Monday, March 29, 2010

Liberation, part 2.

As kind of a follow up to my previous blog, I just wanted to share that I had an excellent day today. Today was my day off. I went shopping, and actually found a really cute sundress to wear to church on Sunday. It was beautiful outside, so I wore a skirt, and looked really cute. I styled my hair differently, and actually liked it a lot. And as I was looking in the mirror before putting my makeup on, I looked at my face. Really looked at it. And I liked it. I discovered that I like my skin, despite the few acne marks. A few weeks ago someone told me I had beautiful skin, that it looks like porcelain, and I'm actually starting to believe them.

I had that walk today. You know when you feel really cute and beautiful and you can't help but walk with your head held high with a kind of strut and your hips swaying like you KNOW you're all that? I had THAT walk. And it was great. I haven't had that walk in a long time. I almost forgot what it was like.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Think of this as my liberation.

I've been really bored with my wardrobe lately. So today after work, I decided to go shopping to look for a new addition to my wardrobe, particularly one of those pretty sundresses. This plan backfired. Severely. Nothing fit right, everything showed every single roll. And I ended up feeling awful. I realized that it's been a long time since I've felt beautiful. All I see when I look in the mirror are the extra inches on my waist and hips and thighs, the rolls on my stomach, my back fat, my acne, the awkward in-between stage my hair is in right now. I can't see past all of that and see someone who's beautiful. And I realized that I'm really affected by the media's concept of beautiful. All of the latest women's clothing trends are for women who are 5'7" and skinny as a rail. (Evidence: the leggings with tunics, the cute yet shapeless sundresses, the skinny jean, etc.) And none of them look right on me, despite the fact that they come on my size.

The fact is, despite the small amount of progress in the past few years, the fashion world, and indeed the media, too still encourages women to be a size that frankly, most of us just aren't. Look at the size of most women in commercials for things like women's clothing, perfume, makeup, hair products, even Target ads. Real women don't look like that.

I realize that it's a great accomplishment to even notice and accept that fact. But it still remains that I don't feel beautiful. And I think it's the media's fault.

Take a look at sex symbols from days gone by: Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, take your pick. Odds are, any female sex symbol from the 1940's-60's were what the modeling world today would consider "plus size." Women envied them and men wanted to be with them. What changed?

Twiggy changed everything. Guess how she got the nickname. Since Twiggy, popular perception of what beautiful is has never been the same. You could say I harbor a little resentment towards her. But I suppose it's not her fault she's so skinny.

And it doesn't help to be angry and resentful. It doesn't help one bit, even though I'm both of those things. So here's what I'm going to do.

I'm going to try not to compare myself to other people, even if I think they're prettier than I am.

I'm going to ignore what the media is telling me I should look like, and ignore the fact that I feel like I'm the exact opposite.

Think of this blog as me liberating myself from what the world is telling me to be, my liberation from self-pity, from self-deprecation, from a poor self-image and self-esteem. Think of this as me saying f*** you to the fashion world, because it's not me that doesn't fit. It's them.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Gibbs-style smack to the head

I'm a HUGE NCIS fan. (This is relevant to real life, I promise. Just stick with me.) I think it has a perfect balance of comedy and drama and action. One of the running jokes of the show is that Gibbs, the leader of the investigative team, and also very much like a father figure, smacks his team members on the back of the head. It's not abusive in any way. It's meant as a wake-up call, sort of a reminder where their heads should be, that they should be focusing on the case, and not getting distracted.

Well, on Saturday, God gave me a Gibbs-style smack to the back of the head. I was super stressed over money-stuff and really freaking out about it. And then twice that day God had two great things happen to me that were kind of like a smack to the back of the head. Sort of like God saying, "Get with the program! Don't I always provide for you? Quit worrying!" It was a huge relief and humbling all at the same time.

Sometimes I forget about this. Sometimes I start freaking out about stuff, when in actuality I really don't need to. I think it's okay to be concerned sometimes. But I don't need to worry, because God's going to take care of me.

God is amazing. :)