What men think is sexiest. Eyecandy Images, Getty Images // What men think is sexiest. Eyecandy Images, Getty Images (What men think is sexiest. Eyecandy Images, Getty Images)

When we polled over 8,000 Men's Health and Women's Health readers for our What's Sexy Now survey, a very interesting trend emerged. Men said the sexiest quality of a woman was her body--outranking her smile, eyes, personality, intelligence, and sense of adventure. But get this: Only 12 percent of women agree that their body is downright desirable.

It's a shame that we don't see what the fellas do, especially considering that the message to love our bodies has been everywhere lately--from Beyonce's song lyrics to Cameron Diaz's "The Body Book." A poor self-image can affect every area of your life, including your career confidence, your wardrobe choices, and even your romantic relationships. In fact, a study in the "Journal of Sexual Medicine" found that women who have a negative body image report less sexual satisfaction, likely because they avoid sex or are plagued by their insecurities mid-romp.

Clearly, it's worth trying to nix bad thoughts about your figure. "You don't have to suddenly prance around in leotards while proclaiming your hotness," says Anneli Rufus, author of "Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself." "But, you can learn to reduce your negative self-talk."

MORE: 4 Ways to Love the Skin You're In

In order to do so, you must first recognize that these put-downs you think or say out about your bod are not reality-based--they're a script you've inherited from an unflattering mirror, an unsupportive friend, or maybe a spiteful ex, says Rufus. Detach yourself from these thoughts, and you're in a prime position to defend yourself--and boast about your enviable qualities. For example, the next time you're bagging on a body part ("Ugh, my arms are the worst"), immediately pivot to compliment an asset you love instead (as in, "Whatever, my boobs are fantastic!"), suggests Rufus.

MORE: 6 Ways to Boost Your Body Confidence

Practice this overtime, and eventually, you can reverse your self-image for good. It's not easy--but it's definitely worth trying.

More from MSN Living:
The surprising reasons you're not in the mood
10 reasons he's not the man for you
The ultimate dating dos and don'ts
20 things you never knew about kissing