“One day I decided that I was beautiful, and so I carried out my life as if I was a beautiful girl. I wear colors that I really like, I wear makeup that makes me feel pretty, and it really helps. It doesn’t have anything to do with how the world perceives you. What matters is what you see. Your body is your temple, it’s your home, and you must decorate it.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about the way we see ourselves. Partly because I’m in the early stages of a project with a perfectionist heroine who has struggled all of her life to meet the expectations of others in nearly every way, including the physical. And partly because well, it’s a struggle that’s close to my heart.
I spent all of my jr high and high school years feeling out of place. I was heavier than every girl I was friends with. And even though most everyone was nice to me, I couldn’t help but feel there was something wrong with me. I was afraid people judged what I ate, and how much of it I ate. Sleepovers and parties were hard because of that.
These are silly little issues I still carry a piece of with me. Because those thoughts and fears were so much a part of my formative years. The fear of judgment. The fear that people looked at me and saw only the things I perceived to be flaws.
The internet certainly doesn’t help things like this. It’s so easy to be negative from the keyboard. To pass judgment on models and actresses, to criticize their bodies from the comfort of our own homes in our sweats. (I was actually guilty of this last night on twitter re, a male actor, I don’t feel like I can point all this out without confessing that I fall into the criticism mindset)
But tweets and blog posts that are so harsh on celebrities I think confirm the insecure person’s worst fear: That people are that judgmental. That they probably do look at ME and think unkind things about my body or my big nose or whatever.
But then I come to Gabouray’s quote. And I smile. Because she’s right. It doesn’t matter what anyone else on the whole earth thinks, except for you. And when you value yourself as beautiful, or your work as worthwhile and good, then you’ll start to feel like it is.
We can’t wait for approval from outside sources. Either on our physical looks, or our other efforts.
I’m not even worried about whether or not that might make someone full of themselves, because the vast majority of women I know don’t struggle with that. They struggle with insecurities. With the feeling that they are somehow not good enough as they are. That their work isn’t good enough, their bodies aren’t good enough. And it’s a tragedy.
We all have value. We’re all here for a purpose. We’re all made beautifully. Not all the same, but beautifully. Mind and body.
We’re so often our own biggest critics, our own biggest bullies, when we could be our own biggest champion. The support of others is great, but it’s something that can be taken away. What no one can take from you is the strength inside of you. No one can change the way you feel about you, unless you let them.
I know this is all very touchy feel for me, but that’s ok. I’m tired of the idea that we’re obligated to be self-deprecating. That we’re bad people if we’re comfortable in our own skin because that must mean we have ego issues. *eye roll* Pretty much I want to buy the world a Coke and tell every woman I hand one to that she’s flipping beautiful and the world and Photo Shop,and airbrushing can suck it.
But since I don’t have that much Coke money…Give yourself permission to be happy with what you’ve got. And decide today that you’re beautiful.