This morning when I looked in the mirror, I said, “hello, beautiful.” And then I snorted.
So I tried again. “I said, hello, gorgeous.” My reflection eyed me warily, but didn’t respond.
“You really are beautiful. A beautiful woman.” This time, I couldn’t help the roll of my eyes.
You see, I’ve never been comfortable with my appearance. Never been able to love the skin I live in.
Even as a little girl, I knew I didn’t look quite right. I just wasn’t sure why. The twirly skirts, the pigtails tied with bows…I loved them. But the playground teasing I endured assured me I had it wrong.
Then, as a teenager, I wore glasses, had acne and a mouthful of braces. I was short, had an odd sense of style and struggled with my weight. That, of course, was a recipe for disaster. Especially when coupled with an innate shyness and a tendency to hide my nose in a book.
Eventually, though, I came out the other side. The braces came off, the glasses gave way to contacts, and the acne…subsided. And I? Became a not-too-terrible-looking human being.
But the damage was done. I couldn’t see the reality of what was staring back at me in the mirror. I could only see what I lacked.
Instead of the pretty blue eyes, I saw only the crooked nose.
Instead of the fantastic smile, I saw only the stained teeth.
My boobs were too big. My thighs were too large. Even my feet were too wide.
I was a melting pot of flaws.
Now, of course, I look back and think, “you idiot. Why didn’t you appreciate what you had?”
And then I go back to beating my self-confidence into the ground.
But that has to end. And it has to end now. As I’ve already mentioned a time or five (million), I have a daughter now. And, as I’ve also said, she needs a strong, self-confident role model.
So, I’m trying to see myself for the wonderful human being I am, flabby belly, chubby thighs and all.
That belly is poochy because it performed a miracle.
Those thighs are supported by some damn fine calves.
I have a fantastic smile.
I have pretty blue eyes.
I am strong.
I am smart.
I am sexy.
I am beautiful.
This post was written for the first Bloggers and Tiaras challenge at MomDot. The task? Define what beauty means to you. If you think I’ve done a good job, you might want to head on over there and vote for me. There’s some serious bling at stake. And I? Would really like some pretty pearls to go with my tiara.