Allow me to be bold and step forward into the spotlight. Bare my self, if you will, in order to show you that you--yes, you--are not alone in this world. Everyone is different, of course. We've been told that from birth. Everyone is different, and yet we all strive to be the same. Wear the same clothes (leggings and mini skirts, anyone?), cut our hair the same (did anyone but Jennifer Aniston look good with the Aniston layers?), even think the same. And yet, we, as human beings don't actually work that way. We think differently, we feel differently, and we look differently.
It's this that I want to point out right now, this push to be the same when we're all different. I, like so many of you, have tried for years to fit in. I've worn clothes that didn't look good on me because they were popular. I permed my hair when it didn't really need a perm just because everyone else was getting a perm. I watched movies and television shows, listened to music, and read books because society and the media said I should. Probably my worst offense against myself, though, was hating my body and myself because I didn't look the way everyone told me I should look. I wasn't a 5'6 whisp of nothing that could fit through prison bars just by turning sideways. I have never been a whisp of nothing. Even when I was a little girl, before puberty sent my body into a steady weight increase, I wasn't that thin.
And that's okay. I have hips. I have boobs. I am tall. I have legs that go on for days. I have a tiny waist (comparatively speaking), bestowing me with an hour glass figure. I have blue eyes, freckles, curly hair that frizzes if you look at it wrong, short nails, scars, bruises, and bug bites. I weigh more than is healthy, yes. Do I want to fix that? Yes. But even if I never do, I am okay with that. Because I love me. Every imperfect inch of myself. And that, society, is what beauty really is. It's not starving yourself so that every rib is countable. It's not wearing that particular brand of "jeggings". It's not wearing L'Oreal lipstick, D&G sunglasses, or having those perfect sideswept bangs.
It's loving yourself for who you are, imperfections, differences, and all.
This is one of the reasons why you are not alone. You are not alone in being different, you are not alone in being comfortable in your skin, and you are not alone in being frustrated with the status quo being what it is. you're not even alone in finding yourself playing the comparison game.
Yes, that one. You know the one I'm talking about. I do it, too. The game where you're out in public, and you see someone grossly overweight, and before you even realize what you're doing, you start comparing yourself to them. Your walk to their walk. Your stomach to their stomach. Your chest to their chest. Your chin to their chin. by the time you're done, you've reassured yourself that you may not look great, but you don't look as bad as all that. And then the guilt hits you. You feel awful for judging this person that way, when you have no idea why they look the way they do. You'd hate it if someone did it to you, and here you are doing it to someone else.
Guess what? Everyone does it. I do it, more frequently than I'd like to admit, but I can at least recognize the reasons behind why it happens. We do it because it makes us feel better. It makes us able to rationalize what we're eating, what exercise we're doing--or not doing--how we feel about ourselves.
And that's okay. I'm not saying it's okay to put other people down to make yourself feel better, of course. That's never okay. I'm saying that it's okay that you rationalize.
I just heard the collective shocked-and-horrified gasp.
No, really. Rationalizing means you're human. It means you're aware of a problem. What you have to do now is be cognizant of what you're doing, why you're doing it and how to fix it. Fixing it is the biggest part, because without that, you'll be stuck in the same vicious cycle of weight gain/loss that you've always been stuck in, whether it's five pounds, fifty, or five hundred.
See, I, and the others around here, am all about developing a healthier mindset. With a healthier mindset comes a healthier way of living, and, eventually, a healthier body. It's all tied together, and in order to fix it, you have to break the cycle perpetrated by the media, society, friends, and family. Most importantly, though, you have to break the cycle perpetrated by you.
So go look in the mirror. Don't shy away. Sure, you're flawed. We all are. But go look. Look at the parts of yourself that you usually avoid. Study them. Why do you avoid them? Because you think they're ugly? Why do you think that? What makes them ugly in your eyes? Look closely. Find something good. I'll start.
I dislike my belly. It hangs, jiggles, and makes me look as though I'm four or five months pregnant if I wear the wrong style shirt. BUT. This belly is the result of carrying another life inside of myself. Without him, I would not look like this, and without this body, I wouldn't have him.
Need another one? All right, how about... My cheeks have always been chubby. Always. Chipmunks look at me and get jealous. But those cheeks are the gorgeous apples that lead into some stunning cheekbones, and accentuate my overall facial structure. Without such full cheeks, my face would look odd and slightly disproportioned. I love my cheeks.
Now you do it. Go find something that you usually dislike and avoid, and find something good about it. I guarantee you'll be able to find something. Come back and share it in the comments if you're brave, and together, we'll celebrate our differences and our flaws, the things that make us gorgeous.