Well of course I effing can, I hear you say. Well duh, that’s what this site is all about. And the answer is obvious. But an individual answer is not what I’m after. It’s a collective opinion of society.
This is something I talk about constantly: The fact that our personal views about ourselves are VASTLY different from what our culture is telling us to be. Since this is the internet, i’ll clarify that i’m mainly referring to North America, the UK, Australia, NZ, etc. Some parts of Europe, even, to a lesser extent.
So, let’s review. What is society telling us to be as women?
Well, you’re supposed to be forever a youthful, uncontrollably horny, robotically accurately multitasking clean freak. (nothing wrong with being youthful, uncontrollably horny or a robot, but as an example)
You’re supposed to be skinny and gorgeous, have 2.5 kids (0.5 of a kid? Who chooses what half?), live in a nice neighbourhood, work at a nice company, marry a nice man who wears sweater vests (ew, no)
You’re supposed to be famous, clever, unique and the same as everyone else. (Confused now?)
No wonder women and girls are so goddamn down on themselves. The main thing is the resounding: If you’re not pretty and sexy, you’re not one of ‘us’. (Gooble gobble gooble gobble one of us!)
But that’s the thing right there. You have the right not to look perfect all the time. Personally, I still feel cute, if in a slightly dishevelled nerd girl-tastic way.As I write this, i’ve got my freshly shampooed hair up in a loose bun. I’ve got naturally coarse, thick, wavy hair. It’s not smooth, it’s not silky. It’s not even TIDY. (haha working from home ftw). It’s THAT time of month and I feel drained, and I honestly could not give a toss what my hair looks like right now, because of the lovely gut-wrenching cramps.
It’s all about confidence. I’m sleep deprived, but it happens. My skin ain’t perfect; that’s fine. Neither is anyone else’s. That’s why we have make-up.
In any case, looking like I just crawled out of bed occasionally, doesn’t bother me. Why? Because my beauty isn’t the only thing I have going for me.
And I wish more girls would think this way. You’re not just a pretty face. You also have a brain, and talents. Personally, i’m proud of my high IQ, it means I can take information in very quickly, and I love this, my inner information nerd loves this! It doesn’t mean I know everything. Far from it. But it’s one of the things that makes me myself, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
I’m also an artist of many kinds. My main thing is photography; it provides a release for the images in my head like nothing else. And dare I say, I’m pretty good at it. There are better photographers, and always will be, perhaps. But I’m proud of my work.
For the longest time, I was always the biggest girl in my group of friends. I felt ungainly and clunky. Some of you can probably relate. I hated my height, it made me feel heavier than I already was. I hated shopping in the plus sized section, and I hated not feeling like I was as cute as the rest of my friends.
What I didn’t realise, is none of them saw me like I saw myself. They all saw me as this uber-smart, arty, funny girl they could trust. I didn’t realise this until the last year or so, and it still takes me awhile (derp, for someone so smart I can be SO dumb lol). Until I got healthy, my image of myself didn’t really merge with theirs.
I won’t tell you to ‘deal with it’ and be happy with who you are if you’re not satisfied with it. If you’re chubby and want to get fit, then get working on it. If you suck at geography, and want to get better? Start studying. But look into yourself at why, and look at your motivations. Do it for you, not for everyone else. Or you’ll never be happy with it.
These days, I definitely feel happier with myself, but it’s not purely because of the weight loss. It’s because achieving that goal made me realise i’m not a failure. I’m not just a piece of flesh to be stared at, or made fun of.
I’m a human, and i’m happy with myself. No-one will take that from me, anymore.