Sometimes…no, almost always, writing is my therapy. I needed a session today and I’ve decided to share it with everyone. I hope this helps someone else out there too.
I’ve always tried to believe that beauty was in the eye of the beholder. That it came from within. That we should be looking at personality, not looks.
All the cliches, all the words of encouragement given to you by people who didn’t understand what it was like to look in the mirror and see a monster. To feel like someone, but have the reflection of someone else. A person who is unwanted, unattractive. Lumpy, large, freckled, pock marked…whatever it may be that you see. That I see.
Now, some may try to put the blame on society and the media for putting people, especially women, under a certain scrutiny. We are forced to play with Barbies with disproportionate bodies. We watch music videos and shows with young women with skinny bodies, perfect skin and long, glossy hair. Advertisers tell us how easy it is to become active, get a gym membership. Take these diet pills. Follow this. Do that. All the while raking in the cash of women who believe that what they are being told is true. That if we do this, we will feel better about ourselves. I do believe this has a very large adverse affect on our thinking, but it’s not all. Because it’s not always about our environment…
It is about us. Our sense of being, knowing who we are, what we look like and feeling less than enough. We are in constant competition with ourselves, we want to be better, do better. But our best never seems to be enough. I speak to all those women who fall victim to self doubt, lack of motivation. To those who see what I see when they look in the mirror.
I want above all things to allow myself to just be…to be who I am, not what I look like. I want to believe those damn cliches and I want to feel better. I want to fall prey to trends, I just want to let go and fall. But I don’t…because despite this all, despite the fear of reflection, fear of rejection and the all consuming grief I can feel sometimes…I know I AM better than this. I am beautiful, even when I don’t feel like I am, even when I can’t get myself into the store to try on new clothes, or when my skin breaks out and I try to turn away from people’s gazes. And you are too.
I just wanted you all out there to know, that I see you. I feel you. You’re beautiful, we all are.
Cliche, yes please.
If someone told me when I was twelve
All the things that I know now
I would have shook my head in disbelief
And probably wondered “how?”
In my short twelve years of life
I’d absorbed a thing or two
About all the ways to doubt myself
About all the ways to feel blue
I’d learned to compare myself to others
And scrutinize myself in the mirror
To count calories and fats like a mathlete
I’d learned everything except how to see myself clearer
I’d been conditioned to hate my body
And dislike all the features
I’d listened to our mass media
Shouting from their soapbox like a preacher
It took me years to love myself
And embrace everything I am
To value what I have to give
And lend myself a hand
If I knew at twelve all the things that I know now
I could have saved myself a lot of hurt
I would have tuned out all the noise
And learned to put myself first
Too many of us
Shroud ourselves away in chrysalises
Hidden away from the world
Trying to change into something beautiful
When the truth is
The world saw us as butterflies to begin with
But the caterpillar inside us
Wasn’t ready for wings just yet