A rising trending topic is the subject of Beauty.
As any woman on Instagram or Pintrest will admit, we see images of women we deem more “beautiful” than us, perhaps due to a thinner waistline, a prettier pout, or more luxurious locks. And on the other side of the spectrum, there are warriors out there (Beauty Redefined) trying to help womankind by flooding media with messages that translate “You are beautiful the way you are. Don’t compare yourself. Magazine models are not real women.”
I’m in the middle of an inner conflict.
It’s not that I don’t understand or even disagree with the message of self-acceptance, or that I can’t believe that I’m beautiful, no matter what the size tag says. I know that I am beautifully and wonderfully made by a Creator who knit the world together – and He doesn’t make junk.
So why is it so hard to not cringe when someone tags me in a picture on Facebook when I wasn’t aware that my lower abdomen was pouching out? Why do I have to take 327 selfies to get just the right angle where my double-chin is minimized, my legs look longer, my belly seems flatter, and my hands don’t look like sausages? Basically, in my head, I see myself as this:
I’ll admit it: I am a size 16, and I hate it. I hate clothes shopping and passing the sizes that fit me 4 years ago. Mirrors and cameras (in someone else’s hands) scare me.
And I’ll be double-honest, I think I’m prettier on the other side of my face. I generally like who I am and I believe that I’m good at things and that I’m intelligent. I just don’t like to look at myself.
So I took a reality check last night as I stared in the mirror. I was tempted to criticize my sagging curls, the circles under my eyes, and the little red spots that clutter my complexion, but I tried to look past all of that and see myself with love.
Here’s what I saw:
1. I have sincere and honest eyes (that change color! hey hey!).
2. My teeth are naturally white and straight, and my smile helps others be themselves.
3. My dimples (yes… the
unfortunate adorable dimples) prove genuine joy.
4. My arms are a great length for hugs.
5. You will never catch my hair looking the same way twice – and I don’t have to do a thing to it.
6. I inherited my mother’s fabulous fingernails. (Seriously, they’re like my favorite. Not too short, not too skinny!)
7. The stretch marks… well. Let’s just say every stripe represents a delicious meal. And I rarely regret good food.
I’m still a size 16. I’m still not happy about it. But I do know that I am talented, intelligent, and resourceful with more to offer this world than an attractive profile picture. And as I hit the gym and the salad bar I will remember that my goal is not to achieve a standard set by the media and my peers but to be the best, healthiest version of myself I can be.