At the center of our issues with body image, there are two extremes that come into play, and I think we need to be more open to talking about how to strike a balance between them in order to have a healthier, happier sense of self.

On the one extreme we have those women who insist that their bodies are not who they are, and that to give any attention (regardless of whether it is negative or positive) to their bodies is an act of objectification, of over looking them as a person, and is met with open hostility. On the other extreme we have those who believe their body is everything, and will stop at nothing to be as desirable as they can be, whatever the consequences may be. The trouble with both of them is that they are a lie. Your body is very much a part (not all) of who you are. By trying to disconnect with it you’re also disconnecting with your responsibility to take care of your body and your right to enjoy it. By reducing yourself to nothing but it, you disconnect from your responsibility to have a mind and to use it. This is where I remember the name of my blog and why I called it what I did. PrettySmart. Now that I think about it, this concept perfectly captures the balance between these two extremes. As a friend put it, “ [there needs to be] balance between refusing to be reduced to nothing but your body as the measure of your worth and being reduced to everything but your body as the measure of your worth.”

Being a PrettySmart girl is all about understanding that both your body and your brain are imporant parts of who you are and taking the time to nurture, feed, and flatter both.

A healthy body, no matter what the shape or size, is both pretty and smart. I’m not going to say that exercise is fun (although sometimes it can be), and creating healthy eating habits can be hard, but committing to these things not only will give you a pretty, healthy, functioning body, it also develops discipline, self-control, and most importantly confidence. It’s also PrettySmart to know what looks good on you and rock it, not because you’re trying to live up to someone else’s standard, but because you want the world to know you set the standard because you have respect for yourself.

A PrettySmart girl knows how to take care of her body, but she also knows when to say when. A healthy body doesn’t trump a healthy mind,and it’s OK to leave the house without makeup sometimes! =) Be adventurous, try new things, learn new skills, even get dirty ;). Understanding the world around you is just as important as understanding your body, and being able to express yourself and your thoughts clearly and articulately flatter your mind in the same way that dressing well flatters your body! No one can do that for you, it’s up to you to make an effort to understand, to know more, and to have experience.

When you find balance, when you’re able to not give up one completely in favor of the other, it brings out the absolute best in you… and that’s PrettySmart.