I wanted to write this post for a long time and some of the incidents lately made me want to do it even more. The worst thing is that I wanted to publish it in the morning but after I read it again I realized that it wasn’t something I wanted so… I removed all that and started writing again. It’s a very sensitive subject because every single person sees this differently and one person won’t care but the other one will be hurt so I don’t want any insults.
When I go to a playground I watch other parents, how they treat their kids and how the kids react. You know what’s one of the most common people’s problem? Not the most common but one of them. That kids don’t look good, that they got dirty, they have messy hair, pants have stains, bracelet fell off and that bow in hair isn’t straight and it’s not in a place it should be. And in a few years these parents will be surprised that this same girl who then heard that she needs to be pretty, clean and smell good now doesn’t like how she looks, wants to lose weight or isn’t able to go out with no make up on. Hardly anyone realize that it’s caused not only by media and perfect models on billboards but by parents too. I don’t remember things like this from my childhood. I remember that when I was 19 I heard that I wear dresses that are “too short” and other things like that but when I was a kid nobody cared if I got myself dirty with a sand, if I had hair done while going to hang out with friends or if my clothes match. And now it’s like a plague! Yes, I like putting nice clothes on April sometimes but I really don’t care if she looks perfect or not. I want her to be happy and if she has a great time with a hole in pants I’ll let her do that instead of taking her home to change.
Note that just a few people are really happy with the way they look. There’s always something wrong, too big or too small nose, too straight or too curly hair, too big or too small butt… And it’s all based on some weird standards set by companies sold make up stuff, all those awesome girls in Instagram showing their “ideal” bodies or by a need to be liked by men. You know, who would by a concealer if they didn’t see problems with their face. So on advertisements you see those perfect women putting make up on those perfect facet and then they look even more perfect. Not even mentioning videos on YouTube in which you hear things like “of course we want to hide this pimple, those freckles” or “because we all want to be attractive to men”… And this average girl with tiny scars after acne and a few freckles stays at home and tests new and new make up products crying because none of them is good enough to cover whatever it is that “should” be covered.
This is just one thing. Second one is people. Not only parents but also teachers, friends, strangers. I’m sure that all of you at least once heard some negative comment about how you look. And, like I already said, some won’t care but others will be stuck with it for a long time.
You have no idea how bad I felt in my own body for most of my life. There was always something wrong! Starting with problems with my face (terrible acne), then me being embarrassed about my feet, I hated my boobs, I didn’t like my belly, I hated my height, I thought my teeth were yellow and not straight. I suppose there was more but I don’t know now. This didn’t come by itself and I really don’t believe that anyone can start thinking this way about themselves just like this. It’s impossible! And it’s really hard to live like this because you can’t even feel comfortable wherever you go. You have this feeling that “everybody stares” and when someone looks at you it means there’s something not right. I didn’t think that maybe they like how I look, no. Rather I guessed that either I have something on my face or this person thinks I’m ugly. Honestly, here in the States I started feeling really well. I started wearing high heels, putting red lipstick on and I wear bikini on the beach. Small things but they mean a lot because, for example, red lips get others attention so you need to feel okay to risk. And it really doesn’t matter if my nose is smaller or bigger than that model’s on the photo or if my belly is bigger than this “beach body”. It’s my nose, my belly, my hair, my legs and I feel good with them. Even with a shoe size of 41/42 (10/10.5) that is some shoes look like kayaks ;). Two years ago I’d laugh out loud if someone told me that I’d have a photoshoot that you see in this post. And I did. And it was really cool. Amazing feeling, I really recommend it to everyone and it doesn’t matter if you have 15 kg “too much” or “not enough” because you’ll feel like worthy, beautiful, sexy women. If you live in Atlanta area go to Meagan O Photography who took these photographs for me, I’ll definitely go back to her in the future.
I think that I shouldn’t be surprised anymore but I still get surprised by this unrestrained desire to hurt others that some can’t get rid of. And I’m one of the examples because recently I’ve been getting a lot of comments about how I look. Some were insulting me, others told me I’m emaciated, gross and so on. When I responded to one of them and said yes I understand you don’t like how I look but I don’t have any need to look the way others expect me to someone else responded to me that it’s not about liking or not but about the fact that it’s not healthy. So they try to persuade me not only that I look terrible but also that I’m not healthy :).
I’m just one of the examples and where’s the rest! How many people hear that they’re too fat, eat too much, that they should stop eating because they’re gross and so on. This is terrible. Really, I feel very uncomfortable when I hear things like this to others not only because there are other ways of expressing what you want to share but also because we don’t know others’ stories. You don’t know if that obese woman who just had a baby weighs so much because she kept eating all the time or maybe she was really sick and took medicines that boosted her appetite a lot? You don’t know but it’s easy to judge. Let me copy one of the comments I received a few days ago.
I heard a lot of negative comments about my appearance. It was mostly about my weight. I have a neurosis and episodes of depression. The symptoms are an eating phobia. The effect is that I loose weight drastically and it’s a miracle if I eat a few spoons of soup. When I was exhausted by this constant fear, panic attacks, not eating and depression and I hear things like “you’re skinny as a sketch”, “you look like a corpse and you need to eat because you’ll die” and so on, it’s not motivating… They increased depression, I would close myself even more and I really avoided all the family meet ups because each time I heard them. Those hurting and sticking to my memory comments…
Tons of people think that they have this strange right to insult others just because. If I don’t like the way someone looks I can tell her that she looks like a dead person or, on the contrary, she’s fat as a pig. Not paying attention to how this person feels and how much I cross her boundaries instead of staying in mine. I don’t like setting norms, saying what people should or shouldn’t but in this case I think that nobody has a right to cross others’ boundaries.
If you have this strong reaction when you look at an obese person and you can’t stop yourself say “hey, you know, I have a problem with looking at you because I don’t really understand how it’s possible that you feel comfortable in your body” or “I don’t feel comfortable standing by you because of how you look”. Will it hurt that person? Probably yes but at the same time you’ll at least stick to your own emotions instead of persuading that person that she should stop eating. No, I don’t like all the people I see. It happens sometimes that I have strong reactions, I often don’t like how someone else looks, I sometimes even feel disgusted but I never have this need to insult this person, ever. The only thing that I sometimes feel like saying is “and you’re fat” when someone tells me that I’m skinny because when I hear “you’re so tall” I say either “I know” or “and you’re so short” :).
And you know what I think? I think that people commenting others this way do it mostly because they’re impressed by the fact that someone can feel so comfortable in their own skin while they have no idea how it is to feel well. The other thing is that if all of you writing or saying things like this felt well, didn’t have problems with yourself and was generally happy with your life you wouldn’t have the smallest need to hurt others. Because an undeniable fact is that you enjoy sitting by your computer and writing things that are supposed to hurt others knowing that you would never tell anyone anything like this. And I feel sorry for you because being in a situation like this must be terrible and the fact that you can’t manage this any other way is even worse. You’re not bad people, you’re not boors or anything like that. You’re people who talk like this because this is how you look for a way to help yourself.
You know, appearance isn’t the most important thing in life but if we have a problem with it other things will follow. It’s a good idea to handle it. Remember that you can meet someone like me or some of my friends who feel very good with ourselves and things like that won’t change a thing or someone like that person from the comment I pasted above who will get depressed. Other ways to get rid of problems like this are much more complicated and difficult to go through but they give better results and don’t hurt others. It’s a good idea to consider this.
I’ll see you next time,
PS. It all applies to men too :).
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