Of all our infirmities, the most savage is to despise our being. ~Michel de Montaigne
But how can you not despise yourself?
You turn on the TV and there is a thirty year old woman with the hips of a fourteen year old, the boobs of a comic book heroine, and skin as clear as a baby. Or for the guys, there’s bodies like Jake Gyllenhaal in Prince of Persia whose training regime seemed more like an evil science experiment than good exercise.
Are these women even real?
So he has abs – but at what cost?
And then you open a magazine and are pummeled with shots of beautiful people doing spectacular things in sexy clothes. I’m sure everyone knows this already – but advertisements aren’t reality, or based on reality. As the Dove Evolutions commercial says, “No wonder our view of beauty is distorted.”
But that’s not all that our self-image comes against. I take my daughters to the grocery store, and what’s the only thing that people tell them? “Oh, you’re so beautiful.” “Such a cute dress.” “Such pretty eyes,” and the like. Will they start to think that the only way they’ll be noticed is by their appearance? For some people, getting compliments becomes a drug. For others, the lack of affirmation to their appearance will make them either despise/ignore their appearance, or find affirmation elsewhere.
But even with all that outer onslaught against your self-image, it’s nothing compared to what your own mind can do. Loving who you are is a long journey, but one worth taking. I know that even the most beautiful, powerful, rich among us have screwed up self-images. And no matter how many times they are called pretty or successful, it isn’t enough. It doesn’t fill the void.
People are crying up the rich and variegated plumage of the peacock, and he is himself blushing at the sight of his ugly feet. ~Sa’Di
What if everyone was real with themselves, happy to just be alive? Stop worrying about their image. People joke about not wanting to share their weight and age … but that is part of who you are. You might as well own up to it. When people start to enjoy who they are, it changes them. Just look at the Golden Rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It says plainly that you give to others the type of love that you give yourself. So if you’re hatin’ on your image, you’ll probably be hatin’ on your neighbor’s image as well. Likewise, if you love yourself, you’ll love others.
Everything starts by being honest. With yourself. With others. By looking in the mirror and stop comparing your image to the Chanel model, or to James Bond. Instead, when you look at yourself you say, “Hi, self. You’re not perfect. You don’t need to be. I know you’ve got issues and baggage and stretch marks and weird moles, but I won’t gain anything by worrying about it. I’ll just enjoy being.”
So I’m gonna try to be more real. And I’m gonna start now.
Since 10th grade, I’ve weighed anywhere between 155 lbs. to 205 lbs. Right now I weigh 165 lbs. I am taller than the average female bear at 5’10″. I still have stretch marks over my stomach from carrying my babies. I hate plucking my eyebrows, and put it off until I can’t ignore the fact that I look like Frida. My feet are calloused and rough from strike-toe running in sandals. I have pale skin, unless I’m hot or exercising then my face turns a bright red. I love my dark hair, I like the silky way it moves through my fingers – I play with it a lot. I also think my green and grey eyes are pretty. That’s the way I see myself when I look in the mirror.
*deep breath* And for the full reveal, this is what I look like when I first roll out of bed (5:30 AM), no makeup, no face washing, no botox, just me:
Tell me, do you have any tips about self-image?
Where are you at in your journey?