Here's What Binge-Watching HGTV Taught Me About Body Image

Photographed By The Headshot Truck.
Today, I have been given the task of talking to you about body image.

This is no easy feat. I'm not an expert. I don't have any degrees in psychology and haven’t read shelves of self help books. Who has the time? I’d rather spend my time sitting on my couch watching Love It or List It.

BINGO!

Rather than tell you a heartfelt story of the moment I found complete body acceptance, I thought I would take a cue from parents teaching their kids about the birds and the bees. Yep, I’m going to take a simple analogy and beat it to death.

To loosen us all up, here’s something I tweeted last week:
Photographed By The Headshot Truck.

I stand by it. I also stand by the idea that...

Everything you need to know about self-love, you can learn from home improvement shows.

Not Home Improvement as in the Tim Allen sitcom, although Jill was a badass and never intimidated by Pamela Anderson gallivanting around in cutoff jeans and a tool belt. I'm talking about shows on HGTV. Here we go!

Curb Appeal Isn't Everything

Your looks, the way that people perceive you physically — that shit is just curb appeal. Is it nice to have someone walk by and think, "Man, what a beautiful home! I wish my home looked like that?" Of course. Who doesn’t want their neighbors drooling over the unchipped paint and perfectly trimmed hedges (season permitting)?

But, if you’ve seen these shows, you know that it doesn’t matter what the hell the outside looks like — all that matters is when you step in that front door. Because that is where you are actually going to live. Sure, this may sound like a given. Might even sound cliché. But, it’s the truth, people! You are your own home.

Don’t worry so much about your house’s exterior. You only really ever see it pulling in and out of your driveway. Instead, put that energy and effort into making the inside feel good. Interior design yourself! (Trademark pending, I mean it, Oprah.)

At the end of the day, unless you spend way too much time in front of a mirror, the outside isn’t what’s important. Make that interior, your mind, the place you want to curl up with a glass of wine and Netflix. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in anybody else’s home but your own. Hell, that home you’ve been coveting down the street might be a total hoarder's nightmare inside. Half of them are probably just beautiful façades you’d see on a movie lot, one big storm from falling over.

No One Is A Teardown

Seriously. You could be feeling the absolute lowest you ever have, in an emotional state of condemnation, but it can be fixed. In fact, something I’ve learned from Chip and Joanna on Fixer Upper (other than the fact that they are the cutest couple of all time and Waco real estate is ridiculously cheap) is that the more worn down and haunted a space looks, the more opportunity to turn it into something one-of-a-kind.

You’ve probably got some beautiful original hardwood hidden beneath all the problems and mess. Hardwood, of course, being your core values, etc. I told you I was going to really drive this analogy home!

It’s not going to be fast or easy, but fixing up what you’ve got and being proud of all the wear and tear is what will make your home unique. Anyone can be a cookie cutter cul-de-sac McMansion. YOU are a refurbished 1920s Craftsman bungalow, Goddamnit!

Make Sure It's An Investment

If you’ve ever seen an episode of Property Brothers, you will have noticed two things. First, Jonathan is definitely the hotter twin, despite his Jonathan Brandis circa Seaquest hairdo. Second, choosing a property that will increase in value is super important. The biggest factor in this is location.

Now, unless you got in a fight with a witch doctor (in which case, what a weird life you lead!), you aren’t actually a house, and you can put yourself wherever you like. Surround yourself with people who are going to raise your value. Create your ideal neighborhood of friends and folks, not some loud ass highway that’s always noisy and creates traffic in your world.

Perhaps this neighborhood is established. Maybe it’s up-and-coming. Maybe it just reminds you of your roots. Whatever the case, don’t settle and hunker down in a place that isn’t going to get better with age.

At the end of the day, this body is your home for life. Take care of it. Make sure all the bones of it are strong and the plumbing works okay (seriously, folks, a strong digestive system is important), but don’t focus on the outside so much. And, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite tweets from one of my favorite people, Hannah Hart, that perfectly sums up how I hope you look at your own piece of real estate.
Photographed By The Headshot Truck.
Same, Hannah, same.

YouTube star Mamrie Hart is a comedian, actress, and author of the New York Times-bestselling book You Deserve a Drink.

It's your body. It's your summer. Enjoy them both. Read more Take Back The Beach stories here.

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