Dear thighs … we need to talk.

Today I’m going to celebrate The Beauty of a Woman

–and how my thighs got trumped by the strength of my spirit.


“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tomorrow, February 10th, is going to be a very special day and I’m honored to be a part of it. Today many writers, including yours truly, are dedicating their blogs to celebrate the Beauty of a Woman. This is the brainchild of the lovely August McLaughlin.  Please click on her name to visit her blog and you will see that she radiates a beauty from within and she wants us all to share in the beauty that is inside each of us. Most importantly, visit her blog tomorrow to participate in the Beauty of a Woman BlogFest. You can tour the links to over 30 blog pieces and you can even WIN PRIZES, including a Kindle Touch, gift cards book and more!

“Our hearts are drunk with a beauty our eyes could never see.”

George W. Russell

The moment I heard about this blog fest, I knew I was in.  But, what should I write about?  How did I define the Beauty of a Woman?  My very first thought, cross my heart, was how I finally accepted my thighs.  Yes, I thought, “Dear thighs, I forgive you.  I no longer hate you.” But could I write an entire blog about my thighs and how many years I resented them, like ever since I was a squishy, squeezable toddler?

Sure I could hash things out with my thighs on a public forum but even though my thighs and I are still not BFFs, I just don’t hate them anymore.  Furthermore, my thighs, or any other part of my body, has very little to do with my concept of true beauty.  This wasn’t always the case.  I spent so many years agonizing over the muscular curves of my legs, the size of my clothes, the number on that blasted, cursed scale.  Well, I liberated myself from that self-deprecating load years ago.  (And threw away the scale to boot!!) Having three children and nursing them from my own body made me appreciate what a miracle a woman’s body is and how within that body blossoms a spirit more beautiful than any perfect body could ever be.  While I do work hard for a fit and healthy body … that is still not how I define the beauty that is a woman.

“Beauty… when you look into a woman’s eyes and see what is in her heart.”  Nate Dircks

True beauty is the spirit and soul of a person. True beauty is shown in how we love ourselves, what we believe we are capable of, who we impact by our kindness towards others.  True beauty embraces love and life and shares its joy.  A spirit that is giving and gracious holds immense value and abundant beauty.

“Taking joy in living is a woman’s best cosmetic.”

Rosalind Russell

I spent the last couple weeks taking note of things that embody the Beauty of a Woman to me.  I’d like to share them with you.

Faith in love – A heart willing to love is the purest form of beauty. Even a broken heart is beautiful for it allowed itself to experience love … and it will love again.

Motherhood – How a woman nurtures life within her.  How she feeds a brand new life from her own body.  How the moment she has a child, her heart will forever live outside of her body.

Animals – True beauty of a spirit is shown through kindness and empathy towards animals.

Whimsy – Someone who is not afraid to be silly and make fun of themselves.

Loyalty – Someone who will drop everything to be there for someone who needs them no matter how busy they are. Someone who will defend and stand strong for the honor of another at all costs.

Joy – A spontaneous burst of laughter, belly giggles, an irrepressible smile.

Strength – Of spirit, of conviction, of body, of mind.

Weakness – Not being afraid to acknowledge your weaknesses and having the courage to strengthen them.

Imperfection — We aren’t meant to be perfect, and nobody is. Our imperfections are the unique parts of our character.

Appreciation of the beauty in others is a reflection of our own and it is then that the true Beauty of a Woman shines bright for the world to see.


About Ginger Calem

I never met a notebook I didn't want to buy. Pens speak to me. Sticky notes are dear to my heart. Some of my best friends are those clambering in my head trying to get onto the page. And when they have their stories told, and I release them to the world, I hope they'll be your friends too.

Posted on February 9, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 80 Comments.

  1. Author Kristen Lamb

    Yeah, my thighs and I are not at peace…more like a detente. Sigh. Thank GOD for spandex. What a lovely post and YES!!! All you said. Me, DITTO! Yep, been up late at night with a coughing toddler who I sometimes miss being tucked in my belly…because in my belly there were no Crayons to color the entire house purple.

    • Thanks so much, Kristen! Love and appreciate your support. Ah–Crayola Purple! You know, my first baby is nearly 6 feet tall and about to get his driver’s license. Some days, I miss the crayons!

      P.S. If you haven’t already, check out Lululemon workout pants. Yes, they are absurdly pricey but they make the thighs and butt look FAB, so, really … is there a price on that? I don’t think so. 😉

  2. Great post Ginger! I agree – beauty is in the spirit and soul of a person. It’s a glow that radiates from within and warms all those surrounding them.
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Love your list Ginger! 🙂 Beautiful!

  4. Great post. Love your list. I especially like whimsy. It is more important than most people recognize.

    • I totally agree, Mary Jo. I actually stumbled on that one. I knew I wanted to include it, but I couldn’t quite capture my feelings about it. I guess because it’s ‘whimsy’ and can’t be pinned down to mere words! 🙂

  5. That pretty much says it all! Love love love!

  6. Aww, I totally love your list! Why do so many of us hate our thighs? They are what keeps us standing tall, move us up stairs, allow us to do those cured one legged squats! I’m with you and Kristen, I no longer hate my thighs, but have accepted that we’ll never be BFFs. Nor my calves. I have outrageously huge calves. Not cankles, not fat, just muscular. When I had foot surgery, my left foot was in a cast for three months, non-weight bearing. I kind of like what it did to that calf. It’s still big, but in a more shapely way. I guess it would be dumb to put my right leg in a cast just so it can entropy, right?

    • No, don’t go the cast route. Hard to rock that look, really! Even a bedazzler would be challenged by a cast. (are you reading, Natalie?)

      But seriously, what’s up with the thighs? I’m still not over-the-moon about mine but I lift a lot of weight with these babies so I’m just going to have to embrace the muscly bulk of them.

      Funny you mention calves. I don’t often pay attention to my calves but occasionally, I take a gander behind me and check them out and I’m always sort of surprised that they are bigger than I imagined and I’m all … “Have you always been sort of big?” Ah well …. *wink*

  7. LOVE it Calem!!! Your list rocks…and I love how you end off with: Appreciation of the beauty in others is a reflection of our own and it is then that the true Beauty of a Woman shines bright for the world to see.
    OMG!!! Amazing!!

    • Aw … big pink, squishy, bedazzled, hearts to you!! You made me tear up. Don’t tell my family. They think I’m an unemotional witch. *must find tissue before they see*

  8. Shannon Esposito

    Hmmm…being BFF with your own thighs? Is this even possible? That blows my mind 🙂 Love your list and couldn’t agree more! No, really, I’ve tried. It hurt my brain.

  9. This list seriousl rocks!!!!

    You all need to get yourselves a pilates body sculpture wheel. It’s quite firm with two foam handles place it between your knees as your typing and squeeze and hold up to fifty times making sure your core is stable and your back is straight. Those wobbly inner bits are GONE, trust me. Walking might be wee bit painful for a few days, but it’s worth it in the end.

    • Oh, thanks so much!! I love your description of the pilates wheel. I’ve done a bit of pilates and found it pretty fun and yes, hurts in all the right places. The reason I no longer hate my thighs is that I’ve squatted, and dead-lifted, and all sorts of other torturous endeavors I’ve put them through and they are no longer wobbly. A ton of effort, sweat and Oh-my-God’s but totally worth it! 🙂

    • OMG – exercise we can do while we’re sitting writing! Gotta get one of those wheels immediately, thanks!

  10. Very nice post, Ginger. I’m so looking forward to tomorrow’s celebration!

    You rock Thunder Thighs!! (I’m kidding about the thunder thighs part.)

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  11. Great post, Ginger! My fave point is – “A heart willing to love is the purest form of beauty. Even a broken heart is beautiful for it allowed itself to experience love” – one for the books.

    • Thank you so much, Alicia. That part touches a part deep inside of me and it means a lot that it’s resonated in someone else too. Always love your input and Roy’s too.

  12. you’ve said it all and very beautifully too. thanks for a great post.

  13. AWESOME Ginger. I think I am going to have to make peace with my muffin top. 🙂

  14. I love your list 🙂 I’m glad you included animals on their. My sister-in-law visits the local animal shelter just to pet and cuddle the strays there. I think that’s one of the things that makes her beautiful.

    • I can tell a LOT about a person (woman or not) by how they interact with animals. And anyone that hurts an animal (or child), because they can not defend themselves, well, let’s not go there because we’re having such a lovely time and no one wants to see me go off into a rant. 🙂 Thanks, Marcy!

  15. You are fabulous, and I hope you know it. The physical beauty passes way too quickly, and if a woman doesn’t have much to replace it with, she’s in real trouble.
    Here’s to the beautiful women – those with a gorgeous spirit!

    • Awww, HUGS for making me feel special and wonderful … which makes you, in turn, shine in beauty! See how it all works? 🙂 You too embody the spirit and beauty by how you share it with others. Shine-On sister!!

  16. You know, I must confess that I don’t think about beauty often these days, and maybe that’s a good thing. Whenever I see photos of certain, um, unfortunate fashion and hairstyle choices I’ve made in the past, I realize I should have thought about beauty less back then, too! Your list is perfect.

    • I do think that’s positive, Diane. I find that at my happiest times, I forget to look in the mirror—sometimes, NOT a good thing. 😉 When we fixate, well, that’s a red flag/warning sign of a deeper problem… Isn’t Ginger’s list great??

    • I agree with August’s reply. It’s the fixation on physical beauty that can dull the real thing. I spend most my days in gym clothes and no makeup. Sometimes I’ll go to the bathroom and get a look at myself and nearly shriek … then I’ll laugh. Oh well! 🙂 You know what’s funny to me? Some of the most sought-after looks are the looks that appear as if no effort went into achieving them. Take the messy hair, rumpled thrown on clothes … they’re trying to look like they just roll out of bed looking that way when it took them hours and a tub of hair-pomade to achieve that look. I do it the ‘authentic’ way. hahaha!!

      By the way, I see your beauty every day in your words. You radiate support, cheerfulness, helpfulness, acceptance, among many other qualities. That’s beautiful!

  17. Great post, Ginger! Making peace with your body image is sooo important. I have not gotten there yet but perhaps it’s detente. Lovely, lovely thoughts on true beauty!

  18. I love what you said about motherhood. I despise photos of me, but I have a few from when I was in labor. I was pale, exhausted (I was in labor for 4 days…not exaggerating), no makeup, etc…but it is one of the few pictures of myself that I feel fine showing people. I think your motherhood point is why. 🙂

  19. Such a touching post, Ginger. I love that you spent time meditating on what beauty means to you then shared your insight with us. My favorites you listed are faith in love, joy, animals and imperfections. Priceless!

    • Thanks August. I’m so grateful you’ve given all of us a chance to reflect and share our thoughts and bits of ourselves. It gave me the reminder that if I continue to race through life, I’m missing so much beauty in others and in myself. Acknowledging that had a huge impact on me.

      I can feel the swell of beauty over the cyber-waves today.

  20. Hmmm, thighs, sigh… yep, my right thigh is the same size my waist used to be. May peace be with all three of us, me and my two sturdy thighs.
    Thanks for sharing your insights on beauty. Wonderful and heartwarming.

    • Thank you, Prudence. I read Gone with the Wind (again!) last summer and laughed at her 17 inch waist since my thighs are bigger than that. Perspective! But I’m pretty sure I can deadlift and squat way more than her. *wink*

  21. “Appreciation of the beauty in others is a reflection of our own and it is then that the true Beauty of a Woman shines bright for the world to see.” Say no more!

  22. I love this line, Ginger: “Our imperfections are the unique parts of our character.” Thank you for such a great post. 🙂

  23. Look at your toddler self, unafraid to look into the sun!

    Thank you for your list–and your wisdom.

    • Aw, thanks Pat! And you know what, I’m still looking into the sun. Absolutely LOVE the feel of it on my face.

      I also just saw your reply on WritersButt — Let me know how the meatballs turn out. Love that you have a ‘new food’ for a next week. I try to do that too. And, whimper all you want, it’s good for you. Just did a bunch of lunges at the gym and my legs are wobbly! 🙂

  24. What an adorable toddler you were! I have big honkin’ thighs now that I’m older, but they’re not something I dwell on. Just gotta be thankful I have legs that still work and get me where I’m going! Your list of things that embody the Beauty of a Woman is absolutely awesome!

    • Thank you, Lynn. My thighs are less ‘rolly’ these days but still impressive … in their strength. See how I’ve evolved! I appreciate your comment and support. I believe your humor and spirit embody the Beauty of a Woman and you inspire me.

  25. I love your list Ginger. Wonderful post – coming to terms and loving yourself. I have never been crazy about my big thick thighs. I have the thighs of a runner and they are always too tight in far too many jeans. 😦 But I am who I am.

    You were such a little cutie!

    • Hi Debra. I hear ya on the jeans. And the more I work out my legs, the harder to find those jeans, but I’ll just keep looking. For what it’s worth, I’ve found that Lucky jeans work for me.

      And thank you! 🙂

  26. Oh god, those dreaded thighs.I think I have some sort of crazy thigh obsession because I am always poking and pinching and prodding in an attempt to, er, “measure” how much fat needs to vanish so I can wear shorts and not feel like I am scarring the eyes of passers-by. I am learning to let go of this pastime. 😛

    I love the list of qualities that can be found in beautiful women, but I think my favorites might be whimsy and joy. There’s nothing like a woman who has the ability to let go, laugh, and act a little silly.

    Wonderful post!

  27. And now you’re Zena warrior princess. I’ve seen that cross-fit site.That’s one set of biceps you’ve got. I’m sure the legs match 🙂 Beautiful and original list!

  28. Best post title ever! I’ve always been ashamed of my legs. They are sturdy and walked tens of thousands of miles, but I never appreciated them. Thanks for reminding me that everyone has concerns about their body. I’ll never love my thighs, but I think I can see the good in them. 🙂

    • Hi Kourtney. Sorry for this delayed reply to your comment. You somehow got snagged up in my moderation filter.

      When I read your comment, I smiled at this: They are sturdy and walked tens of thousands of miles, but I never appreciated them.

      I have this amazing image of all the things and people that you ‘did’ appreciate in those tens of thousands of miles and now you can look back and thank your sturdy, strong legs for taking you on the journey. 🙂

      I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. Thank you.

  29. A really beautiful post, Ginger!

  30. It’s amazing how our bodies change after giving birth 3 times and nursing, I was a little surprised by that and at first not sure what to do with my everchanging body! But you are right we need to embrace those things, those imperfections because that is what makes us unique! Beautiful post:)

    • Exactly! It doesn’t mean I’m not to going to keep up a healthy lifestyle and try to look my best in a bathing suit, but I can let go of the things I absolutely have no control over and embrace the fact that my changed body is from my 3 amazing children and a lot of years of living life with abundance.

  31. Great post, Ginger.

    I have come to terms with my imperfections, flaws and weaknesses. They make me who I am.

  32. The Hop and your catchy title brought me to this site, but your words made me click that little follow button up there. Wonderful post.

    I WANT to be the woman you describe. I want that for me — and the people whose lives I’m blessed to be part of.

  33. You are my hero. I loved the post and possess many of the points you celebrate – so why do I still focus on my big belly? You have given me food for thought. Thank you. (Love the photo too! )

    • Aw, you are so sweet, Amy. Thanks for making me smile. Hey, focus and celebrate on those positive attributes and I bet the belly will recede figuratively and possibly even literally away once it’s not getting so much attention, especially the negative kind.

  34. I know I’m a bit late to the party, but wanted to cheer you on in your admirable goal of making peace with your body. If it’s like my own experience, your own image is pretty exaggerated from what others say. Me, I’m trying to make peace with my stretched out stomach. Ugh. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • Hi Kristine, Glad you stopped by and your kind words. Yes, I can relate to my image of ‘me’ is different than others. If you think about it, that supports the notion of recognizing what someone else views as beautiful. When others see beauty in you, look at yourself through their eyes! 🙂

  35. So I’m waaaay late to this post, but I’ve been at war with my thighs for so long that I can’t even remember a time when I didn’t dislike them. Ever? Even thin me? Nope.

    However, the other day, another friend was rocking this tunic/legging combo and I complemented her and she said that she used to be afraid to wear leggings b/c she had bird legs and was bow-legged. but she decide to just go with it and says she’s never felt better.

    Thanks for great post, and your gentle encouragement to accept ourselves – and thighs. (And, I’m soo looking for those Lululemon that you mentioned to Kristen.)

    • Hi Bridgette! Thanks for stopping by. See, I totally get the clothing choice thing. I avoid skinny jeans. It’s not that I’m particularly big, just that my thighs/quads are not shrinking violets! haha So, I feel like to taper my pants all the way to the anklke just puts the spotlight on the spot that looks the biggest. That said, I’m evolving and have come to be proud of my quads muscles. I worked hard for them so I might as well allow them some limelight, right? 😉

      Hey, definitely check out the Lululemons. If you can get past the sticky shock, SO worth it. Butts never looked so good, promise!!

  36. Well I’m holding up the rear! Or is that the writer’s butt? lol 🙂

    Wow Ginger! WOW!!!

    You made me cry. What an awesome list. And everything you said is so true.

    I’m speechless. It was perfection Ginger!

    I knew I was going to miss the blogfest because of a family reunion. But I’m so glad I didn’t miss your post. I’m so happy I met you. You are a beautiful person Ginger. 🙂

    • Karen, your beauty is constantly shining for others through your kindness and support that you freely offer. Your comment touched me and made me feel wonderful. Thank you very much.

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