I saw a friend the other day and at some point, we were both making deprecating comments about our bodies and as I listened to what she was saying, I was shocked how most of us, at least women, do not see ourselves as we actually are. My friend is beautiful in and out. She’s aging just as most of us pray we will, staying trim and healthy, full of energy, and she’s so kind and giving. I was thinking about our conversation that day and today I wrote her this text:
“I just wanted you to know that I completely understand how you feel about yourself because as I mentioned the other day, I’m exactly the same. In a way, being single takes a tiny bit of pressure off because I don’t feel I have to be this perfect imperfect specimen all the time. However, I also feel as I age, who is going to want this imperfect person? Society puts a lot of pressure on us and it’s hard to age with dignity. My pressure goes back to my parents when my dad would say, ‘You’re no beauty, but there’s something about you.’ And my mom would say, ‘You’re so skinny and delicate,” meaning fragile. It has been exhausting proving my whole life how strong I am and using my personality to be the main attraction for the men who have been in my life. It’s always been about pleasing others and making sure I was everything plus more in order to get their validation because without it, I couldn’t validate myself. The reason I’m telling you all this is to try to get you to see how beautiful you are inside and out and how damaging we are to ourselves by not acknowledging that. Beauty starts from inside and you’ve mastered that. Outside is just our gift wrap and yours is high end expensive, not dollar store. I’m sure your husband feels lucky every single day. There’s no denying we’re getting older, but we both need to ease up on ourselves and be less critical. I hope I can learn to follow my own advice as it’s been a struggle for sure.”
So I ask myself, what does it matter if my tummy isn’t perfectly flat or my butt isn’t perfectly round? Does my family care? No. Do my friends care? No. Not even the imperfect men I’ve been involved with care, so why do I?
I’m so sick of the ridiculous standards placed upon us that force us to feel we’re not enough. (I sound like the Barbie movie now, lol.) In fact, I started watching the Grammy Awards the other night and after seeing a couple of the “perfect” people, I shut it off. I think I found a positive direction toward healing. Remove myself from any situation that makes me feel bad.
My friend wrote me back and said, “We both need to look in the mirror every day and start with a smile . . .” She also said, “We are both wrapped in gold . . .”
I loved that. Her words are for all of us.