Wonderful, Glorious Me

I’ve been doing a little poking around through our trackbacks, and it seems that a number of people have found the comments to these posts a bit disheartening, in a god-when-can-we-ever-stop-berating-ourselves kind of way. For example, Maia wrote,

What I think is so important in what Jill wrote is that for many women feminism does not solve our relationship between food and our bodies, it just helps name the problems. It’s also a lot easier to talk about food and body politics in the abstract, which can leave everyone feeling that they’re a bad feminist for not figuring out this stuff by themselves.

A lot of women on this heartbreaking, rage-inducing, thread that piny started, talked about the conflict between feminism and their feelings about their body. Or going further, that feminist analysis just adds a level of guilt to what they’re doing, that they should be strong enough and smart enough not to let this society get to us.

Which is bullshit, we do the best that we can, but none of us are strong enough and smart enough to deal with all of this on our own. (I say “all of this” deliberately, because I think body and food issues are about society’s image of women, but they’re also about so much more. They’re about control and losing control. They’re a way of conforming with what women should be, and a way of resisting.)

If we’re going to do anything that allows us to take up space, we’re going to have to do it together.

So. Let me try to open up the floor to give us a chance to do something together.

We’re conditioned, particularly as women, to be self-deprecating, to not take up space, to not revel in our bodies and ourselves. We can get 150 comments in a thread about when we realized that we were aware our bodies weren’t up to snuff; let’s see how many we can generate praising ourselves.

Your mission: list at least five things you love about your body and yourself. Five is the floor; you can always do more. And no self-deprecation! No offsetting a compliment with a dig.

I’ll start:

1. I’ve got great skin.

2. I’ve got beautiful blue eyes.

3. I can lift an 85-pound barbell just using my ass.

4. I can bench-press 50 pounds of plates on a 45-pound bar, and I’m nowhere near my natural limits on that.

5. I’m smart as hell.

Okay, your turn. Tell us how wonderful you are.

UPDATE: Hugo got the idea that this is a women-only thread. Nope. Men welcome. And he’s got some thoughts about male body anxiety and the forms it takes.

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203 comments for “Wonderful, Glorious Me

  1. January 14, 2007 at 10:49 am

    Nice challenge!

    1. I’m smart and witty.

    2. I’ve got a very pretty face.

    3. I’m surprisingly strong, even when I’m not in top shape.

    4. My hair is great.

    5. I’ve got a great pair of breasts.

  2. GreyLadyBast
    January 14, 2007 at 10:58 am

    45 minutes after posting, and no comments at all—that’s kinda disturbing. What does it say about feminine conditioning, when contrasted with the other threads?

    But I digress. The point is five complimentary things about me, so here you go:

    1) I’ve got the kind of curves that killed James Dean.

    2) I’ve got cheekbones that’ll slice salami.

    3) I have gorgeous lips.

    4) I have color-changing, blue-spectrum (blue, grey, indigo, etc) eyes. How cool are those?

    5) I have the shiniest, silkiest hair you’ll ever see.

    6) I have clear, peaches-and-cream skin.

    7) I’ve got a long, cofident stride that clears a path even through the most crowded spaces.

    8) I have shiny, pretty teeth.

    9) I’ve got me some cute, heart-shaped junk in the trunk, and I ain’t afraid to shake it, either.

    Ok, so that’s nine, not five. I also stuck purely to the physical, with none of this “I take care of my family, I’m kind to animals” other-orientated crap, either. Just to see if I could.

    Y’know, it was harder than I thought? What does that say about society and women?

  3. January 14, 2007 at 10:58 am

    This game was floating around the feminist groups on MySpace for a while, but I’ll bite again. :)

    1) I have a cute little gap in my front teeth like Madonna, Maya Angelou, and my mom.
    2) I have very strong healthy fingernails that have good color naturally.
    3) I’m very good at speed puzzles, word games, and standardized tests.
    4) My butt is fantastic. I’m not sure why, but it’s something I consistently receive compliments on.
    5) I have an eye for color and design in my knitting projects, and the ability to pick the perfect yarn for gifts.
    6) I’ve been told I have a “gentle spirit” and “quiet wisdom” in the work place – that I have the ability to make clients feel safe and secure.
    7) I have a huge laugh that makes other people laugh.
    8) I can tell you how to spice any dish.
    9) I have no lack of self-confidence. ;)

  4. GreyLadyBast
    January 14, 2007 at 10:59 am

    Ok, one comment slipped in while I was writing my post. Just one.

    Somehow, that’s not reassuring…

  5. zuzu
    January 14, 2007 at 11:03 am

    Y’know, it was harder than I thought? What does that say about society and women?

    Yep. I had a hard time with five, and I worried that I sounded too conceited.

    But it is Sunday morning. Give people a chance to mainline some coffee.

  6. nmw
    January 14, 2007 at 11:26 am

    Not a regular commenter, but I think it’s a good thing to grow this post, so …

    1) I have fantastic breasts.
    2) I have a nice ass.
    3) I have strong legs.
    4) I have a beautiful face.
    5) I have great hair.

  7. Bethynyc
    January 14, 2007 at 11:30 am

    It is hard, harder than I thought it would be. And yes, zuzu, the worry that I sound conceited is there. I don’t *remember* getting put down as a child when I was justly proud of something, but where did this fear of taking credit for good things come from?

    1. I have beautiful eyes with great long lashes.

    2. I have strong legs and can walk all over Manhattan.

    3. I am imaginative and a good writer.

    4. I have neat and clever hands that can easily pull tiny bits of paper out of the insides of a copy machine, crochet, jury-rig basic machinery, and skritch my cat exactly the way he likes.

    5. I am a really good cook and enjoy eating what I cook.

  8. Anne
    January 14, 2007 at 11:30 am

    1) I have very nice lips if I do say so myself.
    2) I can make people laugh.
    3) I’ve got shiny, thick hair.
    4) I have long eyelashes and pretty green eyes.
    5) I’ve got good esthetic taste.
    6) I’m a good editor (once I’ve had coffee).

    Interesting… I feel mildly shallow now. Heh.

  9. janiethewageslave
    January 14, 2007 at 11:33 am

    Its been a bad morning, so this is probably good for me:

    1) I’m a walking encyclopedia of useless but interesting information
    2) I have a fabulous smile
    3) I have great legs
    4) I’ve got wildly curly hair
    5) and of course, blue eyes to die for.

    Amazing how hard it is to write that without toning down the language to sound less conceited…

  10. Sniper
    January 14, 2007 at 11:33 am

    Five is tough, and I feel very naughty doing this but:

    1. Beautiful eyes.
    2. Well proportioned body.
    3. Cute hands that are also quite nimble.
    4. Makes people laugh every day.
    5. Smart and competent.

    It’s easier if you leave out the personal pronoun.

  11. January 14, 2007 at 11:38 am

    I don’t know if I need encouragement when my big ego does all the work. ;) But cool meme. I’ll try.

    1) I have a healthily large ego and assume that I’m the shit in the face of many protestations otherwise.
    2) Pretty eyes.
    3) Funny.
    4) I’m good at finding something valuable in a large range of things, i.e. I have broad tastes. I read a variety of stuff and listen to a wide range of music, for instance.
    5) I read people’s character well.

  12. freya
    January 14, 2007 at 11:41 am

    :::coffee in hand, blinking blearily at screen:::

    1. I make fucking awesome coffee.
    2. My hair started out a great color and then I put red stripes in it just because I can.
    3. My eyes are beautiful; big, blue, and expressive.
    4. I love my breasts, they’re big and very pale, even the nipples.
    5. All my scars have a good story behind them.
    6. I’m smart and creative, and I use those traits to earn my living.
    7. I finally found a yoga teacher who thinks I rock the way I am right now — and I’ve started believing it too.

  13. RKMK
    January 14, 2007 at 11:41 am

    OK, fun! (Though,yes, I confirm that the delay in answering was due to a need to start a caffeine IV drip, and catching up on various blogs)

    1. I have gorgeous blue eyes

    2. I have a big, infectious grin.

    3. I vaguely resemble a Barbie doll, but inwardly, I’m tough as nails, and sharp as a tack, and completely unapologetic about it.

    4. I have a deliciously sarcastic sense of humour.

    5. I’m pathologically independent, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  14. January 14, 2007 at 11:42 am

    Okay, I will admit that I struggled in one huge area—I am deeply unwilling to write about my physical features. I know I’m lovely, so I definitely feel that I’m bragging my ass off to say it. I can’t bring myself to do it; it seems rude or off-putting for some reason. But I’m obnoxiously loud about my mental qualities. The pretty eyes I’ll admit to lavishly, since I got them from my father, and they have an unusual blue-gray color to them.

  15. January 14, 2007 at 11:47 am

    I also will brag that my breasts are pretty, but that’s because it’s contrarian. They’re small, so people expect me to be somewhat ashamed. Au contraire—while men like my ass the best, I think my breasts are all the more beautiful for being small and dare I say understated.

  16. prairielily
    January 14, 2007 at 11:50 am

    1) I’m smart and good at using both sides of my brain.
    2) I’m pretty and look good in most clothing.
    3) I have great fashion sense, but I can be completely casual.
    4) I read really fast.
    5) I have a great sense of humor.

    That was hard. It’s like I thought people would start disliking me if I named five things I liked about myself because I would be showing off, which is a little silly. I was hanging out with one of my male friends once, and I wasn’t feeling all that great about myself. He gave me a strange look and went, “Can you think of anyone who doesn’t like you?” And instead of admitting that he was right, that most people did like me, and it was because of all my good qualities, I laughed and told him about someone who hated me in middle school.

  17. yareach
    January 14, 2007 at 11:54 am

    1. I like my small breasts
    2. I like that you can’t tell where my pupil ends and the iris begins
    3. I like that I can effortlessly make (at times very bad) puns-I love my sense of humour
    4. I like the shape of my hips
    5. I like being so tall
    6. I’m proud of how much I’ve learned to accept myself, of how much I’ve been able to improve my self-esteem in the last few years

  18. kje
    January 14, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    1.) Very long legs.
    2.) Nice ass.
    3.) Can do an array of complicated arm balances (I am strong, determined and committed. I take care of myself).
    4.) Can produce good, healthy meals night after night (I am creative and take good care of myself and my family).
    5.) Can multitask like crazy – wrote a dissertation while caring for infant/toddler and doing #4 on a regular basis. (I am creative, smart, nuturing and determined).

    This was really hard. I feel embarrassed. When I first wrote this, the last three were just things that I do, rather than things that I AM. Then I put in the larger implications of those things. So, I was still holding back, even though I wasn’t saying anything negative.

  19. January 14, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    Sticking to the physical, just to see if I can:

    1. Cute, slender hands.
    2. Nicely shaped, naturally red lips.
    3. Pretty green eyes.
    4. Nice breasts.
    5. I like my overall shape: sort of compact and comfortable and curvy.

    Well, I thought I had quite a sturdy ego, but that took me over an hour of handwringing and mirror-gazing. W, as they say, TF?

    Question to fling on the water: most people have mentioned their eyes. What makes eyes exempt from the usual YOUR-BODY-IS-SHIT conditioning? Are eyes intrinsically so beautiful and individual that the messages don’t work, or (more cynically) have they not tried to sell us belladonna extract recently?

  20. helenesch
    January 14, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    1.) beautiful smile
    2.) deep and penetrating eyes
    3.) naturally curly hair with just the right amount of grey running through it
    4.) strong and sexy legs that I feel no need to shave
    5.) passionate, emotionally and intellectually
    6.) great listener and very loyal friend

  21. January 14, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    1. I’m smart.
    2. I’m tough.
    3. I’m funny.
    4. I apologize for my mistakes.
    5. I am confident. When I don’t actually feel confident, I am able to project it in a way that makes people think I always know what I’m doing, where I’m going, and what I’m about. It’s a skill more women should have, because what you end up discovering is that acting confident sometimes leads to actually being confident.
    6. I make great coffee.
    7. I’m a loyal friend – like I will get into a fight with your abusive ex when they try and mess with you friend.
    8. I’m unapologetically nerdy.
    9. Children and animals instinctively love and trust me, and I’m deserving of that trust.
    10. I read everything I can get my hands on.
    11. I’m slowly learning to love and accept myself.

  22. January 14, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    1. Objective.

    2. Ridiculously Intelligent.

    3. Wicked funny.

    4. Beautiful brown skin.

    5. “Mega-watt” smile.

    6. Fantastic voice.

    7. Long fingers with great nails.

    8. Kinky hair.

    9. Loving and nurturing.

    10. OMG, I’m the best. kisser. EVER!

    11. Just a pretty damn neat person all together. :)

  23. ks
    January 14, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    1. I make a killer pie crust. In fact, I’m really good at baking most things and I can figure out a recipe just by taste and trial.
    2. I’m a great teacher and I have a knack for coming up with easy to understand ways of explaining basic physics concepts.
    3. I’m a fast reader with varied taste in books.

    And if we’re also going with physical stuff…
    4. I have great eyes that are large and a cool pale blue-green color.
    5. I have a well proportioned hourglass shape with amazing curves and a large ass.
    6. I’m tall and I carry myself with confidence.
    7. I have great pale, translucent skin and I hardly ever get breakouts.

    And that was actually pretty hard. Like everyone else said, I feel like I shouldn’t be bragging about myself.

  24. werty
    January 14, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    1) I’m intelligent.
    2) I have wonderful eyelashes.
    3) I have soft hair.
    4) I am a good listener.
    5) I have good self control.
    6) I have a strong sense of right and wrong, and I follow it.
    7) My writing has made people laugh out loud, and been published.
    That was unbelievably hard. Even in this context, when encouraged to praise myself, I found it difficult. I kept wanting to soften the language, e.g. say ‘I try to be’ rather than ‘I am’.

  25. JW
    January 14, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    1. I am hella smart and well-read.
    2. I have a great rack. Really. It’s the best thing about my not-too-shabby bod.
    (Dude, this is weirdly difficult. I have an impulse to write “I have a long sexy back that …” and then I think “Really? Do I really? Aren’t you being hyberbolic?)
    3. I am a good teacher: funny, knowledgeable, lucid, helpful.
    4. I have acutely attuned senses of taste and smell, and I enjoy them.
    5. I know who I am and what I want, and I go for it.

  26. January 14, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    Hey Zuzu – I found you through Hugo’s place, and I love your blog! I think I’ll bring this subject over to my tiny blog, too. Thanks!

    1) I have long, slender fingers. The doctor who delivered me knew I was a girl before I was even out of my mother, as my hands were so feminine.
    2) I am a good listener.
    3) I have kind, warm light brown eyes.
    4) I have an hourglass figure.
    5) I write great essays, short stories and poems.

  27. Jewel
    January 14, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    You know what I keep thinking as I’m reading these comments? So many of you say you feel like you’re bragging, you feel you shouldn’t be saying these things about yourselves because you don’t want to come off as vain, etc. But reading your self-proclaimed good qualities, I don’t think, “Wow what a bunch of vain, self-engrossed people,” I think, “These sound like women I want to get to know.”

    But I agree, it’s hard. I tried a few hours ago and completely failed to post even one positive thing about myself. So here goes:

    1) I’m smart, and doing well as a woman in a heavily male-dominated field (philosophy)
    2) I’m a kick-ass teacher
    3) I’m good at karate. Still a white belt, but I’m really starting to get the hang of it now and am making steady progress towards my green belt.
    4) I have a beautiful singing voice
    5) this one was the hardest…one good thing about my body: I have lovely breasts.

    There. I, like the rest of you, kick serious ass. :-D

  28. January 14, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    I really love this turnaround – reading some of the other comments to the feminism vs. feelings post was depressing. And I hope you get more comments to this one instead, though I doubt it’ll happen; denigrating ourselves these days is almost second nature :(

    So, then, my five things:
    I’m sexy. Period. I have lovely large eyes, and eyelashes I never have to curl :) If I put my mind to it, I can do anything and get anything I really want. I’m a survivor. No matter what happens to me, I will pull through and only occasionally look back. I’m a writer, and a damn good one, if I may say so ;). I may make mistakes along the way, but this thing comes to me naturally, and I’ll never stop feeling proud of it.
    And that was kind of scary. At first, I wondered what the hell the survivor thing says about me. Then I remembered what great dreams I have, and how far I could fall if I don’t reach them, and remembered that I would live anyway, and keep going after the next dream despite it all.

  29. Geiger
    January 14, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    1. I have a great sense of humor, mostly centered around a wicked turn of phrase.

    2. I can write well.

    3. I look cute in different outfits.

    4. I was valedictorian of my high school class.

    5. Last semester, I got an A- in a class I thought I was going to get a C in, because I rocked the final.

    6. I can make scarves.

    7. Most of the time, I really don’t give a damn about my appearance or if people think I’m crazy.

    8. So far, I have no college debt.

    9. I pay attention to the news, and can go on long-winded rants about John Negroponte.

    10. I smile at people while walking around town, and sometimes they say hello back.

    11. My friends love me.

    Well, I’ve got eleven. This is fun!

    (Eleven inherent metaphoric parallels. Eleven. Perfect number. Prime number. One goes into eleven eleven times but always comes out one.)

    I love being a geek.

  30. Betsy
    January 14, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    As everyone else has noted, this is weirdly difficult to do. But here goes:
    1. Soft, soft, soft skin.
    2. I bake the world’s greatest chocolate cake.
    3. Pretty eyes.
    4. Bright, sweet, charming smile.
    5. Nice boobs.
    6. Sexy legs.
    7. Very smart (though recently, this has been the hardest thing for me to believe about myself).

  31. C. Diane
    January 14, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    1) I have mad cooking skillz. This afternoon, I’m making stout brownies :9
    2) I have mad sewing skillz. My Victorian ballgown is f-ing awesome, and I’m going to use my day off tomorrow to draft a pattern for a costume. Mostly from scratch.
    3) I’m smart, and I read quickly.
    4) I’m a good writer, whether fiction or non-fiction.
    5) I can sing. I’m never going to make money singing, but I have a nice voice and good tune-carrying ability. (I have a wicked case of stage fright.)
    6) I have nice boobs.

    I’ve never associated social conditioning with my inability to brag about myself (on evaluations, cover letters, whatever.) I don’t think I’m all that special — which could be social conditioning, or the result of years of low self-esteem (middle- and high-school kids are cruel… and I had the triple whammy of being fat, working poor, and in the top of my class.) Which is probably still related.

  32. January 14, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    1. I have gorgeous curly hair.
    2. I have a great smile–bright white teeth.
    3. I’m a great teacher because I love it.
    4. I’m tall (5’9″) and I love it.
    5. I have long, elegant fingers.
    6. My eyes are cool– brown around the inside and blue toward the outside.
    7. I’m smart.
    8. I’m funny.

    This has been great!

  33. Esme
    January 14, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    1. I’m a kick ass public speaker
    2. I have passion
    3. I have lovely hands, with beautiful long fingers
    4. I’m going to be someone important, even if that comes without recognition
    5. I can blow you away with my honey mustard chicken, garlic potato chips, breadsticks, and pasta.

  34. January 14, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    1. I’m intelligent.
    2. I’m intuitive.
    3. When I love, I love deeply, and it does not go away.
    4. I am an active volunteer in my community.
    5. I make kick ass lemon roasted potatoes.

  35. January 14, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    God, this is hard, you know?

    1. I can fight in a war.

    2. I can dance ballet.

    3. I’m good at languages—I speak two besides English; Russian and French.

    4. I have really evil-looking eyes; slanted and almond-shaped, greenish blue.

    5. I’m very strong.

    6. I’m very funny.

  36. micheyd
    January 14, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    1. I have the biggest sexual appetite of anyone I know
    2. I can play piano pretty well
    3. I’m a woman in business
    4. I’m a language whiz
    5. My butt is adorably curvy

    Yeah, it can be hard to not come off as conceited…but if I learned one thing from getting my first job, it’s don’t be afraid to brag about your better qualities in interviews ;)

  37. Anne
    January 14, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    GreyLadyBast: My comment’s in moderation, for some reason. So there’s that, too.

  38. JenJen
    January 14, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    I don’t usually comment but this is something on which I’m an expert: me!

    1) I have gorgeous thick hair, and it’s easy to maintain a good style
    2) I have nice eyes, hazel tending toward green, and long lashes
    3) I am really smart and well-read, outside and inside my field
    4) I’m a damn good doc
    5) I’m great in bed

  39. amber in wonderland
    January 14, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    I’m new to posting here, but I’ve been lurking for a while. This post felt like a good one to start commenting on.

    1. I have the classic hourglass figure
    2. I trust my instincts.
    3. I love to cook for both myself and others.
    4. I can sculpt almost anything with the right hunk of clay.
    5. My music collection is vast and diverse.
    6. I read quickly.
    7. I have a lot of friends who love me and I love them back.

  40. trillian
    January 14, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    This is such very good stuff to read first thing on a Sunday morning. Great thread, zuzu!

    1) I have a sexy collarbone (and even better, a good story about how I broke it when I was 15)
    2) My eyes are pretty, and they’re apparently getting less nearsighted (after 17 years of wearing glasses) – how cool is that?
    3) My hair is great without my having to do anything, and is growing lovely grey highlights
    4) I didn’t get any of the weird noses and ears that’re on both sides of my family
    5) My breasts are amazingly sensitive and just small enough to not need a bra
    [Damn, I didn’t believe how hard that would be until I did it. I had a much easier time coming up with physical traits than non-physical ones, and that worries me, so I’m making myself do five of the latter (I did switch one out of the first five, for symmetry’s sake).]

    6) I’m smart and proud of it
    7) I’m well-informed and active on issues I care about…and had a really hard time phrasing that…
    8) I can debate a point or speak up for myself like the daughter of two lawyers I am
    9) I rock at reading people and understanding the subtext of a situation or motives behind an interaction
    10) I’m able to rely on myself to get me through scary things, like moving alone to a side of the country I’ve never been to
    [Yeah, that took like three times as long as the first five.]

  41. exangelena
    January 14, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    I think this is a good idea to stop deprecating ourselves (I didn’t comment on the 150 comment thread because it was so sad) and I’m happy to see more comments than the first time I was here.
    However, I don’t think that it should become a platform to congratulate ourselves for meeting a racist, sexist, heteronormative beauty standard or for looking attractive to others.
    For example, I’m Asian and I could say 1.) I have brown, slightly wavy hair, 2.) I have big, round eyes with prominent double lids, 3.) I’m taller than a lot of Asians, 4.) My skin tone isn’t too yellow 5.) I have a pert little nose. But I don’t think that’s ok, and I hope that most feminist/progressives would not think it’s ok, for me to be celebrating myself for not looking “ethnic”.
    I do think it’s good that some people, like in zuzu’s first post, have said that they’re happy about what their body can do for them (strength, etc) or that they are proud of their non-surface personality traits (kindness, intelligence, etc.)
    Just my two cents, and I don’t want to offend anyone or anything, it’s been really fun reading these posts especially after the last thread, but I wanted to throw that out there.

  42. holly
    January 14, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    1. I have great eyes that change to all varieties of green.
    2. I can find humor in most situations.
    3. I’m easy to talk to (great for a social worker/ therapist in training)
    4. My legs can take me all over cities I am unfamiliar with (like Dublin, IE and Edinburgh, GB).
    5. I have excellent taste in books and music (or so I was always told as college d.j.).
    6. I have a great rack.

  43. AMY
    January 14, 2007 at 1:30 pm

    my eyes
    my smile
    my calves, which can climb a 1000 foot incline over 4 miles and get me back down again
    my big brain
    my fingernails when they are short.

  44. Jules
    January 14, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    1.) Great boobs

    2.) Long, shapely legs

    3.) Soft skin

    4.) Nice pouty lips

    5.) Pretty grey/blue eyes that go green when angry or in tears

    6.) Good butt

  45. Tiny
    January 14, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    Wow – good idea.

    1) I can do 3 sets of dips w/ full body weight (sometimes with added weight), which gives me toned triceps
    2) My eyebrows are almost perfect – never tweezed in my life
    3) The scars only make me look tougher
    4) really pretty hair
    5) Sense of adventure

  46. gennimcmahon
    January 14, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    This is quite the challenge.
    1. I’m three inches taller than my husband and when I tower over him in heels, I think I’m the hottest hottie ever, and slightly dangerous.
    2. I like having very small breasts.
    3. I have big feet, which make me feel tough.
    4. I wear fabulous, wildly creative clothes that other people wouldn’t dare put together.
    5. I have a full sleeve tattoo that is the greatest piece of art I’ve ever invested in.

    My, don’t I feel stuck up. Guess I’m pretty well trained to hate myself, huh? Thanks, Zuzu, for the consciousness raising!

  47. zuzu
    January 14, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    However, I don’t think that it should become a platform to congratulate ourselves for meeting a racist, sexist, heteronormative beauty standard or for looking attractive to others.
    For example, I’m Asian and I could say 1.) I have brown, slightly wavy hair, 2.) I have big, round eyes with prominent double lids, 3.) I’m taller than a lot of Asians, 4.) My skin tone isn’t too yellow 5.) I have a pert little nose. But I don’t think that’s ok, and I hope that most feminist/progressives would not think it’s ok, for me to be celebrating myself for not looking “ethnic”.

    I’m really not sure where you’re getting this from from the responses. What I’m getting is that it’s damn hard for people to come up with five things that are positive about themselves. With all the body hatred that women are conditioned to engage it, it can be a radical act to stand up and say, “I’ve got a great ass, dammit.” Even if it is something other people might find attractive.

    However, I do agree with you that I’d hate to see people giving themselves backhanded compliments that simply reinforced self-loathing. But I haven’t seen that yet.

  48. A Pang
    January 14, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    Here we go.

    1. I’m intelligent.
    2. I’m über-geeky.
    3. I’m artistic.
    4. I have glossy silky perfectly straight hair down to my waist.
    5. I have a divine ass.

    It was very hard not to add a diminishing remark to each one (“…if not intellectual”, “…like millions of others”, “…but it’s just a hobby”, “…but I’ve got horrible split ends”, “…or so I’m told”.) Well, there they are, but at least I didn’t put them in the actual list, eh?

    OK, now off to make pesto. I make kick-ass pesto, did I mention that?

  49. lv
    January 14, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    1. I am good at brazilian jiujitsu and I’m getting even better.
    1a: My enthusiasm and energy inspire & motivate other women in my mostly-male bjj club.
    1b: As a weird, circus-trick result of wrestling so much I can guess mens’ weights within like 5 pounds. Women are harder.
    1c: I have muscles. I’m so proud of them.
    2. I’m a scientist (in grad school) and I’m good at that too.
    3. I have a funky, adventurous haircut and I look fabulous in it.
    4. My face & eyes are unusual and cool.
    5. I love to cook & eat, and I’m excellent at both.
    6. I have a lot of energy and hate to sit still.

    I like myself in general, but there are things about my body I don’t dig so much. So it’s easy to talk about me personally but not me physically.

  50. trillian
    January 14, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    zuzu, I have to ask:

    3. I can lift an 85-pound barbell just using my ass.

    Now, maybe it has something to do with the fact that weight rooms look like scary torture dungeons to me, but I have a hard time envisioning how exactly this would work. I’m impressed despite the not understanding, but could you enlighten me please? (I mean, more than y’all already have today)

  51. January 14, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    exangelena: I think that’s a great point.

    Speaking for myself, though, I deliberately chose to list conventional, skin-deep beauty stuff because that’s where my self-confidence is lowest, even though that stuff doesn’t matter one-hundredth as much as intelligence or humour or kindness or talent. It wouldn’t, for me, have been half so difficult or thought-provoking to list those deeper qualities.

  52. zuzu
    January 14, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    Trillian, in a deadlift, you hold a barbell against your legs in front, then bend over until the barbell is near the floor, then stand up again. In order to not use your back to do this, you have to lift with your butt.

    So, I can lift 85 pounds with my butt! ;)

    Also, I like the way that sounds.

  53. January 14, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    1. I am physically tough. My body can take a lot and still keep going.
    2. I have beautiful eyes.
    3. My hair is short and soft and plushy, and it has a beautiful silver sheen at the tips.
    4. I have competent, useful hands.
    5. I have a great smile.

  54. January 14, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    1. i light up the room when i smile.
    2. i am stronger than the messages i receive from society.
    3. i am exceptional at pleasing my intimate partner.
    4. i work hard to be a good person.
    5. i find the strength and courage to make it through each day.

  55. January 14, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    I am scary smart.
    I have a sharp sense of humor. Cracking up people is my speciality.
    My hair is that shade of blonde that many ladies pay $$$ for. It’s actually a form of albinism.
    I can spot a bullshitter, con, psychopath or liar in a heartbeat.
    190 lbs applied to an instep can cripple a guy. Permanently.
    I’m ambidextrous.
    I cannot get lost.
    I can figure out what is wrong with a computer within at least a minute.
    My audio system is the envy of many guys.
    In repose, I am very serious. When I smile, it lights the room.
    My laugh is contagious.
    I might be ‘overweight’, but I am still quite fit.
    I’m a damn good cook.
    Cats love me.
    Complementing my mind goes much further than complementing my body.
    I can read people like books.

  56. JenM
    January 14, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    1. Very straight broad shoulders even though I’m an overall small person.
    2. Good hair (lots of it, nice color, I’m 36 and have only 3 grey hairs that just sprung up in the back).
    3. Good radar for energy-vampire destructive types of people that should be avoided.
    4. I’m not bothered or sensitive to criticism as long as its valid/true. When I went to the gym and they did a physical assessment I was told “there is some cellulite in your thighs” most people were horrified when I told them this – I laughed and said “well yeah that’s why I’m here.” B/c it was true – my thighs did have cellulite – saying it out loud didn’t make it appear, it was already there.
    5. I like to give things away to someone who needs it instead of being a pat-rack like my parents and have items sit around unused gathering dust for years.

  57. January 14, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    1. I’m tall.
    2. I have color-shifting eyes that go between green and gray.
    3. My hair is waist-length and does not frizz.
    4. After years of wishing my breasts were larger, I changed my mind and now they’re pretty much the size I want them, and they didn’t change size at all.
    5. I have just the right amount of curve in my hips.
    6. My left hand creates beautiful artwork and lovely handwriting. Both hands are quick and nimble and I’m close to ambidextrous.
    7. My body reacts wonderfully with a feeling of euphoria when I fill my lungs completely with air.
    8. My face appears symmetrical and, to me, quite pretty, when I look at it in the mirror. I like the shape of my nose and lips and eyes and cheekbones.
    9. I do not feel the need to use any makeup because my face looks just fine the way it is. My eyebrows are not so bushy as to require tweezing (at least in my opinion) and my skin stays clear to my satisfaction without me spending loads of money on skin-treatment products.
    10. I am able-bodied, not paralyzed or otherwise handicapped physically.
    11. I am, after some amount of working on it, capable of carrying myself with confidence without feeling stupid or pretentious or like I’m contorting myself.
    12. My body size stays where I’m happy with it even when I’m too lazy to get any exercise.

  58. Julie
    January 14, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    This one is also really hard for me, I have a horrible time talking positively about myself. Here goes though
    -My eyes are an amzingly dark chocolate brown that I am absolutely in love with
    -My hair is a beautiful red/brown combination that looks great in the sun (it almost sparkles)
    -My calves have great definition from years of cheerleading and running track
    -My breasts are great and I think they are the perfect size for me.
    -I am very good at what I do and was recently offered a job where they paid me more than the advertised starting salary because of my experience, which was a huge confidence booster.
    -I carried a very high (3.9) GPA while working three part time jobs and running sibling workshops for people who had siblings with autism.
    -I am extremely intelligent
    Thanks zuzu! Despite how hard it was to admit those things, it feels good to actually see positive things about yourself listed out like that.

  59. katester
    January 14, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    1) I have a wonderfully expressive face and a great smile.

    2) My hair is thick and wavy and curly and even when I can’t control it at all I kind of admire its rebelliousness.

    3) My legs are long and muscular and make me feel like I can take on the world (or at least explore it thoroughly on foot).

    4) My hips are really sexy when I dance (they’re not unsexy the rest of the time, just not particularly prominent).

    5) I like having a medium-sized body – taller than most women, shorter than most men, not particularly thin or fat. It makes me feel comfortable and competent.

    (Conclusion: I have plenty of insecurities about how my body looks, but I do like the way I feel inhabiting it most of the time.)

  60. January 14, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    1. I’m really smart.
    2. I can lead people.
    3. I have a great smile.
    4. I have small hands, which is useful if I need to reach into small places, like when trying to fix a car.
    5. My hair is soft and fine and nice to touch and play with.

  61. Galatea
    January 14, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    MissPrism (#19), maybe it’s because eyes are both very difficult to change and also one of the focuses of the face? I mean, you could change your eyes with plastic surgery, but that’s more extreme than most people would go.

    1. I’m smart. I think I’ve finally internalised the fact that I actually am smart and it’s not just people being nice
    2. I write amazing essays.
    3. I have nice, thick, long hair. It’s even got inexplicable built-in highlights — it’s mostly dark brown but has these very light blonde streaks.
    4. I like my hands. They’re finally (finally finally) healing after a bout of allergy-induced rash, so I’m not distracted by cracked skin and blood; they’re square with long, strong, capable fingers.
    5. I bake really well.

    I’m reasonabl yconfident about what-I-can-do and what-I-can-make, but my body and I are still working on some kind of workable living situation.

  62. January 14, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    I’m going to start with the physical things, because those are by far the hardest for me to list too. This does seem to be a theme.

    1. I have very soft skin
    2. I have soulful brown eyes
    3. I really like my small hands and feet
    4. I’m highly intelligent
    5. I’m a good photographer
    6. I’m way good with gadgets

  63. Dharmaserf
    January 14, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    Do you mind if I try? The first few I only think because of other people’s assessment of me.

    1) my eyes are pretty
    2) I have nice lips (though I was made fun of in junior hig for it – lipular they would call me)
    3) I’d like to think I am funny and interesting
    4) no matter what my body is like, I am excellent in bed (male-ego and performance anxiety issues–check)
    5) no matter what my body is like, I can still kick ass on the basketball court (more male performance issues–check)

  64. January 14, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    Okay, here goes:

    My feet aren’t too big.

  65. Sarah S
    January 14, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    1. Great breasts.
    2. Expressive face
    3. Sleek calfs (calves?)
    4. I may be one of the few women who love their tummy rolls. I would feel weird if I had a flat stomach.
    5. Feel good about myself, my identity, and my inner core a large majority of the time.

  66. Magis
    January 14, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    Only 2 of 52 bragged about being a good lover? Fascinating.

  67. arrow
    January 14, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    1. I’m very self-confident about my looks and about my personality
    2. I’m adaptable… I can fit in well and enjoy myself in a variety of settings
    3. I’m artistic, and great at drawing
    4. I have a fantastic little round butt, and I think my overall shape is damn sexy
    5. Huge, glowing smile
    6. Natural highlights
    7. I’m both left and right-brained, and smart as well
    8. Great with animals and men
    9. I can get excited about new places, people, and events and enjoy myself without restraint

  68. iena
    January 14, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    1. I have an insatiable desire to learn everything.
    2. I can speak enough of three modern languages to be able to communicate on a foreign street, and I read Latin and Classical Greek.
    3. I can keep guinea pigs and hamsters alive well beyond their time (Sammy was almost 9 when he went).
    4. I have a very sarcastic sense of humor that I often use to brutally shut down the perverts that call my callcenter looking for phone-sex, much to the enjoyment of my coworkers.
    5. I hate it when I see people putting up with people that they hate just because they are afraid to speak up. I don’t do that.
    As for physical traits…

    1. My eyes are blue with a green ring in the middle. They look like lakes.
    2. I really like how long and slender my arms are and that I can reach into cracks in rolled-down windows to retrieve abandoned keys.
    3. I have this really cool, super-short, asymetrical haircut that has long anime-looking sideburns that I cut myself.

    It is incredibly hard to come up with the physical traits. Those took the better part of 30 minutes.

  69. January 14, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    1) I have really amazingly beautiful eyes; big, brown, long lashes, and “soulful”
    2) I have a long, pretty neck
    3) I have excellent full lips
    4) I have extremely well-shaped feet (a foot fetishist told me so!)
    5) I am a terrific writer and editor
    6) I’m a great Mom
    7) I’m funny
    8) I have magnifcent nipples on very fine tits
    9) I have beautiful tattoos

  70. January 14, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    !. I am a damn good writer when I put the effort into it. I’ve never gotten less than an A on a paper I really wanted an A for (and I usually get at least a B on papers I put no effort into).

    @. I am a fast fucking reader. I’m nowhere near superfast reader’s 100 pages an hour, but I can do about 80.

    #. I can move fully-loaded computer desks and the like with my legs. (In fact, I can move most heavy furniture with my legs.)

    $. I make perfect coffee every single time.

    %. I have a short, stubby, agile body — and that is exactly the way I want it.

  71. January 14, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    1. I love my boobs. I used to hate my breasts so this is a big point of self-esteem growth for me.
    2. I can go out of the house with my hair in a knot and no makeup and not give a shit, but when I dress up I dress well. I like my style.
    3. I have my dad’s eyes and they’re a pretty, icy blue with a dark navy ring around the outside. Plus a brown eye-freckle in on the left eye.
    4. I have a gigantic tattoo on my hips (that I helped to design, w00t!) and it emphasizes my mega-curves.
    5. For the first time ever I have long nails naturally and for some reason that’s fascinating.

  72. January 14, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    1) My lips are very full, naturally deep-pink-to-almost red, and extremely curvy (pretty much the one part of myself I’ve never felt insecure about actually–they’re that sexy :) )

    2) My shoulders are wicked broad for a girl, which I think makes me look elegant, and I also like my collarbone.

    3) My ass is huge. And hott. Oh yeah. Are you ready for this jelly? *jiggles*

    4) Like Amanda, I have small boobs (barely fit a B cup, which would look biggish if I were like 5 inches shorter) that I dig anyway–I’ve never wanted them to be bigger, I like their shape, and I like that I can get away with wearing soft stretchy bras cuz I freaking hate underwire! Also a bonus is if I feel like wearing a strapless shirt or something else that’s not conducive to a regular bra, if it’s made right I can go without.

    5) I dunno how much this counts but I love my eyebrow piercing that I got like ten days ago. However, I also love the scar right next to it from the old eyebrow piercing I got two years ago and had to remove after 8 months when I tried to switch rings without really knowing what I was doing. A scar is a story, and mine will always remind me of realizing my first relaitonship was dying, of feeling in general like a chapter in my life was ending, of how much I hate being put into boxes (anyone who knew me would NOT have said I was the eyebrow-piercing type; so maybe I wanted a little bit to prove them wrong) of getting pierced by a man with Jesus tattooed on his neck, and of getting into college cuz that’s what I wrote my college essay about! (for real)

    6. I’m a good writer.

    7. I rarely get bored, and really only if I’m doing something boring, but not if I’m just doing “nothing”. I realized this about myself when all my friends, still on winter break (my school goes back insanely early), kept complaining about how bored they were, and how they were totally ready to go back to school. Myself, I never spend the last days of a vacation waiting for it to be over, because I never get bored! There are always books to read, youtube videos to watch, CDs to appreciate while eating your favorite meal, walks to take, phone calls to have, pop culture to catch up on, feminist blogs to surf, and of course the company of my own thoughts.

    8) I am an extremely loving person. The people I love excite me and constantly blow me away with their awesomeness. If I could wish one thing, and good-of-humanity wishes were not allowed, I would wish that all the awesome people I love could see themselves as I see them, and I like that about myself.

    Huh. That was harder than I expected, especially as I had to make myself promise not to “cheat”–no writing down “I love my ___” if I really don’t. Great thread idea, zuzu :)

  73. January 14, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    I’m having an extremely hard time being positive about anything today, but I’ll give this a shot.

    1. I have gloriously curly Cajun hair.
    2. I rock at crossword puzzles.
    3. I am an awesome dancer.
    4. My brain is filled with creative ideas.
    5. I have beautiful feet that take me everywhere I want to go.

    Whew. That took a really long time.

  74. bluefish A
    January 14, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    1. I endlessly amuse myself (and others).
    2. I am passionate to the point of giddyness.
    3. I love my face- each seperate feature and the sum of it.
    4. I have great skin.
    5. I can craft a cutting haiku in a milisecond.
    6. My body brings me and those I choose to share it with great pleasure.
    7. I am well travelled, well read and well loved.
    8. Despite what haters would like me to think, I’m a lucky gal.

  75. Aja
    January 14, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    1. I’m funny

    2. I know a lot about books, music, and a host of other stuff, which makes me

    3. a good conversationalist

    4. I’m awesome in bed

    5. I’m a good dancer

  76. lilcollegegirl
    January 14, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    I have straight teeth that never required braces.
    I am also a hella good biter. (Not so much into the kissing.)
    I can write poetry that expresses how I feel both openly and clearly.
    I read very fast.
    My pale skin glows when I wear black.

    (The last one was hardest, because throughout K-12 I was teased about my skin and have always considered it my least attractive physical feature.)

  77. Jodie
    January 14, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    Things I like about me:

    I am adept at problem solving.

    My body works — all my parts work (at my job I see far too many that don’t, and oh, am I thankful).

    My skin is good enough that even at 50, I don’t need makeup.

    I have an infectious smile.

    I have the gift of accepting people for whoever they are without a desire to have them be any different.

    I read fast, type fast, learn fast and retain information fairly easily. I also take tests well. And I like learning new things.

    I can sleep anywhere, anytime, under almost any circumstances..

    Even when circumstances are bad (and they have often been bad), I can find happiness inside me.

    I like the way I am aging; I like the lines on my face and the silver strands in my dark blond hair.

  78. Kim
    January 14, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    1. I have a cute pair of lips.
    2. I like my expressive eyes.
    3. If my butt got any more delicious-looking, I’d have to take a bite.
    4. I’m witty.
    5. I am not afraid to hold unpopular opinions.

  79. Donna Darko
    January 14, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    Man, this is hard.

    1. I’m as healthy as a horse which is bad news for anti-feminists. I come from healthy southern Chinese (HK and China) stock. My parents are 75 and healthy.

    2. I am very loving to my nephew, 3, and niece, 1.

    3. I am very strong, endurance-wise. I can be chickenshit about needles, spiders, etc.

    4. I have nice lips.

    5. I have very nice, large breasts.


  80. Donna Darko
    January 14, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    6. I’m very well-read.

  81. Mastermind
    January 14, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    This thread makes me incredibly happy, I almost want to cry.

    1. I have beautiful, long legs. Now they are quite hairy and I still love them!
    2. I’m very intelligent in a logical/analytical way.
    3. I have a nice ass.
    4. I have beautiful green-blue eyes with long lashes.
    5. I am very strong.
    6. I am competitive and I’m able to focus this trait on things that matter to me (cycling and research).
    7. I love my super-short hair.
    8. I like the way I look: my body and my style. Every day I dress how I want other people to see me.

  82. Siris
    January 14, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    To me, it’s a very hard list to come up with, simply because I’ve never really felt like standing up and saying “You know what, I think I have a great whatever.” Plus I tend to look at myself way more critically than I should. But here goes nothing:

    1. I have a great sense of humor. You have to try very hard to offend me.
    2. I’m nice to everyone I meet. It doesn’t matter if I don’t like you, I’m always going to be polite to you.
    3. I have nice long legs. Sometimes I shave them, more often I won’t, because sometimes I don’t feel like it. *coughlazycough*.
    4. I have a pleasant smile. My friends say they like it when I smile .
    5. My eyes. The shape, the color, the eyebrows, and lashes.

    Wow, that was hard to do…

  83. Meredith
    January 14, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    I’ll bite, as I don’t often get the chance to sound positive about my body without worrying that I’ll sound conceited, and I actually like my body most days.

    1) I have gorgeous blue eyes.
    2) My lips are full and fantastically cute and twist into wicked smirks pretty often.
    3) My butt is gorgeous and curvy.
    4) In fact, I have quite a bit of curve for being only 5’2″ and 115 pounds.
    5) My hands, though tiny, are strong and capable.
    6) My legs are full at the thighs, but curve down to cute little ankles.
    7) My breasts, though small, are still pretty and delicate and sexy.

    YAY US! Everyone on this thread sounds wonderful and I love it.

  84. Jess
    January 14, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    1. I’m pretty much an hourglass–my hips and waist are quite sexy.
    2. My tits are full and perky for their size.
    3. My calves are strong and make people think that I am a runner (when in fact I just walk or bike everywhere).
    4. I bake tasty things.
    5. I just graduated from a (very) difficult college even though I have multiple learning disabilities and neither of my parents went to college. So, I think I’m smart.

  85. January 14, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    1. I have very straight, white teeth
    2. I have a very crooked nose, which makes my profile look different from each side. I used to hate it; now I think it adds character. And it’s pierced. I like that.
    3. I’m good at arguing and debating.
    4. I have a ridiculous laugh.
    5. I’m curious.
    6. I’m passionate and emotional.
    7. When I’m being healthy and working out regularly, I have a strong, flat stomach and a little waist.
    8. I’ll eat just about anything and go just about anywhere once.
    9. I have pretty hair that can be curly, loose and wavy, or pin-straight, depending on what I do to it.
    10. I’m very self-sufficient, and excellent at doing things alone. And there’s not a whole lot that I’m afraid of.

  86. Em
    January 14, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    My shoulders.
    My face.
    My arms.
    My back.
    My heart.

  87. Nicki
    January 14, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    1. I have fabulous curly dark hair.
    2. I have been injury-free my entire life.
    3. I am independent and don’t mind being alone.
    4. I have gorgeous perfect eyebrows.
    5. My breasts are fantastic, as is the tattoo on one of them which I designed.
    6. My teeth are big, white, and cavity-free.
    7. I have great skin.
    8. I laugh a lot, and make other people laugh too.

  88. January 14, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    What’s interesting to me is there seems to be two separate “this is hard” complaints: Women who have trouble breaking out of self-criticism all the time and women who maybe don’t but feel that bragging itself is wrong. I notice this because my first inclination reading the thread was that I shouldn’t participate because it’s bragging, due to the fact that I have few problems rattling off my good qualities. (I’m a perfectionist who is still obsessive about my flaws, though.) But I see some women in the same camp, and I find that interesting. The result is the same—women are self-deprecating—but it seems that some of us learn that pride in one’s self is de facto wrong and some of us learn simply that speaking said pride out loud is wrong.

  89. M
    January 14, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    1-I have pretty hazel eyes.
    2-I have an exotic face (a friend of mine surmises that the reason people always say they know someone who looks just like me is that my face shape is not ‘normal’ and so it’s very memorable).
    3-I like a few different crafts and I’m good at them, but stop myself from picking up more because OMG they’re expensive and time-consuming.
    4-I’m smart. And very curious which helps a lot.
    5-I have hair that occasionally causes hairdressers to exclaim when I want to cut it off.
    6-I have nice short legs.
    7-I’m well-read.
    8-I’m a good cook.
    9-I love to dance. I am good at it but my attitude is that as long as you’re having fun who cares if you’re good at it.
    10-I have a good voice. I’ve always thought this but until recently was too shy to sing in front of friends.

  90. January 14, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    1) I love my boobs enough for it to at least count for two if not three things I like about my body. They rock.
    2) My blog is awesome.
    3) I pierced my nose a couple of years ago and really like it.
    4) I’m smart and funny and well-informed.
    5) I’m passionate.
    6) I rock at cooking and baking.

    Unfortunately, composing this list has depressed me a lot more than writing about my insecurities did. (I hate to be a party pooper, but it’s true.) Taking stock and realizing that there really aren’t 5 things I like about my body is reminding me of my nasty habit of bottling up bad feelings, and that maybe, just maybe, my difficulty in writing this list is connected to why I’ve been feeling so shitty lately. It’s time to stop ignoring myself.

  91. January 14, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    I guess it’s wrong to say that this depressed me – more that it made me realize that I’ve been depressed lately, and I should see what I can do about it.

  92. rs
    January 14, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    1. I have beautiful hands and feet
    2. I have big hazel eyes
    3. I have thick, shiny hair
    4. I am very smart
    5. I have great sense of humour

  93. Hornet Queen
    January 14, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    I’m going to ride the momentum of De-Lurking Week and post to this fantastic thread.

    1. I’m smart, well-read and interested in just about everything. This allows me to converse easily and intelligently about a wide-variety of topics, and kick ass on trivia night at my local pub.

    2. I am a great dancer, and can improvise appropriate looking steps to any sort of music at the drop of a hat. People often assume I am a dance instructor/with the band/trained in that style/a stripper. I find all of those assumptions equally flattering and amusing. (I’m actually a professional techie geek)

    3. I am confident. I’m unafraid to do crazy things to my hair and rock the results. I have perfect posture. I’ll go happily to parties where I don’t know anyone, trusting that I am interesting and outgoing, and people will like me.

    4. I am funny, and can tune my humor from gentle to bitingly dry as the situation requires. I also have a startlingly loud and “un-feminine” belly laugh, which I’ve grown to love.

    5. I am a fantastic lover, unapologetically hedonstic, nearly 100% hang-up free, and as enthusiastic as a golden retriever puppy. I have a knockout hourglass figure, and martial-arts-developed strength and stamina.

    Wow. That was far harder than I thought it would be, even though I truly am a self-confident person. I hadn’t realized just how much automatic “balancing” I do when thinking/talking about myself. Leaving off the negatives felt strangely uncomfortable, almost like lying. But I’m feeling pretty kick-ass right now! I think I’ll pass this along to all my friends. Thanks for the nudge, zuzu!

  94. kate
    January 14, 2007 at 5:40 pm

    Here goes, if anyone is reading this far down the list:

    1. I have large expressive eyes that change from walnut brown, to hazel to green depending on what I’m wearing and the light.
    2. I can get along with just about anyone– have an ability to see good in about anyone.
    3. I am a kick-ass from scratch, make it as you go cook.
    4. I love to learn knew ideas or skills.
    5. I am can frame a house as fast and well as anyone.
    6. I am naturally strong.
    7. I have muscular arms and legs that I’m proud of.
    8. I love a good debate and never pass one up.
    9. I am a good writer.
    10. I am a survivor and can live on next to nothing like a queen.
    11. I am a voracious reader.
    12. I am loyal to ideals and to friends.
    13. I am a good public speaker.

    I’ll stop there. I feel like I have to put in front, “I was told…” as if I have no right to make any positive assessments of myself on my own. But I did it, although I steered clear of the body stuff as right now I’m not feeling so hot about my body as it is.

    And like someone else said, I want to get to know all these kick-ass women here!

  95. anonycat
    January 14, 2007 at 5:40 pm

    I find it so incredibly sad that so many women — in the feminist community, for crying out loud! — find it so difficult to list even five things they like about themselves. Granted, my own self-esteem is almost nonexistent (I messed up my college interviews because I didn’t want to say anything that sounded conceited … in other words, anything that made me sound good). That’s partly due to a psychiatric disorder, but surely most people here are mentally healthy … anyway, I’m rambling because I know I’m going to have a hard time with my list. It will be interesting to see how many things I can think of.

    –I can blow away any standardized test you can throw at me

    –I’m physically very strong, and can leap higher than any other (female) dancer I know

    –I can put words together extremely well when I set my mind to it. Once I know what I want to say, I can write it up very eloquently.

    –I can not just survive but thrive in an otherwise-all-male group, and even sexists who don’t have much respect for most of the women they know do respect me. And I accomplish this without hating on my sex a la wingnut writers.

    –The courseload that I consider light and easy still looks quite impressive to most people. (Physics and math are where it’s at, people!)

  96. Janis
    January 14, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    Body that looks pretty much exactly as it looked in high school — and damned good at that, over twenty years later.

    Very very long, very very thick, very very dark hair.

    Good skin, few wrinkles.

    Extremely long hands, capable of palming a soccer ball and reaching a 10th.

    Good legs, or so I’ve been told.

  97. Maria B
    January 14, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    As a Leo, this is only natural for me…

    1. I have brown, thick and wavy hair that has a mind of its own, and I love it.
    2. I have one ever so slightly crooked tooth because my teeth have always been straight enough that I didn’t need braces.
    3. I’m soft all over.
    4. Good butt.
    5. Very small, sensitive breasts that will probably never sag and don’t get in my way.
    6. Pretty blue eyes.
    7. Big, infectious smile.

    And the not so physical:
    8. I’m proud of who I am.
    9. I’m happy both at the centre of attention and on the periphery, and able to control when I am where.
    10. Intelligent.
    11. Funny, in a twisted sort of way.
    12. Physically lazy, mentally active.
    13. I enjoy life, lemons and all.

    This is a lovely thread and I just thought I’d contribute to it even though you already have so many comments. We need to love ourselves a lot more!

  98. January 14, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    1. I have excellent skin.
    2. I have a bit of a snaggletooth, and after months of debating whether I should get it fixed (it was the result of an unfortunate faceplant into asphalt), I decided that it was actually sort of cute and/or endearing.
    3. I have a nice, curvy shape.
    4. I love my hair, even though it has had problems in the past.
    5. I am not afraid to speak my mind.
    6. I am smart and hardworking.

  99. Jodie
    January 14, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    This is what we need more of. I love reading this thread.

  100. Jo
    January 14, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    I love this thread. Some of my pals and I do this when we’ve had a particularly bad day: open a couple bottles, list what we love about ourselves, then list what we love about each other. That said:

    I am very, very smart. And well-read. And full of interesting trivia.

    I am excellent at translating medical language into English that normal folks can understand.

    I’m good at taking care of dying people.

    I have great red hair. It’s curly.

    And good lips, too.

    I can fix almost anything.

    I can handle power tools without cutting off my fingers.

    Algebra is easy for me.

    My breasts are gorgeous. As are my freckles.

    I can curl 20-lb barbells.

    For that matter, whenever anybody needs sheer muscle, they call me.

    I’m very, very funny.

    I can cuss in six languages.

    Nobody, not even a world-famous neurosurgeon, intimidates me any more.

    I cannot be bullied.

    I can really sing.

    I give a *great* blow job. And I know just when to stop, and then start up again.

    Ah. That felt good. (The list, not the blow job.)

    Next time I go out and feel insignificant next to some twenty-year-old girl with a thinner waist and longer hair, I will repeat this to myself. Next time some jackass attending surgeon attempts to intimidate me, I’ll repeat this list to myself. And the next time some ass tries to moo at me because I’m big and strong and happy, I’ll repeat this list to myself and then kick him in the shins.


  101. January 14, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    I’m smart.

    I’m funny.

    And, I look better naked than I do clothed.

  102. Em
    January 14, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    It’s really interesting that I’ve never seen so many women admit to loving their breasts. Good on you all.

  103. wyomeg
    January 14, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    I’m in. My self love has grown through the years from damn near non-existant to huge!
    1. Hazel eyes that turn green in the midst of any nearby green
    2. Calves so large and defined that when I went to Mardi Gras, my calves were randomly groped
    3. A body that tends toward muscle with the slightest bit of exercise (including a hamstring that damn near turns ME on after only a couple weeks of running)
    5. An all over layer of fat that keeps me looking nice and curvy, as well as a little warmer in the vicious Wyoming winter
    6. Huge breasts and large hips that give me a lovely earth-mother curvy shape (I always felt I resembled those early fertility statues)
    7. Hair that turns blonde with just a little sun
    8. My mother’s hands – veiny but strong and capable of almost anything
    9. Lips that are full enough and a nice rose shade
    10. A nice nose that looks even better with a large gold hoop in it
    11. Strong broad shoulders
    12. Defined forearms
    13. Everything mostly works and heals quickly
    14. An ass that can fill a pair of jeans and shake on down with the right beats
    And the thing I love most about myself right now:
    15. A big belly that is currently incubating another human

    I won’t even go into my badass personality. Enough about me, how about you?

  104. wyomeg
    January 14, 2007 at 7:56 pm

    After writing that I do feel slightly conceited, but really, if you had asked me what I like about myself 15 years ago, I would have said my eyes and could have come up with nothing else.

  105. twf
    January 14, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    1) I’m very smart in the book-learnin’ sense, mostly in sciences/mathematics but also in verbal/written skills.
    2) I am very good at sucking cock.
    3) My breasts are a nice size and shape.
    4) I’m good at looking at all sides of things, and seeing the big picture.
    5) My friends tell me I’m one of the least judgmental, shaming people they know, and I’m a good listener.

  106. Hawise
    January 14, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    I’m late jumping in ’cause it is a weekend and I have to share the computer during the day ;)

    1. I have bad distance vision but great close in, I can do 36 pt. cross sttch without magnification.

    2. I am physically strong without having to put much work into it.

    3. I have long hair that keeps itself relatively neat on its own.

    4. I gain weight overall rather than in spots which gives me some time to get rid of the xmas overage.

    4. I have a quirky sense of humour that really helps out in all situations.

    There is more but those are my five favorites.

  107. Katy
    January 14, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    1) I have dainty ankles and strong legs.
    2) I have very soft, pink skin.
    3) I love the colour of my hair.
    4) When I smile I get crinkles in the corner of my mouth. They will one day turn into laugh lines. I look forward to that.
    5) I can read super fast and am intelligent.
    6) I can write odd poetry when I’m in the mood.
    7) I make friends easily.

  108. W. Kiernan
    January 14, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    1.) Ain’t dead yet.
    2.) As long as I stay indoors nobody calls me ugly.
    3.) As long as I shut up nobody suspects I’m a jerk.
    4.) Not feeling too good of late, but still alive.
    5.) Absolutely indestructible face hair. Unsightly yet functional.
    6.) Taken a licking but keeping on ticking.
    7.) I can lift a manhole cover over my head.
    8.) Tempermentally proof against suicide.
    9.) As of the next mouse click, still not dead.

  109. January 14, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    1. I have the softest hair in the world. You will be hard pressed to find someone with nicer textured hair.

    2. I’m stronger than I look.

    3. I do hilarious voices, and I’ve never failed to make someone laugh by doing them.

    4. My tits are awesome. Small and perky and boatloads of fun!

    5. Kids love me, I love kids and I’ve never met someone under the age of 10 I didn’t like.

    6. My skin is near flawless.

    7. I’ve been told I have beautiful eyes, which is completely true: They’re mostly green, with flecks of blue around the pupil and brown around the outside. Also, long and lovely eyelashes.

  110. January 14, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    I honestly can’t do this. :(

  111. Aura Kitten
    January 14, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    1) i can grow long, gorgeous fingernails in a week flat!
    2) my skin smells like honey naturally! ^.^
    3) my knees are absolutely gorgeous!
    4) my breasts make massive amounts of milk!!
    5) i can type 120+ wpm!
    6) my hip joints are super-flexible!
    7) my hair sparkles golden-red in the sunshine!

    this is an awesome idea; i love reading everyone’s comments!

  112. Betsy
    January 14, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    Hey, Thomas. I don’t know you, but I would bet the farm that there are 5 things about you that rock.

  113. Meghan
    January 14, 2007 at 9:38 pm

    I’m short and strong, muscular and curvy, sturdy and flexible. When I’m running on the rugby pitch I feel like an effective container of pure energy and muscle. I hit hard and low.

    I’m smart, I have good voice, a solid hug, and I listen well.
    I’m sexy and pretty and dangerous.
    I have tiny feet.
    My hair is soft.
    My eyes change colour depending on the light.

    My breasts are cute, my ass is lovely, my skull is nicely shaped.
    I can wiggle my nose, my ears are tiny.
    I read rapidly, I write good essays and am a good student.
    I’m a good kisser, I can hold my alcohol.
    When I give consent to sex I do it enthusiastically.

    I liked doing this, because it is all true.

  114. January 14, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    Thomas, I can identify. So – what can you do to make yourself feel better about yourself? Reading this thread has really pointed out to me how my self-esteem has suffered over the past few years, and now I’m seriously thinking of going back to therapy (and being a little more regular about taking my antidepressants) and stopping being a pussy and applying for grad school.

    What’re you going to do?

  115. Chicklet
    January 14, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    1. I’ve got great skin

    2. My eyelashes are long and perfectly curved

    3. I’m a very good cook

    4. I have a wicked sense of humor

    5. I can watch – and understand – sports better than a lot of guys

  116. January 14, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    This is really hard for me to do, for all the self-esteem and fear-of-bragging issues mentioned earlier, but I feel like I should do it, mainly for my own mental health but also to practice being a good model for my daughters. So here goes:

    1. bright blue eyes, nicely shaped, with thick black lashes
    2. a mouth I like the shape of, that is part of a smile that is one of my best features, I think
    3. I really like the lines of my neck and shoulders
    4. My hair is thick, straight, healthy and shiny, and is threaded with silver now, which I’m really liking as it shows up
    5. hmmmmmmmm. stalled.

    It was also hard to do this list without just relying on the opinions of other people, really trying to think about what I like, not what former partners or my friends have noticed.

  117. Aja
    January 14, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    Reading this thread has really pointed out to me how my self-esteem has suffered over the past few years

    Agreed- I felt awful that it took so long for me to come up with 5 things I liked about myself.

  118. January 14, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    1. I can break bricks with my hand. And it feels great, by the way.

    2. I’m extremely good with children, and I love spending time with them, so everybody wins!

    3. I have a truly beautiful laugh.

    4. I’m a talented crafter. No one is ever dissapointed when they get a home-made present from me.

    5. I’ve got lovely hair.

  119. elektrodot
    January 14, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    1. ive never lost an argument

    2) always have had good skin (even in high school!)

    3) about 40% of me is tattooed with various paintings and death metal tattoos

    4)i have blonde pubic hair (hey its something ive always been happy about)

    5)being 5 feet i can fit in small spaces

  120. January 14, 2007 at 10:28 pm


    1. Smooth, shapely breasts that don’t kill my back.
    2. Starry blue eyes.
    3. Strong, round calves
    4. Great arches and flexible ankles – I can point my toes better than any other dancer I’ve ever met.
    5. Arms that tone without bulk.
    6. My short stature.
    7. Great natural highlights.
    8. I’m just damn cute.

  121. sylvie
    January 14, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    1) I can hike 15-20 miles in a day if I want to, and be tired but not wasted
    2) I built my bike from parts this year, and now know how to take care of all its bits and pieces
    3) For a least one grad seminar I am in, I’m the only female in a room of 15 people, and still the most engaged and assertive of the bunch. Secretly I dream of daring some of the guys in the room to try that some time, being comfortable being the only one in a room of all the other gender. I don’t because say it to them because it would be unprofessional.
    4) I am professional and competent to work with.
    5) I have interesting ideas in my field.
    6) My breasts are just the right size and shape.
    7) I am weirdly strong for my size.
    8) I like chances to anonymously brag about myself (this is a newly realized one). This is actually quite fun; while I respect that it might be hard for some, I had a nice time thinking of interesting things I like about myself.

  122. January 14, 2007 at 10:53 pm

    1) I like almost every food that’s out there

    2) I can walk 25 miles a day.

    3) I’m an excellent researcher.

    4) I’m good in emergancies

    5) I learn quickly and am interested in many different things.

  123. January 14, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    what does it say about me that this thread makes me sad? I see everything that everyone loves, and if I don’t have it, I feel ashamed and lacking, and if I do, I feel un-special.

    well i’ll give it a try.

    1. I have the kind of hair people pay money to turn theirs into. Shiny, hugely thick, body without frizz. It’s why I finally let it grow out – I figured, why spend money to cut off and throw away what everyone else is trying to get? ( I used to have a pixie cut, and I realized that I like my hair either very short or very long, because that way it doesn’t touch me while I’m trying to work.)

    2. I also have the kind of nails people pay for – when they’re long, people ask me where I got acrylic tips done.

    3. I can read and retain at over 850 words a minute. It’s even on my resume – I think it helped me get my job as a computer tech even though I’d never done it before, just because I can take in so much at a go.

    4. Even though I haven’t done it in years, being a swimmer during puberty has left me with broad shoulders for my (5-foot-tall) size. I almost always take shoulder pads out, and fit into my boyfriend’s shirts.
    5. As someone mentioned above, I kick the asses of standardized tests. I rocked the ACT while sick and drugged up to keep my fever down, with no prep whatsoever.

  124. beidran
    January 14, 2007 at 11:59 pm

    1. I love my clavicle and my shoulders.
    2. I have a very nice back.
    3. I have well-defined biceps without having had to work for them.
    4. My hair is awesome.
    5. I have beautiful eyes.
    6. I am short and curvy, and my breasts and ass are fantastic.
    7. I am adorably cute.
    8. I’m thirty. Yay!

  125. Nymphalidae
    January 15, 2007 at 12:57 am

    1. My petite frame.
    2. My green eyes.
    3. My breasts.
    4. My sharp wit.
    5. My skepticism and ability to cut through the bullshit.
    6. I’m a damn good entomologist – good enough to get into one of the best Ph.D programs in the country.

  126. Inky
    January 15, 2007 at 1:06 am

    1. I’ve found something I absolutely love to do that I’m good at and is lucrative as a career (programming), and am on the right track to get the education and head right into the field. As a bonus it’s also a very male-dominated industry, so the more successful I am, the more I’m nudging the door open for women after me–it’s a nice incentive.

    2. I’ve never met a field of knowledge that didn’t agree with me. I’m best at English and math but can also do well in science, history or any other I’ve tried so far.

    3. My immune system is fantastic.

    4. After over a year, I’m finally as attracted to myself at 117lbs. as I was at 110lbs before college, and so I feel confident again that other people will find me attractive. It sounds like a really minor weight gain, but it took a while to get over the fact that I no longer have the pre-approved shape appearing on magazine covers nationwide, and I’m proud that I realized that I still look good naked.

    5. I’m more emotionally stable and content with my life direction than I have been since I was eleven.

    6. I’ve let go of a lot of control issues regarding romantic relationships and am better at trust, respect, and seeing things from the other person’s perspective.

    7. Guess I’ll join the chorus–my boobs are fantastic. They’re just small enough to be comfortable when I’m jogging, and just big enough to be pulled down a bit and get the rounded shape on the bottom.

  127. lizzie bee
    January 15, 2007 at 2:08 am

    1. i can learn to cook just about anything.
    2. i can write very well, and very fast, when i want to.
    3. i am loyal to the death.
    4. i can mock any commercial.
    5. i have a smashing, serious, Semitic, striking face.

  128. Janis
    January 15, 2007 at 2:09 am

    If we’re talking about brainy stuff as well as body stuff, then:

    I can learn any language to the point of functional literacy in WELL under six months. WELL under.

    I know of no one else who is better in mathematics who isn’t a tenured professor.

    I can achieve near-flawless accents in any language I study.

    No one else I know can build abstract, visual data models like I can.

    I can knit, crochet, tat, quilt, and spin. Very, very well. No patterns needed. (Part of that whole visual modeling thing.)

  129. January 15, 2007 at 2:28 am


    1 – My hair is fucking awesome
    2 – I can break 2 boards with my foot
    3 – I was 18 in a class of 307, and I was homebound half the time.
    4 – I’ve got curves to die for
    5 – I’m mature for my age, according to everyone.
    6 – I just spent 50 hours with my cousins and nobody ended up in a lake!

  130. Donna Darko
    January 15, 2007 at 2:35 am

    5. My skepticism and ability to cut through the bullshit.

    Nymphalidae, you reminded me

    7. I’m a very good bullshit detector

    8. I’m insightful.

    What’s interesting to me is there seems to be two separate “this is hard” complaints: Women who have trouble breaking out of self-criticism all the time and women who maybe don’t but feel that bragging itself is wrong. I notice this because my first inclination reading the thread was that I shouldn’t participate because it’s bragging, due to the fact that I have few problems rattling off my good qualities. (I’m a perfectionist who is still obsessive about my flaws, though.) But I see some women in the same camp, and I find that interesting. The result is the same—women are self-deprecating—but it seems that some of us learn that pride in one’s self is de facto wrong and some of us learn simply that speaking said pride out loud is wrong.

    Haha. There’s that Nelson Mandela quote “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” We could be another thread for self-promotion where we sound like meglomaniacal crazies!

  131. Donna Darko
    January 15, 2007 at 2:36 am

    “We could have” not “We could be.”

  132. Donna Darko
    January 15, 2007 at 3:05 am

    Actually, if we stopped being so self-critical and promoted ourselves without reservation, we’d sound like men!

  133. January 15, 2007 at 3:35 am

    1. I have beautiful green eyes, dark lashes and well curved eyebrows.

    2. I have a lovely mouth.

    3. I have broad straight shoulders.

    4. My nose, which I’ve always disliked the look of, especially in profile, is growing a hook on the end, and I love it, I think it makes my nose elegant.

    5. I have very soft skin.

    6. I’m great in bed.

    7. I love how adept my hands are at doing things, when I’m cooking or typing at speed, no thought just lovely movement.

    And the intellectual:

    I’m very smart. I’m the one who always asks the questions those in authority would rather not be asked. I got everyone who worked at a copy shop with me to report the company to OSHA and got them fined. I have a weird ability to understand people and situations and figure out what the motivations are, it’s not a conscious thing usually, just comes out of my mouth. And it turns out I’m artistic in my old age, never was before.

    About the thread: Damn, I’m falling in love with you all! I guess I really am turned on by self-confidence. Even those of you who had such a hard time sound like goddesses.

  134. pc18
    January 15, 2007 at 5:47 am

    Just reading this thread makes me so inspired! Even though I consider myself quite a confident person, and I like myself a lot, it’s hard to avoid those ‘qualifiers’. But here goes
    1. I have a lot of friends who I’ve known for years despite no longer living near them – I love and trust them and they love/trust me.
    2. I have amazing breasts.
    3. I can get excited about just about anything and my enthusiasm is infectious and makes others smile. My most used word is ‘yay!’
    4. I have a great sense of humour and specialise in witty one-liners.
    5. My hair is a gorgeous colour (my hairdresser was amazed it wasn’t professionally dyed) and the shiniest my friends have ever seen because I have never dyed or straightened it.
    6. I am really pretty.
    7. I am generous and loving.
    8. I achieved one of the top grades for my chemistry degree at one of the best universities in the world. I am devastatingly intelligent in other fields as well, and I totally kick ass at mental arithmetic.
    9. I am really good in bed and love my boyfriend seeing me naked.
    10. I have a good singing voice and excellent taste in music.

    Some of that felt a little bit like writing a job application! But just what I needed. What held me back was thinking that praising myself somehow automatically implies criticism of others. But that isn’t the case at all; I don’t feel criticised by reading other people’s posts and so why should they feel that way about mine? As many others have said before, everyone has at least 5 things that rock about them, and probably close to a million if you sit down and think about it and reject all the negativity we’re conditioned to feel.

  135. Clare
    January 15, 2007 at 7:12 am

    Ok, here goes:

    1. I have lovely dark shiny hair.
    2. My skin is soft and tans really easily.
    3. I can (and do) wear most colours.
    4. I have big greeny brown eyes.
    5. My breasts are a really nice shape.

    Wow! It is certainly harder than I expected! Thanks for a really interesting thread!

  136. January 15, 2007 at 7:44 am


    1. Pretty hazel-green eyes;
    2. Boobs that don’t necessarily need a bra even though I’m a borderline D-cup;
    3. I got back, baby!
    4. I have an hourglass figure, and I specifically love the curve of my waist towards my hips;
    5. Long legs that are pretty much all muscle, without my having to work for it.

    1. I have the ability to switch between my grumpy “real” tone to my cheerful “professional” voice and back on a dime. (This tends t befuddle my co-workers, heh.)
    2. I can spot (potential/future) problems at work a mile away, and I’m not afraid to point them out to Up High.
    3. Easily led astray by my friends, which means I keep having all these random adventures and Things I’ll Tell The Grandnieces and -nephews about.
    4. I can write well.
    5. I can sing reasonably well once I’ve had some lessons again.


  137. Anka
    January 15, 2007 at 8:46 am

    I wanted to post a “me too! I hate my body!” reply, but I seem to be too late. That’s OK; this exercise is more constructive. I will try listing both physical and non-physical attributes:

    1.I have beautiful, small, almond-shaped, dark blue eyes.
    2. I have delicate hands and wrists.
    3. I have very clear, pale skin that tans very well.
    4. I have bodacious largish breasts.
    5. My body is like that of a tall bad girl from an anime movie. Not like a heroine, but maybe I can be a new heroine.

    1. I speak eight languages, so far.
    2. I learn new songs, instruments, and music immediately.
    3. I am an adventurous chef and eater.
    4. I am an artist, no matter how much I try to sidetrack myself with practical day jobs.
    5. I am a good friend and have good friends.

    That was really fun, and I’m only minimally embarrassed! Thanks for the chance to do this.

  138. tommisue
    January 15, 2007 at 9:29 am

    My heart
    My sense of humor
    My chicken pot pie
    My love for family
    My green eyes

  139. Charlotte Smith
    January 15, 2007 at 9:34 am

    I’m articulate
    I’m helpful
    I can spell damn near any word in the dictionary
    I’ve won awards for my essays, prose, and poetry
    My breasts are pretty awesome
    So are my feet
    And my eyes (big and brown)
    I consider myself to be a fairly good artist
    I have a wellspring of righteous anger to direct at deserving targets
    I’m good at reassuring people
    I can make children laugh or at least stop crying by making faces at them
    I’m a whiz with animals
    I did really well in school in almost every subject
    … had to think on this list for a few days… sigh

  140. January 15, 2007 at 9:50 am

    I can’t believe I’m doing this – and I know it’s because of how I’ve been conditioned to think of myself. But here goes…

    I have nice hair, even with the growing cloud of gray around most of it.
    I can sight-read just about any piece of music put in front of me.
    My soldering skills rival that of most people who work as electrical engineers.
    I can talk to children in ways that don’t put them down, but treat them as real live people.
    I can spin just about any fiber into a usable yarn/thread.

  141. January 15, 2007 at 9:50 am

    1. I am amazing in bed.
    2. Even though I have no spatial memory (I lose everything that isn’t nailed down), I have an astounding memory for facts. If any of my friends wants to know something about anything, they always ask me. If I don’t know the answer right away, see the next one…
    3. I am a brilliant researcher, for someone who doesn’t do so professionally.
    4. I am a very good teacher. I have a strong rapport with my students and they are growing in leaps and bounds.
    5. My eyes are a pretty shade of blue.

  142. Linnaeus
    January 15, 2007 at 11:27 am

    I have to say I’ve enjoyed just reading the thread. Lots of interesting women here.

  143. Beebles
    January 15, 2007 at 11:31 am

    1. I have been told that I project wisdom and power beyond my years and physical stature.
    2. When I want to be, I am charasmatic, convincing and magnetic. But I can also be very subdued and introverted.
    3. I am unwilling to accept substandard treatment from anybody, and I try to encourage friends to do the same. I don’t fear being disliked or alone, because to me that is more honorable and pleasant than being mistreated or living in doubt. In short, if you are acting like a fool, I will be the first to tell you!
    4. I’m great at fixing problems and finding answers.
    5. In a crisis, I’m exactly the person you want on your team.
    6. I throw a mean right hook. Dad was a Marine, he raised no shrinking violets.
    7. The physical stuff: nice curves, unique facial features (lots of racial mixing in my family), and a head of hair to die for.

  144. Sally
    January 15, 2007 at 11:53 am

    1. I am very good at picking out clothes that suit my body.
    2. I am a generous and loyal friend.
    3. I am good at explaining complex topics in plain language. I can talk about my dissertation topic in a way that lay people can easily understand.
    4. I have awesome lips. Silly starlets pay a lot of money to get collagen injections in an attempt to get lips like mine.
    5. I can read a recipe and instantly assess its yumminess.
    6. I am an excellent problem-solver, a good fixer-of-broken-things, and I can figure out almost anything via google.

    It’s odd. I don’t think of myself as particularly ugly, and I think I like my body just fine, but I have a hard time coming up with things about my physical appearance that I like.

  145. January 15, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    1. I have never received a compliment about it, but I think my ass is amazing.
    2. I have quite nice lips
    3. I’m really creative and interesting when it comes to putting on make-up
    4. I normally hate my stomach, but it’s actually rather nice. Toned yet substantial.
    5. Following in the footsteps of my stunningly gorgeous butt, my legs are pretty nice as well.
    6. I receive compliments about this thing all the time: I’m astoundingly independent, will just go places by myself with no trepidation whatsoever, and always have big plans.
    7. I have a pretty healthy ego – while it’s not perfect, I manage to maintain a pretty good balance between humility and thinking I’m the shiznit.

    That was easy, I wrote that in about 5 minutes!

  146. Elizabeth
    January 15, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    1. My hair is naturally wavy.
    2. I like my lips.
    3. My muscles in my legs and arms get toned when I lift weights after only a month or two.
    4. I have a lot of compassion and empathy for others.
    5. I have a good work ethic and I’m not a quitter.
    6. I’m very good at public speaking

  147. Susan's Daughter
    January 15, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    First time posing – but i’ve been reading for a while. Great post, as are so many, especially the negative mirror one to this). It’s been wonderful reading all this. I’ll stick to the physical here at first.

    1. I’m tough, physically and otherwise, though I’m pretty certain I don’t look tough at all – but i’ve got endurance you would not believe.

    2. I really love my body in general. Really! Somehow, and god only knows how, I didn’t absorb much (any?) hatred of my body. I love my little breasts, love my butt and hips. I’ve got cellulite and tummy flab and honestly i love my naked body.

    3. Love my hair – used to be very long, now it’s a very short cut (with my build I get mistaken for a boy sometimes, which is just so genuinely funny to me, not insulting, because i feel so completely female) and I just love it. Very black, thick. It’s great hair.

    4. Really love my face – the eyes are beautiful but its the whole package. I don’t think i’m “gorgeous” but i think i look great. And that “not gorgeous” isn’t a caveat or hedging (anymore than the cellulite and tummy flab mentions are). I’m not putting that in there to say “oh but i’m really not -that- pretty”. I’m putting those qualities in there cuz they are true and they don’t change the fact that, uh, i like the way i look in the world, the way i -really- look.

    5. I don’t do femininity much, maybe a few times a year (makeup heels etc) but when i do, i look fucking hot. Like, hey i look like someone – i’d- want to fuck! And I am confident that i am not the only one in the room who feels that way. (oh how i wish i could have felt that before I was 37)

    6. I gave birth to my daughter with very little intervention (no painkillers, was with a midwife ) a couple of years ago – and I am so in awe of myself and the whole experience. It was the most amazing physical and emotional/out of body yet -of- the body experience I’ve ever had (or ever will have – she’s going to be my one and only child). Also pregnancy, carrying the child, man that shit is hard and I did it. Me. Whoa. Everytime I see my tummy roll I think – hey i carried a baby. Shit!

    7. Breastfeeding. I kept this kid alive completely with my body and the milk I made. It is hard to believe. She’s so strong, smart, agile cute amazing this kid – and her bones, skin, muscles and brains all got knit together with the stuff i fed her from my breasts. Holy moly!

    OK impossible not to put a caveat here – i am NOT what i call an “essentialist feminist” None of this “Oh the holy female body, compusory childbirthing, you must breastfeed” – HELL NO! I fear making other women feel criticized with those last 2 points and I never mean to do that. But – giving brith and breastfeeding have been so pivotal for me. I have always felt good about myself, but now I feel like – oh unstoppable. The usefulness, power and beauty of my body is so undeniable. Sexism has always been bullshit to me in a visceral way – but now, having given birth! Hah, you’re gonna try to tell me to get rid of my cellulite or that I should do something about my belly – bwaaa haaa haaaaa! Oh please, tell me another one.

    My little one is still nursing, and sometimes she’ll rub my belly and I say to her “that’s my beautiful belly, where you grew inside me. And if you ever have a baby someday you’ll have a tummy like this too”. I feel a little silly saying this to her, but god I want her to remember that I loved my body – especially this part of it.

    God knows the girl already is obsessed with my boobs! Sometimes she’ll say “Mommy I love your BIG BOUNCY BOOBIES”. She does indeed yell the last three words. So cute and funny. Big to her maybe! I’m back to a very modest B cup.

    Moving on to other great things about me, non-physical things:

    Smart, very smart, & a good writer. I embrace complex thinking and nuance. Am very fun to be around. I am compassionate with myself and with others. I’m a pretty good cook. Great at my paid job. Great public speaker. I’m a wonderful mom. I have a sense of humour about it, a sense of proportion, and I am thoughtful about what is best for her. Which means I don’t always know what the fuck I’m doing. That’s a major requirement of parenting. Oh and I am a wonderful partner to my husband.

    If I were the people in my life – I’d want me there.

    Not part of this list, but in reference to this list, I love getting older. I wouldn’t go back to my 20s for anything, becaue I didn’t feel anything like this kind of physical confidence and comfort. I feel not a single bit self conscious writing this post. I just feel really really happy. Yay feminism!

  148. crinkly
    January 15, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    1. I have big dark eyes with long dark eyelashes
    2. I have “beauty mark” pairs – on right breast, under left eye, on my stomach and both arms. I love them all, and so does every who sees them
    3. I look awesome in low-rise pants
    4. I am little, but have great upper-body strength and a strong grip. And I don’t even work out!
    5. Megawatt smile, infectious laugh
    6. I can get almost anyone to open up to me – have a talent for connecting with people
    7. I am funny-wicked, twisted sense of humor
    8. Kids and animals love me
    9. I am smart, logical, and well-read
    10. I am not a techie, but I can fix your computer
    11. I smell nice. :)
    12. I am strong, stubborn, and courageous

  149. January 15, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    -I have deep blue eyes with a little bit of green
    -My bum perfectly sticks out, and it’s very cute
    -I can write well, and I have a lot of patience
    -my hair is soft and naturally highlighted
    -my teeth are white and unique-looking when I flash my gorgeous smile

  150. Tessa
    January 15, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    1. I have clear olive skin that goes all freckly when I get a little sun.
    2. I have really great arms and legs – yay muscle!
    3. I’ve got really nice, white teeth.
    4. I’m smart as hell, and I can always make my friends laugh.
    5. I’m good at both technical and artistic work.
    6. I can run five miles in forty-five minutes, and still have energy left over to lift as much weight as my Dad.
    7. I’m an incredibly loyal friend.

  151. m00nstar
    January 15, 2007 at 1:37 pm


    I am a wicked mountian biker.
    I can run 10k.
    I am strong and adventerous. Wanna go zip treking? Sky diving?
    I love my super-short hair.
    I think I look good and fun naked.
    I love my height: 5’1 1/2” is perfect for me.

    Personality / Mentally:

    I can adapt to any situation or schedule. I can change on a dime.
    I forgive easily.
    I love my nerdy idiosynchracies. (even if I can’t spell!)
    I am good at trivia
    I LOVE reading
    I handle rediculuous amounts of stress and work better than anyone I know. I’m taking 3 classes at university, and working 32 hrs a week, while training in my ‘downtime’ for a triathlon.
    I am a good leader.
    I am tenacious. I’ve been working on my degree since 2000, working full time for most of that, and I refuse to quit or give up.

    My name is very unqiue, and I love it. It’s no one else’s — and most people, after meeting me, could never associate it with anyone else.

  152. Frumious B
    January 15, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    I like reading all the positive things people have to say about their bodies which *aren’t* appearance focused. Not that there is anything wrong with liking your appearance, but I can’t relate to that. My appearance isn’t important to me – I didn’t pick this face or this figure, so why should I be proud of either? I’m proud of my PhD and my marathons. Those are something *I* did, as opposed to something I just got.

  153. Older
    January 15, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    What a coincidence. I wrote a Brag, about a year ago. Oh, not actually co-incident? Scuse me. But anyway, it took more than a page, so I won’t reproduce it here. It’s true, I am gimpy old person, but I used to be Some Stuff.

  154. Laura
    January 15, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    1. I like the curves down either side of my belly. I got them learning to dance.

    2. I like that my hands have a span of exactly 8″ so I can use them to measure stuff.

    3. I like that I can now do a bunch of pushups from plank instead of from my knees.

    4. I’m very fair, but I’ve protected my skin well since I was a teenager, and that is starting to pay off now that I’m nearly 30. Good job, me! I hope that, in addition to preventing lines, it will also protect me from the skin cancer that runs in my family.

    5. My parents taught me to sit up straight, look people in the eye, and have a firm handshake. All of these things are important, but of all of them, I’m proudest of my handshake. Anyone who has had to shake hands with a dead fish or limp rag knows just how much a firm handshake can mean (and what a relief it can be).

  155. Inky
    January 15, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    Susan’s Daughter:
    5. I don’t do femininity much, maybe a few times a year (makeup heels etc) but when i do, i look fucking hot. Like, hey i look like someone – i’d- want to fuck! And I am confident that i am not the only one in the room who feels that way.

    Hah, that is exactly how I feel about it. Once in a blue moon I’ll wear or buy something “sexy”, and it’s not so much about other people thinking I look good as being able to check myself out in the mirror and get turned on a little. (Sorry if that was TMI folks, I’ve just always wondered if anyone else does the same thing!)

  156. Laurie
    January 15, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    I really LOVE this thread — I think you should do it once a year or so to remind us all that we really do all kick ass. So, here goes:

    1 – Beautiful blue eyes that hover around the shade of faded denim, and turn grey when I wear black.

    2 – Pretty clear, very, very pale white skin. It took a number of years, but I finally embraced that. Honestly? Tanning is a just a good way for me to court skin cancer. Thanks, I’ll stay really, really pale. I look great in black that way. :)

    3 – I have an AWESOME ass – not only well shaped (especially packed into jeans) but talented (I belly dance).

    4 – Great legs (which are sometimes hairy and sometimes not — depends almost entirely on how much time I’m spending in a unitard/leggings). Not only well shaped with good ankles and calves even though I’m heavier than I’d like to be, but strong and agile. I love hiking, and they serve me well.

    5 – I honestly think I look better naked than I do clothed, and I ENJOY being naked.

    6 – I can DANCE. Period.

    7 – I have a freaky, amazing sense of color that allows me to match them without having a sample with me.

    8 – I have amazing contrast sensitivity vision; most humans can see around 15% contrast, I scored around 7%. Not bad for nearsighted and astigmatic eyes! ;)

    Not so physical:

    1 – I am quite intelligent, and used to ace tests without studying.
    1a – I have a *freaky* memory and can pull facts, events, who said whats, and ridiculous trivia out of my head at any time.

    2 – I have rarely met a form of needlework I couldn’t do – I sew (for a living, actually), crochet, tat, do hardanger, cross stitch, and most other embroidery, and bead.
    2a – I learn new techniques and forms of needlework like breathing — it has taken me years to realize that not everyone finds sewing as easy as I do.

    3 – I am an artist in many other ways, primarily stamping and mixed media/collage, but also in dance and clothing/costume design and creation.

    4 – I am a Woman Unafraid of Power Tools, and actually dig learning to use new ones. In college, I was the only costumer who wasn’t afraid of the grinder used to grind the ends of corset bones smooth. A few years ago I got to learn how to use a pneumatic toe-nailer when we put in our hardwood floor. :D That thing ROCKED!

    5 – I read voraciously, and have a large area of interest.

    6 – I have a ridiculously large working vocabulary, and see no reason to stop expanding it.

    7 – I write well.

    8 – I can find physical beauty in any one, assuming that they haven’t put me entirely off by being an asshole. This comes in handy with pointing out to nervous brides/bridesmaids their good physical points.

    9 – I am an amazingly loyal friend.

    10 – I sing well, and have a wide taste in music that emcompasses classical, really really hard rock, and Middle Eastern dance music.

    11 – Cats like me. :)

    12 – I am a science and science fiction/fantasy GEEK. And yes, that’s a good thing.

    13 – I am a very good dance teacher, and can both explain and demonstrate well.

    14 – I have a very talented tongue, and am told I give a very, very good blow job. :d *grin*

    An insight as to why this is so difficult for some of us — I know for a fact that Scandinavian and Germanic cultures tend to frown on “bragging” about oneself. While you may not actually get punished for it, if you never hear or see anyone tooting their own horn, you’re going to get the idea that it’s something that you just don’t do. The same can be true of physically demonstrating affection, in public or otherwise. Just a thought from the frozen Midwest where people don’t kiss hello or talk about themselves, and women’s rear ends don’t wiggle when they walk. (Makes teaching them to belly dance REALLY interesting some days….)

  157. January 15, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    This reminds me of that awesome Maya Angelou poem “Phenomenal Woman” because I’ve always felt that way. And yes, it’s sad that I feel kind of conceited saying this.

    1. I’m not traditionally pretty, but people definitely notice when I walk into a room.

    2. I have an ample rear end that gets commented on frequently. (also my nemesis)

    3. I have tiny feet and hands even though I’m tall.

    4. I like my breasts too – not too big or too little.

    5. I like my lips and always have.

    6. I like the birth mark that I have on my leg. Always makes me feel distinctive.

    Wow. I came up with six. I’m so proud.

  158. January 15, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    here’s the text of the poem:

  159. LL
    January 15, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    I can shoot a free throw.
    I’m 5’10”, so I can reach stuff on the top shelf w/o anybody’s help, thank you.
    I’ve got big, bold, natural curves.

    I make a mean pot of red beans.
    I have a great memory for phone numbers, names and faces.
    One baby, 3 tattoos, a few piercings and many blood/plasma donations later – needles don’t really bother me.
    I can run a 10 minute mile
    I can make my daughter laugh
    I can make my mother laugh
    I have gorgeous brown eyes
    I can make cool things out of wire and beads
    I’ve rebuilt the brakes on a ’68 Mustang and have no problem getting all grungy under the hood of a car
    I love getting in the guts of a computer – in fact, I’d rather do the hardware work than the software/admin work anyday.

    I feel kind of like a badass now. Thanks.

  160. LL
    January 15, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    Heh – I have that poem tacked up to the inside of my front door so I can read it on my way out every once in a while.

  161. January 15, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    Another fascinating (to me) observation that crops up in my head while reading this. When I was 14-23ish, I probably would have been in the “I can’t think of 5 things I like about my body” boat. Now I could literally tick off 30, easily.

    This makes me laugh and makes me sad, that I didn’t realize I was beautiful when I really was at the height of my adolescent beauty. Now that my hair is beginning to turn gray and my ass wll never be that high again, I finally get it.

  162. January 15, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    Follow-up to that: How can we get to teenage girls to prevent them from having these kind of youthful periods of self-loathing? How can we help them see the beautiful girls we see?

  163. ruxandra
    January 15, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    i think that everyone who’s responded here is awesome, really awesome, and it’s infinitely better to consciously list the things you like about yourself than the more common feminine practice of being down on your appearance and yourself in general. it’s also cool that so many listed non-physical attributes! i do think it’s subversive for women to be unapologetically self-confident.

    but as far as i’m concerned, what makes it hard for me to list things i like about myself is not that i can’t find any, but that i don’t want to feel like i need to. i want to give that up.

    something i’ve always felt was exasperating and destructive to me as a woman is this whole ritual of constantly scrutinizing yourself, of “weighing” yourself (literally and figuratively), of comparing yourself to others, trying to see yourself as other people – both men and women – see you, and then ultimately assigning a “grade” to your body and your personality, piece by piece. i understood very early on, i think, that “femininity” was largely dependent on that ritual. and you know, men don’t have to go through it, they’re not raised to feel a critical gaze always on them, to torture themselves with it and to base their worth on what others think of their “attractiveness” (both physical and otherwise); ok, they have to make sure they’re not “effeminate” but that’s it. and the other thing that worries me is that if i buy into the whole (outer & inner) beauty thing, does it mean that i also buy into how it assumes that there’s only one set of criteria for all women even though we’re actually very different? do i hold other people to this? ’cause that’s even scarier.

    for me, feeling truly wonderful and glorious is feeling free, not caring so much about how pretty (or even smart) i am. whether i have beautiful eyes or amazing abilities or not – what does it matter? when i think about it, i certainly don’t appreciate my friends and my loved ones for their beautiful eyes or some other part of them, or only if they prove they’re worth my appreciation. so then why would “passing muster”, myself, according to certain criteria (even if it’s non-traditional criteria), mean a whole lot to me and my sense of worth? i am as i am. and i don’t really need to pass anybody’s muster.

  164. January 15, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    ruxandra, I totally agree. I often confuse doing things to make myself what I think I’m supposed to be with doing things to make me happy. I am happiest when I evaluate myself on my own terms, and not what I imagine others’ terms are.

  165. lawbitch
    January 15, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    I’m working on my self-esteem, so I’ll give this a try:

    (1) I’m super smart
    (2) I have pretty brown eyes with long dark, eyelashes
    (3) I’m an excellent writer
    (4) I’m a supportive, nurturing person
    (5) I’m an stong, assertive woman

    YEA!!! That wasn’t so bad, and I totally believe everything that I wrote. In my younger years, I might have written more about my physical appearance, but I’m more focused on my abilities and character now. I think that’s a good thing. ;-)

  166. January 15, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    1: I’m funny

    2: I’m clever

    3: I’m kind

    4: I look fabulous

    5: I’m talented

  167. twf
    January 15, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    Two recurring things: Feministe readers are brilliant and have nice breasts.

  168. ako
    January 15, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    Follow-up to that: How can we get to teenage girls to prevent them from having these kind of youthful periods of self-loathing? How can we help them see the beautiful girls we see?

    We got a lot of things like this list as a teenager, and they never seemed to do much good for me. I always had the creeping feeling that if I had to run around playing cheerleader to myself all of the time in order to feel worthwhile, there must not be much in the way of substance. Sort of the idea that if I have to go out of my way to keep claiming something’s true, it must not be.

    In terms of feeling better about myself, having a chance to explore my talents in hobbies and activities helped a lot. It was a way to do something I enjoyed where I could see myself learning, developing, and being good at things (and odds are if it’s a voluntary hobby, you’ll do it well at least some of the time). And it was a good way to make friends who were less concerned with acting the way they thought teenager girls should, and more concerned with doing something of interest or of note.

    Another thing that was a big help was community service, especially if it offered the chance to do someone some real good. It was a reminder that the world was bigger and wider than high school, and helping someone feels so much better than feeling pretty.

    As for getting teenage girls to feel better about their looks, I have no idea. I never managed to like my looks after I started getting fat in middle school, but I managed to find things that were far more fulfilling for me than my appearance.

    Does anyone care if I do the five things? Because I wasn’t going to bother, since I don’t get much out of this sort of thing.

  169. January 15, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    . . . I enjoyed reading through about half of the comments Lymphopo describes. I wanted to add my own, but my criteria differ enough I felt I would be creating a sort of “special” category of my own, which defeats the communal purpose of adding to the list.

    I wouldn’t say I love my body, but I’m impressed at how it’s hanging in there despite a pretty serious lack of cheerleading from anyone but me for its peculiar beauty. . . .

  170. January 15, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    Since this isn’t a female only thread, here’s five:

    1. I can run for hours; stamina comes naturally to me.
    2. Despite wrinkles and crows feet and tremendous sun damage, my face still has great bone structure
    3. I have a growing, ever more Jewish looking nose and I think it looks great
    4. I have good pecs
    5. I have, according to my wife, wonderful toes

  171. January 15, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    This is a very good idea, but it’s amazing how hard it is to think about the positives without paging up a whole host of negatives! It’s like it’s a whole new form of discipline not to be mean to myself, especially about my body.

    1) I have pretty, soft skin
    2) I have lovely, big eyes
    3) I have great hair
    4) I have a shapely, sturdy little body that is stronger than it looks and which has been very good to me
    5) My sense of humor is mighty: it has saved my ass over and over again–from others’ unkindness, from the slings of outrageous fortune, and from myself.

  172. Karen
    January 15, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    1. I have really amazingly gorgeous red hair, the same color as Blair Brown, but mine’s real.

    2. I have blue, brown, and green eyes, all at once, blue around the rim of the iris, green around the pupil, and brown in betwee.

    3. I have really great lips.

    4. I am a great cook.

    5. I have retained the ability to learn new skills easily into my 40s’. I’ve taken up knitting, crochet, advanced cooking, skiing, English horseback riding — although I dropped that one pretty quickly, and swimming all since I turned 35. I’m going to start learning languages now, starting with the Latin I studied in college.

  173. Older
    January 16, 2007 at 12:01 am

    My compliments to those whose good points are not all, or mostly, about appearance. My Brag was about things like what I could fix, what I could make from scratch, and how heavy a pack I could carry. My ex (and my present) husband tell me I look(ed) pretty good too, but really, what makes me excellent is not what came naturally to me, but what I worked at.

  174. saoba
    January 16, 2007 at 12:01 am

    1) I am fierce. You need backup? Let me get out my Stompy Boots of Buttkickery.

    2) I have a gift for creating opportunities for change. I can brainstorm ways to make dreams come true.

    3) I’ve added strength training to my workouts and am digging the hell out of it. I modify to allow for my arthritis and just do it.

    4) I’m finding I have a good eye for composing interesting photographs.

    5) I really like my hands. Square but small, flexible and nimble and strong.

    6) I look fabulous in hats.

    7) In the event of a disaster, personal or natural, you really want me around. I am the Queen of Level-Headedness.

    8) Buns of steel.

    9) I can rock the dance floor all night.

    10) I am a born story teller.

  175. Donna Darko
    January 16, 2007 at 12:19 am

    Two recurring things: Feministe readers are brilliant and have nice breasts.

    Amanda wrote somewhere that women may be feminine not due to wiring but knowing they’re rewarded for femininity. We’re socially conditioned that it’s good to be smart and have nice breasts so we try to be smart and take care of our boobs, try to make them bigger or whatever. I wonder if it’s scientifically possible to make them nicer or bigger by eating the right things, drinking more milk or something? I know this was really ignorant for me to say but women have shaped their bodies to fit the times, no matter what it took.

  176. susaneb
    January 16, 2007 at 12:58 am

    1. I am pretty smart and graduating in May from a difficult school.
    2. I am healthy and very rarely get sick (a cold or flu once every 2 years or so)
    3. I am ridiculously strong for my size (5’0) and do triathlons for fun. My muscles are sexy.
    4. I have really nice skin. Smooth, evenly-toned and elastic.
    5. My nose is a really cute shape. And I got it pierced with a ring to make it cuter. And I have a large scar from a dog bite on one side which is [finally] healing cutely.
    6. I pay good attention to detail, which sometimes makes conversation with me tedious, but makes me a very good accountant and is enabling me to write a thesis in formal linguistics!
    7. My breasts are the perfect size. I don’t care what everyone else says about theirs, I like mine. Same goes for my butt, actually.
    8. Related to #3, but I have big shoulders and I’m proud of it.

  177. Lisa
    January 16, 2007 at 1:43 am

    1) my sense of justice

    2) my large nose- adorned with a nose ring to remind me of its beauty

    3) my sincere thoughtfulness

    4) my creative side

    5) my organizational/administrative/leadership skills

    6) the fighter in me

    It would be a good idea to this every day until i got good at it.

  178. January 16, 2007 at 3:03 am

    I was recently writing essays for my applications to graduate programs and it was excruciating. Selling myself has never been something I’m good at and making the case for my superior abilities as a student and researcher often left me sobbing. One of the bad nights, a friend who was giving me feedback on my essay got me to talk to him about what makes me an excellent candidate. It was amazing, the first time I have ever felt free to talk about my good qualities. As I told him about my intelligence and work ethic and enthusiasm for my field, I felt so confidant.

    I think this is a great comment thread; I read every single comment on it and was sad to reach the end. So, even though I’m late to the party here are mine:

    1. I have deep green eyes, and dark reddish-brown hair, just like my brother. They are an exact mix of my parent’s hair and eye colors and I love that I share these features with my brother.

    2. I have a beauty mark on my upper lip that is cute.

    3. I am intelligent. Even though I have often secretly suspected that I’m just really good at fooling other people.

    4. I am a compassionate scientist, I care that my work is ethical and applicable.

    5. I speak French fluently, and with a Belgian accent.

    Phew! It was not too hard to think of things but very hard to resist the urge to balance them with negatives.

  179. Sweetness
    January 16, 2007 at 4:27 am

    1. My hair grows even after it’s cut, how does it know it’s been cut?
    2. My legs push me up and out everyday
    3. My brain reminds me to make the right choices, mostly
    4. My fingertips type my memories and thoughts, and feel the soft fur of my little cat
    5. My tits are bigger since I gained 10 lbs

  180. ruxandra
    January 16, 2007 at 7:37 am

    Follow-up to that: How can we get to teenage girls to prevent them from having these kind of youthful periods of self-loathing? How can we help them see the beautiful girls we see?

    my answer is that rather than helping them see how beautiful they are we should oppose this whole obsession with “being beautiful.” ’cause inevitably, at some point in her life, any girl (or woman) will not be or feel “beautiful” for a variety of reasons… and then she’s left with nothing, and the self-loathing is as strong as ever. i think that’s precisely why the usual self-cheering/empowering tactics rarely work at any profound or lasting level: if they’re still based on the patriarchal value that women’s main duty is to be BEAUTIFUL, then they’re not really empowering. to my mind, the most positive message that we can send girls is that they don’t need to be “beautiful” to be successful human beings. that they’re not a collection of parts to be evaluated and approved like merchandise – even (or especially) by themselves. that they shouldn’t care.

    one thing that keeps occurring to me while reading this thread, much as i love it: how many women see it and go “god, my eyes aren’t blue, my body isn’t perfectly able, my boobs suck, i don’t have GREAT skills, my confidence isn’t soaring“… ?

  181. Vast Seas
    January 16, 2007 at 11:35 am

    how many women see it and go “god, my eyes aren’t blue, my body isn’t perfectly able, my boobs suck, i don’t have GREAT skills, my confidence isn’t soaring“… ?

    May I finish and follow that up with, “… and SO WHAT? I move. I breathe. I process. I’m alive.”

    Reading a book called The Diving Bell and The Butterfly about a perfectly able-bodied, intelligent, beautifully accomplished, telented, successful person who falls over at age 43 of massive stroke that leaves him in a body in which only his left eye blinks. And it’s in this way he writes his memoirs ~ while someone points to a letter in the alphabet, he blinks ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ He tells of what is happening in his living active mind, while he recalls to an interpreter out of an immoveable body his night dreams, recollected sensation, humor, fear, revolutions, journeys in the Pyrennes with a beloved, the love of his children and hopes

    What is beauty anyhow?

  182. ACG
    January 16, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    Awesome. I’m in.

    1. I’ve got the most amazing eyes. Seriously, they’re just the stuff. The color(s), the size, everything. Dizzam.

    2. I’m ridiculously fit. Pretty much everywhere I go is going to be on foot, and that includes up and down mountains.

    3. I have an unbelievable ass – firm, perky, round, and generally awesome.

    4. Great rack.

    5. I’ve got a great sense of social justice and empathy, and

    6. … I actually act on that empathy/social justice.

    7. I can knit just about anything. A friend of mine actually called me an anarchist for so consistently arrogating the means of production.

    8. I’ve got great shoulders.

    9. I’m compassionate. Friends and colleagues always come to me for advice and/or to vent, and I always take it as a compliment.

    10. I try not to start fights, I never back down from them, and somehow I’m also able to admit when I’m wrong.

    That felt great, and yet, there was still that urge to “excuse” my good qualities and apologize for bragging and not being appropriately modest. That kind of sucks.

  183. Momo
    January 16, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    Okay. A little late on this.

    1. I have a great ass
    2. I am surprisingly strong even when I am out of shape
    3. I do have beautiful eyes with long eyelashes
    4. I am DAMN funny! I mean DAMN funny!
    5. I am dramatic and bold
    6. I am a loyal friend (In that “I may not help you move a couch but I will help you move a body” kind of way)

    My 16 year old step daughter has some pretty significant self image issues which I feel have contributed in part to a poor choice in a boyfriend. I may have her go through this exercise. This exercise was difficult for me but I think that it was an important and thought provoking one. I think it may be interesting and good for her.

  184. erica
    January 16, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    1. I am exactly as tall as I want to be. 67.5 inches.
    2. I have thick & shiny hair
    3. My body is strong and in proportion
    4. My lips are naturally pouty
    5. And my eyebrows are medium thick and nicely arched- perfect for making intimidating expressions

  185. ellenbrenna
    January 16, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    No actually Feministe readers like and adore and appreciate their breasts, they may in fact have terrific breasts but that is immaterial to this exercise.

    I myself am late to the party and only have this to add…

    1. I take up my space…after many years of being notoriously quiet and shy I walk with authority and some charisma
    2. My eyes and hair change color in the sunlight to startling effect
    3. I have a remarkable memory for facts and images which means before there was IMDB there was me
    4. Small children adore me because I never talk down to them but I do occasionally toss them about like ragdolls until they giggle so hard they cannot breathe
    5. I like how I feel when I have finished riding or hiking some distance I thought myself incapable of travelling

  186. January 16, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    I wrote a little photo essay about my attributes.

  187. Tiff
    January 16, 2007 at 4:45 pm


    1. I can fix any problem on my car given the time and supplies
    2. I am a kick-ass debater
    3. I can remember statistics and random information with ease.
    4. I soak up information like a sponge.
    5. I have more books in my apartment than I have places to put them.
    6. I have absolutly no fear of people.


    1. I have relativly well shaped and full lips.
    2. You can see my every emotion on my face.
    3. I can swim longer than most people
    4. I can flip my boyfriend without even trieing.
    5. I like that every part of my body is super sensitive causing me to eaith jump or melt.

    this was really hard and I am afraid to proof it as just writting theses comments took forever.

  188. MissKate
    January 16, 2007 at 4:52 pm

    Okay, this is rather deep in the comment thread, so i’m doing this mostly for the emotional/mental exercise of doing it. So there :)

    1) I have a Marilyn Monroe hour glass figure.
    2) I am well on my way to knowing 5 languages: English, Spanish, Latin, Old English and Arabic.
    3) “Love technician,” as used in the Madonna song “Erotic” is a good way to describe me and my skillz. That said, I am finally able to own this and my sexuality and be proud, with no apologies.
    4) With my creativity and analytical ability, I could be the love child of DaVinci and McGyver.
    5) I can kick ass.
    6) I have ADD and I make it work FOR me.
    7) I stand up for what I believe in, even if it makes me a lil unlikeable from time to time.

    Yay me! Yay you! Yay freakin’ everybody! We rock! Sez I.

  189. little cabbage
    January 16, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    I love this thread. You are all awesome.

    1. My body is almost identical to Marilyn Monroe’s in her first Playboy shoot. I have perfect proportions and when I wear a little black dress, people sometimes stop to stare.

    2. I can run 3 miles without stopping.

    3. I learn languages quickly and easily. It took me three days to learn how to read hiragana.

    4. I have gorgeous porcelain skin and I have never had acne problems.

    5. I have a great voice. I sing beautifully and my speaking voice is pleasant to listen to (I’ve been told, anyhow).

    6. I am extremely healthy. I’ve never been hospitalized, never had any major health problems, and the only time I’ve ever been under general anaesthetic was when I had my wisdom teeth pulled.

    7. I can give my 210-lb husband a piggyback ride. Easily.

    8. My smile lights up my face, and I have naturally perfect teeth.

    9. I have visible abs! Like, with the two lines down the sides and the line down the middle and everything. I also have a navel ring, which makes my tummy look awesome.

    10. I have fabulous cheekbones.

    That was really fun and made me feel great. Maybe this should be a weekly thing?

  190. Molly
    January 16, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    1. I have a pretty face.

    2. I have gorgeous, dark brown, curly hair.

    3. I am confident enough to shave that hair right off.

    4. I like my body. Small boobies means I don’t need to wear a bra to be comfortable.

    5. I like the freckles that go up my arms. I like my fairly sun-resistant skin that gives me a nice color.

  191. January 17, 2007 at 12:10 am

    1) Nice, large brown eyes.

    2) Thick head of hair, brown with little flecks of other color to it if you look closely.

    3) Figure that I’m comfortable dressing in just about anything, including a swimsuit.

    4) Nice soprano voice, that can hit notes higher than other most other people can.

    5) Smart.

  192. Jan
    January 17, 2007 at 12:26 am

    1. I love my blue eyes

    2. I have a very beautiful and friendly smile

    3. My legs are strong and carry me for miles and miles of pleasurable running

    4. I am a very determined person (some would call me stubborn and I like that!)

    5. My husband tells me I am gorgeous and I believe him

  193. January 17, 2007 at 5:38 am

    I love this! It’s what should be happening every day…

    1. I am soooo cuddly and soft.
    2. I am muscly and strong.
    3. i am kind, loving and generous with my time.
    4. I am intelligent.
    5. I have loads of hidden confidence, even when I feel shy and scared.(!)
    6. I am creative.
    7. I am very fucking funny. Really, i am.

  194. curiousgyrl
    January 17, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    a lot of these comments are not about bodies except to the extent that brains are part of the body, but that seems like not the point.

    Also, what about things to like about your body which are not mainly about being sexually attractive? what if you cant mention your looks in every line?

    That is the challenge I’m giving myself, anyway. So below are 5 things I like about my body (as it is right now), none of which are related to being sexy or not at least with respect to my opinion of them:

    1) I can stand on my head for 3 minutes and counting
    2) I can type very fast, if not accurately
    3)my second toe is longer than my big toe. I don’t know, I just like it
    4)I have a very poor sense of smell. I always complain about this, but really it is worse for all ya’ll than for me, and according to science, it enhances my cooking abilities.
    5) I am a really hard sleeper. I get great sleep.

  195. jennie
    January 17, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    See, here’s the thing: I actually think I’m pretty smokin’. No really!

    I can do this with looks:
    1) Nice breasts.
    2) Gorgeous eyes, with lovely long lashes.
    3) Pretty face.
    4) Cute little waist.
    5) Overall, nice figure.

    I can do this with abilities:
    1) I’m a good dancer.
    2) I’m a pretty good editor.
    3) I write well, too.
    4) I cook pretty well.
    5) I’m pretty strong, all the way around.

    I can do this with character traits:
    1) I’m quick on the uptake, and learn new things quickly.
    2) I like my sense of whimsy.
    3) I’m stubborn. It’s not always good for me to be so stubborn, but on balance I think my stubbornness does me more good than harm.
    4) I have a generous heart (funny, this is the one I felt the most awkward typing. This is the only that felt the most boastful.)
    5) I temper honesty with courtesy and manners with frankness.

    Other than for the generous heart one, I mostly didn’t feel like I was being at all obnoxious doing this—more like I was evaluating my strengths for a potential employer. Maybe it’s because I’ve had to apply for so very many jobs that I’ve become accustomed to finding good things to say about myself. Maybe I have a healthy self esteem. Also, I’ve been blessed with friends and lovers who build me up rather than picking me apart and tearing me down—after years of people extolling my looks, I’ve come to believe them.

    Thanks for this thread, Jill! I’m loving reading the nice things people have to say for themselves.

  196. jennie
    January 17, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    ARGH! This was Zuzu’s thread not Jill’s! My apologies to Zuzu, and my thanks to her for such a cool thread.

  197. January 17, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    I am incredibly strong

    I love fiercely

    I am generous and giving

    I can let things go

    I can laugh about my mistakes

    I am smart and funny

    I genuinely care about others

    I am a good mother

    I work out and am becoming pretty buff, without sacrificing those lovely squishy places the kids like to snuggle into.

    I have a great smile

  198. January 17, 2007 at 11:15 pm

    You know what’s really interesting about this exercise? I initially saw this a couple of days ago but didn’t respond, not because there’s nothing I like about myself, but because my first instinct was that if I actually admitted to liking myself people would immediately attack me as an arrogant bitch and never be willing to listen to anything I have to say again. Which is dumb, because we all deal with the same issues and in theory we should celebrate other women with confidence, right? Except that often we don’t. This thread isn’t going that way though, which makes me very happy, so here’s my list.

    1. I’m very, very smart. I have a far-above-average IQ and I’ve never felt any need to conceal that fact just because I’m a woman and society wants me to play dumb.
    2.I’m a kind person. I go out of my way to let the people around me know how much I care about them and how special they are to me.
    3. I have gorgeous breasts. They’re big but not disproportionately so, they’re beautiful, and they’re all natural. Thanks Mom!
    4.I love my feet, especially the fact that they have really high arches. Not only are they adorable, but they are very well made for walking and I can walk for miles and miles without them getting sore. I also love my tiny, pudgy little toes.
    5.I write well and usually have no difficulty expressing exactly what I want to say.
    6.I have great relationships with men and am really good at forming relationships that function on an almost sister/brother level. If more people were able to do that I think we’d all be better off.
    7.I love my face. Yes, I know that makes me sound conceited, but I don’t care. I particularly love my rosebud mouth and my pointy little chin. By some standards my nose would be considered too big, but I love it because it looks just like my mother’s nose and every time I look in the mirror I am reminded of her.
    8.Children instinctively trust me. Kids I don’t know that I meet at parties etc walk right up to me and ask to be picked up and cuddled. This makes me happy, even though I don’t want any of my own, because I think that kids can never get too much affection. We should all cuddle kids more often.
    9.Animals also trust me. They’re pretty good judges of character, generally.
    10.One of my best friends in high school once told me that I had “a gift for friendship” and that when she was 15 I saved her life. That makes me prouder than anything else anyone has ever said to me.

  199. January 17, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    In answer to Miss Prism’s comment 19 way back…I think eyes are exempt because no one has figured out a way to sell us stuff to make them “prettier” for a while (the skin around the eyes is another matter). That may change with the increasing avaliability of color contacts.
    My inner cynic also says that it may be because our eyes can’t get fat.
    RE Jewel’s comment 27 – I feel the same way. I would far rather be around women talking like this than the usual “I hate myself and want to die” that we all usually hear. Makes you wonder how many people really feel that way and how many pretend to feel that way because they think it’s expected of them.
    It’s also very interesting that so many women have said that they love their breasts, given that there’s so much pressure on us not to.

  200. January 19, 2007 at 11:37 am

    I love this idea!!

    1. I’m intelligent and compassionate
    2. …and I pull no punches and don’t suffer bullshitters kindly
    3. I have beautiful eyes
    4. I have one hell of a nice rack
    5. And a nice ass
    6. I have some serious upper-arm strength now due to pole dancing and will punch you in the face if you cross me
    7. And I’ve got quite a grip now too, moreso than I imagine, apparently. Just ask the bf. Heh.
    8. I love to listen and learn from others
    9. I stand up for what I believe – and I allow the “what” to change based on #8
    10. Oh and let’s not forget my sexy legs!

    Thanks for starting this thread, zuzu. I will probably re-post to my blog, too. I think everyone needs to do this!

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