I was blithely skipping through my Google Reader posts this morning when I came across a post from We’re The Real Deal…it made me stop in my tracks. This is an issue I have been dealing with and trying to come to terms with for years and I was glad to see someone write and photograph so cogently. One of the bloggers I follow runs OperationBeautiful.com, which prompts similar reconsideration of how we view ourselves.
I am a 58 year old woman with 58 years of experience and listening and learning under my belt (except I don’t wear belts). I am the oldest of four girls and have spent a lifetime enjoying the company and friendship of women. I think women are beautiful…I really do. Except I have never once in my life FELT beautiful through and through. I have been occasionally happy with how I look, but I have never had a photograph taken that I didn’t criticize, that I didn’t honestly feel was awful. I look one way in my mind’s eye, but the mirror and the camera show a completely foreign person looking back. My mind’s eye sees me as having good blonde hair, good skin, a lean physique, long, skinny legs, no butt, no hips, big boobs. The camera sees frazzled weird blonde hair, squinty eyes, round cheeks, a heavy and wide midsection… WHAT?
As I said, I’m working on it. My daughter can be quite brutal when she catches me saying negative things about myself. I try to catch myself and change my thinking. And I welcome gentle reminders from my friends when they hear me saying inappropriate things about myself. But I am not alone here. I don’t bet, but if I did, I’d bet the house that there are more out there who are too hard on themselves than there are those who accept what they can’t change and change how they think of themselves. I want to get across the road to the other side and I want my friends and family to come with me.