Has anyone else noticed that the man in the match.com advertisements online is always the same? He comes in quite a variety: pretty doctor, pretty rocker, pretty nerd.
The common thread though it all is "pretty", of course.
I'm having a difficult time dealing with this as of late. Growing up, we were taught by the people who care about us that looks are only part of the equation. They should be a very small part at that.
And yet, knowing this - knowing that physical beauty is ultimately of little meaning when it comes to knowing and loving a person - is different than living it.
In the process of embarking on my journey of introspection and growth, I've come to realize that I don't value myself like I always thought I did. I have some esteem and confidence issues; and I'm embarrassed to say they are rooted in how physically inadequate I feel.
I am intelligent. I am funny. I am enjoyable to be around. I'm caring, I love to make people smile, I am not afraid of saying how I feel or what I'm thinking; I am genuinely me, even when that means someone may not like who I am (rarely does this happen... of course, people could be lying, ha ha). I am not cocky; rather, I am self-aware, which is much more than most people can say about themselves.
And yet, I lack confidence because I don't feel "pretty." I don't feel like I am appealing on a physical level: I'm scrawny, I have the facial features of a little boy (CHUBBY CHEEKS... BLAH), my glasses always run to the end of my nose and make me look awkward, the love-handles don't seem to quit, my butt is flat/saggy, my smile is crooked and so are some of my teeth, blah blah blah blah blah.... I can keep going and going and going.
That scares me.
We are our own worst critics. What I fear is that my critique has moved from constructive to disparaging. I shouldn't be paralyzed by my dissatisfaction with my physical appearance. But I am. It has stopped me from being bold and approaching guys I find attractive; it has made me timid when I didn't need to be.
People think I'm vain because I'm always looking at myself in mirrors, reflections in windows; what they don't realize is that, when I look at my reflection, I'm fixating on my flaws. I see the awkward/dumpy way that I look. The way I hope to look in the mirror never materializes; I only see the short, chubby, and unattractive 15 year old that never left my head despite puberty's effects.
I think it's good that I've recognized this. Acknowledgement is the first step to recovery. Now is my time to learn to love me as a WHOLE.
If I can't do that, then I hold no hope for the future. Wish me luck.