This is not news to anyone especially myself.
I am perfectly fine with being imperfect (sort of).
That part, however, is relatively new in my world. Since reaching 30, I have become more involved in feminist views and, through that, I have entered the realm of body acceptance. It’s been a hard road, I must admit. When I was a young child, I was blasted constantly with derogatory comments from my father and grandparents about my weight. Either I needed to eat more or I needed to go on a diet. My dad often referred to me as “Crisco” or “Lard ass” instead of using my name when I would gain weight. When I was around 18, my grandparents offered me $500 to get to an approved weight. Needless to say, it created a complex. I hated the way I looked all the time. I hid behind baggy clothes and counted calories. Even in my early teens, I refused to go on the beach or wear a bathing suit in a pool. I stopped wearing shorts, skirts, and dresses. I existed in a dark world of self-hatred, eating issues, and thoughts of suicide. Instead of being supportive and helping me make healthy food choices, I was made to feel ashamed of my changing body.
I spent my entire adolescence and early adulthood having never felt beautiful.
Everyone tells you that it’s what on the inside that counts anyway. If only that were true, it would make all the difference. The fact is, though, that America is very much a physical society. We make base judgments about people on their level of attractiveness. There has been study upon study conducted about how much of an opinion we form in the first 10-20 seconds of looking at someone, and the results show that attractiveness decides trust, believability, aggressiveness, friendliness and more. In the last 5 elections, we have consistently elected the younger candidate of the main two political parties. Every ad related to makeup and clothing is filled with women who have ideal body shapes and facial features. We, as a society, are more concerned about body size and appearance than in any other feature of a person to the point where we consistently make flawed choices based on looks alone.
Telling someone who has body issues that it’s what is on the inside that counts is like trying to convince an adult that Santa Claus is real. Oh, wouldn’t it be so magical if it were true, but the sheer volume of facts outweighing your statement makes the truth pretty fucking obvious so let’s just skip the bullshit, okay?
So, in the end, I am insecure still that I am not part of the 5% of women who can actually fit the model body type. I have a lifetime of voices that still echo in my head every time I look in the mirror even though I am a size 12. I am insecure about food and find that counting calories is a rather difficult thing to stop doing. And, I am insecure that I can't love myself just the way I am. I look at blogs about body acceptance and wish I had that courage because I know I can be brave and strong and let go of these things. One day is what I tell myself, and I hope that's not a lie.