s be that guy.

I know we like to think we’re perfect and that we know everything, but we don’t. And with so many women suffering from body image issues, it’s time we stepped up and played our part in helping our women see the truth about how beautiful their bodies are.

The third section in her post stood out to me in particular. Under the title ‘Don’t be a “perv”’, Katie had this to say:

…nothing is more crushing to a woman, than hearing the man she adores spout off about how gorgeous other women are whilst neglecting the very stunning one he already has in front of him. So be careful.

Now, of course we men will find other women attractive. Katie fully recognises that, as I’m sure most women will too. We men are visually wired and we can’t help but be attracted to the female form. That’s normal and healthy. But that doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be boundaries. There’s a difference between admiration and lust. And as Katie makes abundantly clear, there’s little more crushing for our women than seeing or hearing us lust over another woman who isn’t them.

What we choose to do about the attraction we feel towards someone who isn’t our spouse or partner will go a long way to helping them feel much better about themselves. So lets make sure we respect the women we love by protecting them. Will we mess up sometimes? Inevitably. I know I have. But when we do, let’s use it as a reminder to keep our focus on the woman we love, treating her like a goddess (to borrow from Katie’s first point), always speaking positively about her body, not ‘perving’ at other women, and making sure we don’t allow the fantasy women the movies and magazine tempt us with to inadvertently affect how our women feel about their own bodies.

Anyway, enough from me. If you’re still here, go and read Katie’s post!

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