Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder but truth can only come from the beheld.
It is astonishing to me how deeply societal beliefs have a hold on my psyche. More specifically, I’m referring to society’s beliefs on beauty. Or perhaps just my perception of society’s beliefs.
Last night, as I was approaching 48 hours without sleep, I passed out on our couch located in the far side of our living room that is located downstairs. I was completely dead to the world. I wasn’t able to be roused to kiss the girls good night, to move upstairs after they went to bed, to eat, to talk, nada. That is until Patrick started carrying me upstairs to bed. Apparently I woke up just enough to make him put me down so I could march myself up to bed across the living room, up two sets of steps, and into our bedroom. Awake enough to get to bed, just not remember doing it. I woke up not remembering how I got there and still don’t.
Why was it my unconscious desire to stop Patrick from carrying me? Because I was too heavy? I am not. Not by a long shot. He’s even carried me around before when I was heavier. Sadly, I am hovering somewhere around (and potentially under) my high school weight of 155. I can’t be sure and am just going by what I feel because we don’t have a scale.
I have now been at all ends of the weight spectrum. From 155 in high school, ballooning up to around 200-210 during college, gradually working my way up to 240 after having Patience and Prudence, finally maxing out at 259.4. Now I’m back down to the 155 range and I feel grossly thin. Consciously, I feel sickly thin yet in a completely uninhibited state, I still felt too big. Wow. Why is that?
I’m 5’8″ and have always been a thick, muscular, and curvy person. In high school, I was one of the taller kids in my class and always felt extremely self conscious, believing I was too tall and too thick. I never really thought I was too fat just that I was all around too big. The problem is you can’t change what you are and so I developed some very deep self esteem issues.
But why? Those flaws are some of what I treasure most about my body now. I may have weighed 259.4 but my 5’8″ frame held that weight remarkably well (I somehow maintained a general hourglass shape) despite the fact I was at least 80 pounds overweight. From seeing my broad shoulders and ribcage to my “ghetto-booty” and always too thick thighs, I now view feminine and shapely curves. Enticing to the eye and soft to the touch.
Life has a way of giving you what you ask for but always with a twist. When I was heavy, I used to dream of getting back down to my high school weight. Now I’m there, a dream shared by so many, and I look nothing like what I want to. But ironically I now mirror exactly what I used to want from my body in high school. I am rail thin with bones sticking out all over the place. But now I see clearly, I am so gross. Not because being skinny is gross or being curvy is better but because it just isn’t right for my body.
My body needs curves otherwise I look sick and starved. I’m beautiful the way I am meant to be. My wild half spiral curl, half loose body wave hair and bushy eyebrows look that comes naturally is just so ME. It’s wild and crazy and is never quite the same two days in a row, so like my emotions. It just works. I can rock straight hair and plucked eyebrows but again it just doesn’t look ‘right’ for me. On and on I could go about my body and how society’s standards just aren’t compatible with it.
So if they aren’t compatible, why am I forcing one on the other? Why do I believe it’s the right way to be? I am a firm believer that everybody is different, so why am I trying to be the same?
My beauty lies in my uniqueness, that special something that only I can bring to the table. It’s what sets me apart. I sometimes fear I lose sight of what makes me so special in my attempt to make other people like me. I lose my attractiveness as I lose my sense of self.
I am told more often now than I have ever been in my life that I am beautiful and I don’t feel that it is because I am skinny. I believe it is likely because I am more aware and giving of my real self, more honest. I think it is next to impossible not to find beauty in truth.