As women, we are conditioned to regard our bodies in an aesthetic sense. This is evident in the content of, um, every ladies magazine, every advertisement targeted at women, and every stupid diet that promises to help you, "get bikini ready by summer." Common understanding holds that our bodies are supposed to be nice to look at, if not for men, then at least for ourselves, because, you know, bEinG h0T iS EmPoWeRinG and stuff.
I'm not going to say that looking good isn't empowering, because sometimes it can be! I find it sort of unstable and problematic, though, that physical appearance is the status quo form of bodily empowerment marketed to women. How can it be that you should only feel empowered by your body if you are a) naturally really pretty or b) willing to put in a lot of work to look like you are?
Whenever I find myself feeling unpretty, I make an effort to recontextualize my body mentally. When it comes down to it, your body is really a tool. It carries your brain. It lets you get from point a to point b. It's a home for the senses that let your perceive the world in all of its awesomeness. Thinking of my body in a practical sense, as opposed to an aesthetic one, makes me feel super empowered. My body can do lots of cool things. Its worth is not dictated by how well it meets some set of arbitrary standards that someone else set for me, but but how well it serves the functions I need it to in my daily life.
Not sure if this technique is the "best" technique for appreciating your body, and I'm definitely not asserting it applies to everyone, but it works for me so I figured I'd share it.
(Semi-random old roller derby pic as an example of how women's bodies can be awesome and functional!)