I was reading a post from a dear friend of mine about how she was struggling with this feeling that she needs to drastically change some part of her appearance to fix things. This and the fact that I just finished reading Full Frontal Feminism by Jessica Valenti (of Feministing.com) set my mind a going.
I have always, like every girl to some extent, struggled with the way I look. I was a chubbier kid and had a strange view of fashion. I once wore a leopard print jumpsuit to class in 5th grade and lets just say I am still cringing at the things kids said to me. I have spend so much time focusing on my weight and how things would be just easier for me if I was at least a size six.
Somewhere in my 20s I realized that it was pointless trying to work and work to be beautiful in someone else's eyes because that work will never be finished. There will always be some new thing I should be doing, some new makeup I should have or some new hairstyle I should try and it is exhausting. I tried to embrace what I love about myself. Doing Boudoir photograph with my dear friends really helped, especially since I was not doing them for anyone. I had no significant other, I just got dolled up and took sexy pictures of myself for myself. And it was wonderful.
But one day does not fix everything. I still find myself obsessing for hours at work worried that someone will notice and judge me because I forgot to pluck my eyebrows that day. I think that maybe if I fit into my skinny jeans I would feel better about myself. Just now I ran through a list of all the things I need to do before work so I can look good enough to go out tonight, while I am sure my man is just going to go to work like he does every day. How fucked up is that? How do I get over that?
It is hard to try to get this mindset that we are not good enough as we are out of our heads. That we need to buy something in order to fix something about ourselves. I have yet to find an answer. Anyone have one?
Aside: Galadarling runs a lovely blog that has great articles of what she calls Radical Self-Love. I have to look to her for support sometimes and try to put some of her advice into my daily life. Check her out, especially this article, How to Practice Major Mega Supreme Body Love...Daily!
I am trying something small, something that probably no one will notice but me. I am a serial nail-polisher. I think my nails look weird without a layer of paint on them. I have bought those damn expensive Sally Hansen nail stickers and have spent hours doing crazy patterns on my fingernails only to take it all off and do it again the next day. All because I think that that is a requirement for me to look "done" when I go out. So, starting now, and going through August, I am going to shun nail-polish on my fingers and toes. I really want the goal to be that I don't think of the natural way these parts of my body look aren't gross. Like I said, starting small.