1 - I love the color of my eyes. Sometimes they're a sort of sea-grey, sometimes almost brilliantly blue. They have been described as "mischievous" and "mysterious," which pleases me. I also have dark lashes, so I don't have to wear mascara--good thing, too, as I am apparently allergic to it and most if it is made of dead bats and gay baby whales and other horrifying things. (Actually I hardly ever wear makeup at all, thanks to #7.)
2 - I love my feet. They're cute, and small, and I have nicely-formed toes that I always keep painted some form of dark red or purple. Even the blisters and calluses forming on the soles are good to me, for they mean I've been dancing and am toughening up. When I was a kid I ran barefoot on hot asphalt all summer long, so I had very tough feet. I still go barefoot in places I probably shouldn't, like my apartment parking lot, but my feet enjoy it. My feet have carried me throughout my life and hopefully will continue to, bad ankles and fat girl knees and all. As they say in Nia, your feet are "the hands that touch the Earth."
3 - I love my shoulders. They're strong and have a graceful line, especially when I'm standing up straight and proud (which thrusts my breasts forward, so it's a win-win situation, really).
4 - I love the overall shape of my body. I have an hourglass figure with about four extra hours poured into it (I have time on my ass), but regardless of size I like having a defined waist and serious curves. My torso is short and my legs are comparatively long, so long skirts with slits look outrageously good on me.
5 - I love how flexible I am. It always surprises people that I can bend myself in so many interesting shapes despite the tummy and thighs in the way. I've always been flexible; I was a gymnast as a child, and actually won ribbons and such on the balance beam. Then someone told me I was too fat to ever be a real gymnast, and I took it to heart, unfortunately, and quit. It took me decades to regain my love for movement--this time on my own terms.
6 - I love my hands. They do my work, and the work of the Goddess and God, in this lifetime; they're also small and cute like my feet. The only problem I have with them is that I have Essential Tremor so they shake almost constantly, which makes it very hard for me to paint in detail or handwrite for long periods of time. When I'm really tired I look like a traveling earthquake. They do so many other things, though, that I don't mind so much. I even like the v-shaped scar on my left ring finger from a kitchen shear incident when I was 18.
7 - I love my skin. I was blessed with remarkably clear, porcelain skin that has miraculously few blemishes and only develops mild acne right before I bleed. I freckle like a redheaded stepchild if I'm out in the sun, but I try not to do that, as I like being pale and creamy like the flesh of a cherimoya.*
8 - I'm not as fond of my internal organs, to be honest--my digestive system is afflicted with IBS and I have a sinus arrhythmia that makes life a bit hairy sometimes--but I must say I love how my body is able to adapt to whatever insanity I put her through. She'll put up with crap food and no sleep for a while, then start sending out reminder notices that I need to get my accounts balanced or there will be hell to pay. When I take better care of myself, she responds with praise and rewards galore. People talk as if the mind is smarter than the body, but I think the body has its own wisdom, a wisdom that reaches back much farther than the development of the human intellect. If I give my body half a chance, she'll step up to any challenge.
9 - I love my hair, though it drives me crazy. I have a lot, lot, lot of hair. Always have. The older I get the more I appreciate it. Several stylists have gotten panicky when they stuck their hands in it, and the usual line is "Damn, girl, you have a lot of hair!" Even though I've dyed it every color you can imagine (I have no real memory of my natural color except that it's mousy and uninteresting), it's still healthy and soft. We argue constantly about its refusal to pick a direction and that one spot that tries to curl no matter what, but overall, Iove my hair.
10 - I love my tattoos. I want more. Lots more. At present I have three: a butterfly on my right shoulder blade, a spider on my left shoulder blade, and a snake on my left upper arm. I'm a one-woman zoo over here. I'm thinking of getting tattoos to celebrate dance on my feet, and possibly "ahimsa" on my right arm with a lotus or other symbol, but those designs are all in development and I'm not in any particular hurry. I love that I deliberately took on the pain in order to seek beauty. A friend of mine often says, "make the pain count." As with skin, so with life, I pray.
All right, it's your turn. Go forth and make a list of ten things you love about your body, inside or out. If you love the little mole on your elbow that's shaped like Missouri, or the way your eyes crinkle, or your mastectomy scars, or your right pinkie finger, say so. We spend too much time talking about what is wrong with our bodies, what we hate, what we wish we could change--let's talk about things we love. Your body will thank you for it.
* - You must try a cherimoya, also known as a "custard apple," sometime if you find one and can afford it.