This blog is a collection of a young woman's random thoughts, many tangents, and occasional
short stories and novel excerpts. Stay tuned for plenty of bull and brief moments of brilliance.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Accepting What the Mirror Spits Back

Turns out, my "brother's" laptop (pretty sure it's the family one but he insists that I am misinformed) is sitting around fairly often so I may still be able to post regularly until the first couple weeks of school.

I was thinking today while cleaning the kitchen cabinets about girls and the dreaded identity crisis (I would talk about boys but since I have a female brain and interact with them more regularly, I will focus on the she). From a young age I remember being told daily by my mother how beautiful and special I was, but quickly learned that it was only okay when someone else said it to you; you yourself were not supposed to run around proclaiming your awesomeness to the world. Never understanding this social grace but wanting to conform to it, I made and still do make an effort to compliment friends, family, and strangers.

Sometimes people think I'm lying or am seeking a compliment in return, but in reality I simply like pointing out people's strong points. Seriously, how awesome do you feel when your dad notices your new dress, when your friend tells you how funny you are, or when a random guy at the bookstore tells you you're hot? The best. We seek constant praise but seem incapable of praising ourselves.

Where, I wonder, along the way did it become not okay to love who you are? There are a nauseating number of books, blogs, magazine articles, and movies about this issue, but are they really? The movies portray people changing and then becoming accepted. The articles feel unrealistic with the proclamation what you're unique...just like everyone else. We tell children they can be whoever they want as long as they try, but as they grow older we tell them how to change.

I have always been bothered by the obsession with tanning beyond the fact that it is horrible for your skin. Tanning lotions and spray tans aren't much better since they are still perpetuating the idea that darkened skin is healthy and that those that do tan are a symbol of great skin care. I have obnoxiously pale skin and embrace it.

Why do I never see celebrities or movie stars with glasses? I got glasses in 8th grade and have never had the desire to wear contacts or get eye surgery. My mom got it and suggested I do the same some day, but why change that? I think glasses can be sexy if worn with confidence. I wish people with eye problems would embrace their spectacles.

I hate on myself all the time like many other girls I know and the worst part of these negative comments we tell ourselves is that we are counteracting any praise others show us.

"Who cares if you're a size five? Your stomach looks like shit."
"You see that pimple? Everyone else can."
"That girl over there is so much hotter than you. No wonder you're single."
"Why do you talk so much? Just shut up."
"You annoy everyone with your constant perkiness, just calm down!"
"You just don't have 'it' and that's why boys ignore you."

See?! No matter how many times my dad, stepmom, friends, sister, or anyone tells me good things about myself, these comments manage to weasel their way in. Yet what about the things I like about myself? Is it okay to like my personality and how I look, or is that conceited?

When I was thirteen and in the darkest years of my depression, I remember making myself say three positive things about me on the way to school, physical and personality wise. If all you girls out there could try this now and again when you're feeling down, I can promise it'll make a difference. I don't know any magical cure to make those pestering negatives go away, but I do know how to fight back. Let me try for today:
"You have an adorable dimple on your right cheek when you smile."
"You have great legs."
"You may be little, but you're fun-sized."
"You're hilarious; listen when people tell you that you're funny."
"You're a good writer and you know it. Own that."
"You are smart and you are worth it."

So there you have it, my positives for today. Hopefully anyone who reads this can try doing the same for themselves. Don't let fucked up people tell you that you're less that amazing, because everyone is beautiful in their own way.

And I promise you, that is not bullshit.

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