One of the only times I truly appreciated myself, how I looked, the way I stood and how a smile felt on my face – was at my Prom in June. That, and when I kissed someone, but the latter was more of an affirmation that I was attractive and not a failure at ‘romance’.
I’m not some great beauty, some kind of princess or queen because if anyone called me that, I’d laugh in their face and ask them to list every positive physical attribute I had, interrupt them halfway through because I was laughing too hard and then refuse to let them continue. Or… Perhaps I’d be so shocked that I’d accidentally hug them. So, that’s not going to happen any time soon.
Even so, I don’t lord myself as someone who’s immensely attractive: I know my flaws, often get insecure about them, but at the end of the day if someone judges me on them, it’s their problem. I learnt today that I didn’t hate my body – not like I thought I would. My flaws, for once, didn’t bother me.
My stepmother bought a bunch of clothes for me today, to prepare for something I’m doing tomorrow which means I won’t be at school. After the disaster of yesterday, where I felt like a puppet because I was made to try on clothes of hers because I had no appropriate ones of my own, I was all set to be furious when I came back from school. I hate it when people buy things for me, especially if I wasn’t told before, because I need to be in control of what I wear and how comfortable I feel in my own skin. Often, I feel as if people control that without realising, and I don’t speak up to stop it.
I was waiting to snap, to feel disgusting like I did yesterday, to want to take every little part of my body and rip it apart. I was expecting to have the world crowd in on me. That time didn’t come.
My stepmother showed me the clothes – it probably helped that we started with shoes and they fit, which meant that my mind immediately quietened because not many shoes fit me that look nice. I laughed, joked around, did stupid poses and barely got annoyed when I couldn’t stand how she wanted me to.
For me, it was a shock. I’m used to criticising myself, to saying “NO – you look awful; no one thinks you look okay and you know you feel bad in your body. Who’d want to appreciate you, seeming as you can’t do it yourself?” I wasn’t angry; in fact, I revelled in knowing I had clothes which I liked. Yes, it would have been better had I bought them myself, but I’m still figuring out what kind of style I like – HA, I’m hopeless with fashion!
Today was a rather steep learning curve for me. I don’t like my body necessarily, but I don’t despise it. What people think of me – whether they want to kiss me or not if I have a certain bloody type of top on – doesn’t matter. If someone truly cares for me, they won’t give a crap what I wear. The age old saying, “It’s what’s on the inside that matters,” really applies here.
You aren’t somehow less for liking to wear different things. Your body is not Unattractive, and only you can have enough faith in yourself to tell yourself that. So many people can tell you you’re beautiful, but if you don’t truly believe that in your heart, you’ll continue to think you’re ugly. I can’t see you, even if you were right in front of me, but bloody anyone can be beautiful to themselves if they believe it. I will never see myself in the mirror, but does that mean I can tell myself I don’t look attrocious? Yes. I can still do it, heedless of the fact I don’t understand what a face truly looks like.
Don’t believe me? One day, when you’re strong enough, when you can, find things about your body you like. List them, without any negative adjectives because realistically it doesn’t matter what you look like. If you feel miserable with your appearance, no amount of makeup oR product can change that. If you hate your body, the only way to improve it is to realise: “I’m not hideous. To myself I’m not, and fuck what other people think.”
I’m nowhere near perfect because I always find ways to critique myself, but I’m working on it. I have over 40 photos of me on my phone right now, which is more than I’ve ever had at once, and I refuse to call myself narcissistic. It’s one step at a time and that one step, today, was feeling happy enough with myself to take control of my body, because it’s mine. It’s not anyone else’s to judge, to own, to comment on: I literally own it, and you own yours. Don’t forget that, when you feel like everything’s getting too much.
From Elm 🙂