I feel that loving yourself involves accepting and growing and groovin with all the different facets of who you are. One facet that often seems to take over is the physical. That is, the skin you live in and present to the world. But, it really is only skin draped over personality over a lot of inner challenges and strengths. I've been thinking about this for a while, just tossing this and similar thoughts about in my mind.
I think back to my own childhood and teen years and all of the pre/pubescent crap that we all go through.
For my part, this was the experience.
When I was just a little kid watching old movies late into the night, this is what I thought/dreamed/believed I would look like as an adult:
Instead, for a long time—and I mean long—I looked sort of like this:
|Ugly Betty (Want to hear something totally gross? I actually own a pair of Dansko shoes identical to the ones she's wearing.)|
As a little girl, I thought that I would develop sophisticated high cheekbones, jet black hair and really long Cyd Charisse legs (forgetting that the rest of the women in my family are 5' and shorter) and so I waited in quiet, hopeful suspense for the day I would look into the mirror and be transformed. Well, things didn't quite turn out that way. Over the years I stopped waiting and slowly settled into the brown sweats of disappointment. How dramatic! No hourglass figure, no smoldering gaze...I didn't even have the self-esteem to catch on to a little reality. Now I look back at those years as mostly confusing and transitional: the "frump years", if you will.
I have to say, though, I really love that poncho and right now I'm having a hard time understanding what's wrong with it...
But that is what I've been thinking about. A while ago, in the middle of class one day, I thought, "You know, I really like who I am. I love the way I look. I want to be happy with who I am!" Such an enormously positive thought for me. Who cares if I wear brown sweats (girl's gotta be comfortable). The real point is whether I value myself enough to feel amazing within and let everything else come from there. I just so happen to embrace comfort in all its healthy forms. And there you have it, the sweats are moot (FYI, I don't actually own a pair of brown sweats, but I think the concept is good for the point I'm trying to make). At the end of the day I really do love what I've got even on this one level of who I am. My eyes, nose, my hair that fights the fog, especially my soccer player’s calves and broad shoulders are all straight from where I come from. What could be any more exciting than that?
In fact, I take those gorgeous women that I used to want to look like more as fashion inspiration, if anything. I don't have to look like them to feel comfortable in my own skin. Why should I devalue myself by comparing who I am with women that were rarely photographed in colour? Can you imagine mentally punching yourself in the gut every time you pass a mirror or watch a music video? I had to realize that all the good or bad I carry within becomes the energy I project out to the world. We must be easier on ourselves and others. I'm learning to take a deep breath and relax, remembering that some of the most beautiful people I know have an inner joy that touches on everything they do and everyone they meet feels their warmth. That is the beauty that lasts.
P.S. For those that are interested to know what happened with that fabric class I took ages ago, I chose The Great Gatsby costumes to present. It was a combination of "very little time left" and "I just love them suits" that led to this decision and, honestly, by the time I gave my 4 minute presentation (with visuals!) I almost went overtime. Everyone could sense my enthusiasm, if you know what I mean.