Saturday, 30 March 2013

Ugly - A Disease of the Mind

I have been doing  a lot of thinking since the post called The Looking Glass. I received what I consider to be an overwhelming response from people who read the post. I was both humbled and honored by people's kind thoughts and words. The responses came from friends and acquaintances of all shapes and sizes and backgrounds, yet what they said to me was resoundingly similar -  I had spoken out loud what they thought on the inside. I am ugly.

 Ok, so not everyone was so dramatic, but the theme was I'm not happy with myself as I am. At first, this made me so sad.  I mean, I always think that I am capable of handling those nasty, hurtful thoughts that swirl around biting at my heart, I'm strong, I can deal with it.  But, listening to your voices brought tears to my eyes.  I know that it hurts, I've experienced it, I don't want anyone else to live out the same day after day personal torture.  The demand I place on myself to be a specific weight and look a certain way, and appear to others like I've got whatever-it-is all together is a full time job in itself.  

By nature, I'm a fixer. I want to fix things - especially when it comes to other people (and if I can fix a problem by bringing you food, I usually feel like I've won a prize) Unfortunately it's not typically that easy. Finding a source to blame is simple enough, watch TV, look at the advertisements in front of every store, for every product.  Apparently a thin woman with perky boobs can sell anything.  The only problem is, I've noticed that even though I can assign blame to society or someone else, it doesn't fix anything.  I was at a coffee shop this weekend, visiting with a friend, and a tall, bigger lady came in wearing a obviously too tight spandex pants, unfortunately, the pants did not cover her backside and her shirt was riding up her back.  Immediately I was embarrassed to look at her and just tried to ignore her poor wardrobe choices.  Unfortunately as she left to go to her car, her tight attire grabbed the attention of some prepubescent boys at a table next to us, who laughed and jeered at her. It broke my heart - I felt what she would feel as if I were her.  It was my worst nightmare played out in front of my eyes.  Yet, I realize, I am no better than those boys. I was embarrassed to look at her.  Was she beautiful?

I can remember a long time ago, I used to think, once I have a boyfriend - then I'll feel pretty.  Once I am married, then I'll feel beautiful...and granted my husband works hard at telling me he thinks I'm beautiful, but strangely I find it hard to believe. My own brain is betraying itself.

So, what to do now? For all of you dear Ladies who've looked in the mirror and judged what you've seen there, where do we start? How do we kill this disease before it reaches our daughters? I don't know all the answers, not yet, but I'm not letting this drop or die or go away.  I want my daughter to look in the mirror and see herself for how beautiful she really is, because she knows her mother does the same.

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