When I published this post on Wednesday, I hardly expected the result I received.
I’m not sure whether I should be relieved that I’m not the only one to feel like this, or completely appalled that so many of us feel like this.
It is quite heartbreaking.
We are women. We are objects of beauty. We were designed to bring forth life from our bodies, and they are beautifully suited to this task.
We are designers and decorators; we make the world we live in beautiful.
We clean our houses, and make our beds. We paint the walls pretty colours, and hang photos.
We create. We paint, draw, sew, bake, scrapbook, build, beautify.
Our very essence is beauty.
Men love women. Now obviously women love men too, but does the sight of a man ever arouse a woman as much as the sight of a woman does to a man?
When a naked woman enters the room, a man is captivated. All other thoughts flee his mind. He sees only one thing.
And he finds it beautiful.
But we don’t.
We look at our naked bodies and pick them apart. Sometimes we can’t look at them at all. Sometimes we can’t let our partners look either.
And I want to know why?
Where did this come from? Why do we do this?
Is it because we read too many magazines, and compare ourselves to the airbrushed images?
I think most of us are smarter than that.
Do we watch too much television, and see actresses who have had their hair perfectly coiffed, their makeup continually retouched, and a stylist who knows instantly how to accentuate the positive and hide the negative?
Do we look at each other and compare. ‘She looks amazing! And after kids too!’
Or perhaps more negatively. ‘Yeah she looks good, but once she has babies she won’t look the same.’
‘I would look that good too if I had that much spare time to make myself look good.’
‘Just with till she is older; she won’t be able to eat like that then!’
I think it’s the latter. I think as a society, we have become brilliant at putting others down in order to make ourselves feel better.
And we are paying for it.
I don’t read trashy magazines, unless I go to the hairdressers. Every three months I catch up on what the stars are doing, who is getting married, divorced, having babies, sleeping with their nannies, brothers uncle…and who has put on weight.
Which star has deviated from their insane diet schedule for a week, and is suddenly ‘overweight.’
Which star is obviously pregnant, (and a close up of their belly.)
Which start is rejoicing in their new found curves (but they are still a size six.)
And, to be totally honest, it makes me feel a little better about myself.
I know, it sounds awful. And I wish it wasn’t true, but it is. I look at others and I compare myself to them. Not everyone, and I’m never as critical of them as I am of myself, but I do notice size. And beauty. And the clothes they are wearing.
And how everyone looks so much better than me.
And of course, I assume everyone is doing the same of me.
If I can see my bumps, obviously not only can you, but you will be secretly delighting in them because that makes you feel better about yourself. It’s just common sense.
I have spent the last few years, training myself not to look for the negative in others. To not base my worth and daily confidence meter on whether or not they had McDonalds for dinner last night.
But maybe I’m doing it wrong. Maybe instead of trying to stop looking at the negative, I should start focusing on the positive. Not just of me, but everyone around me.
And realising that my worth is not based on how pretty Angelina or the lady down the street is.
<strong>My worth is based on the fact that I am Jess. One of a kind. Beautiful, wonderful and worth it.
So I’m setting a challenge. A challenge to myself and to all the others out there who beat themselves up over their appearance.
Look for the positive.
Stand in front of your mirror, and search until you find something you like. Maybe even love.
Stare at yourself and take pride. Ignore the bits you hate. Don’t focus on them. Change your undies or shirt or whatever you have to do so that when you look all you see is the good bits.
Then take a photo, and email it to me. Include your name, your blog, whatever, and if you can, say why you love this part of your body. I will compile all the photos into video form, and send everyone the You Tube clip, and then let’s watch it. Embed it on your blogs, share it on Facebook, show your friends, whatever. Let’s look at our beauty. Let’s empower each other to see the beautiful things in us.
Let’s change the culture.
We are worth it.