Worth. Perception. Validation.

Let’s be honest… I do not see me the way my mom does. She says that I’m beautiful and calls me “Princess.” Doesn’t everyone’s mom say similar things? Does anyone actually feel the way that their mothers say they are? Or is it just me?

For a long time now, I have hidden the fact that I am unhappy with my outward appearance. I have only truly expressed this to my mom. But there isn’t much that she can do, except for continuing to tell me that she thinks I am pretty and that she loves me. But there is still my mind, and it won’t allow me to feel the way my mom says I am.

The way that I look in the mirror has impacted every single aspect of my life. Every time I take a bite, I think of the saying “a moment on the lips, forever on the hips” and every time I have to get dressed in the morning I put on stretchy leggings so that I don’t have to shimmy into another pair of jeans that is just a bit too tight. Every time I look in the mirror, I wonder how I got this way.

Now, some people are super confident in how they look, even if they aren’t models or celebrities who are shown in the media. That is such a wonderful thing… But let me tell you, the media and the way that I have been exposed to “skinny” as the only way to be pretty… that’s hard on the mind. That makes it hard to convince oneself that they are as worth it as any Covergirl.

My perception of others is never about the way they look. It’s always about how they treat other people and their attitude toward me and the world. I don’t know why I picture other people judging me based on the way I look; I don’t think that poorly of the world. It’s just the not-so-little voice in the back of my head doesn’t want me to perceive myself in a positive light. So, what’s a girl to do?

I know that I am not the first and I’m not the only person to feel this way, yet I still imagine myself as being all alone. That not-so-little voice tells me that my feelings and opinions are not valid because I won’t ever grace the cover of a magazine or walk a runway. The way that my brain associates words and phrases like “out of shape” and “unhealthy” and “fat” and ugly” when I look in the mirror makes me not feel at all human or valid in my humanity. I am not perfect, and that not-so-little voice can’t wait to point it out.

I have tried the fad diets and workout routines. I have never stuck to one. Not a single one. I don’t see the immediate gratification that I am so used to getting in this world, so I shut it down. And I look in the mirror. And I still don’t like what I see. It’s a cycle I haven’t been able to break.

This is a hard topic to write about, even in 2019. Even in a world more accepting than ever before… because even if someone gives me a compliment, I don’t take it seriously. I graciously say “thank you” and I store it in a box that the not-so-little voice never lets me access.

It’s time for a change. It’s time for me to be happy as myself without any weight loss or physical changes. It’s time for me to be real. Open. Honest. This will not be easy. I need to make myself feel better emotionally and mentally and make that not-so-little voice get smaller.

So, what’s a girl to do? Well, this girl is going to start calling her friends and family more often. This girl is going to get a couple veggies at the grocery store this week. This girl is going to go for a walk and get a bit of exercise in. This girl is going to meditate and read her bible and go to therapy. This girl is going to focus on herself and what she needs to be happy. This girl… this girl is going to get it together, one way or another. -Elle

Photo Credit: Caitlyn Grebner

2 thoughts on “Self-image.”

  1. Lauren, the real YOU is not what’s reflected in the mirror. It’s the caring, loving, considerate young lady you are. Hollywood and the Ad agencies are twisting your perception. When I look in the mirror I wish a younger 130 pound lady was looking back. Well, babe, that’s not the case. Just be kind to yourself and others, do your homework, eat a carrot, and take a walk. Yack on the phone. You are doing fine.

    Liked by 1 person

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