April 22, 2015
Tonight I emerged from the shower and looked in the mirror for the first time in a while. Fog rendered my face blurred, but I my body was in full view. I averted my eyes out of habit. Then I forced them to look again.
“I love myself,” I murmured, barely a whisper. My eyes slid down my nude frame, covered in beads of water, and my stomach churned.
Ugly, my mind whispered.
“I love myself,” I repeated, banishing the thoughts.
The rolls of flesh above my hips, the slight roll of my stomach, and the size of my upper arms stood out, stark reminders of my unfortunate makeup.
Fat, my mind spat.
“I love myself.”
There’s nothing to love here. Not one bit of you is pretty.
I let my eyes roam and searched desperately for one inch of skin I could take pride in. Just one inch, and I could get rid of my number one tormentor: myself. I twisted, I turned, and finally I sighed and shut my eyes, willing back tears. I wouldn’t cry. I couldn’t cry. Nothing good would come from that.
You’ll never be as beautiful as they are.
As though these were the magic words, I opened my eyes. Maybe I wasn’t beautiful like them. The small and svelte. But did that mean I wasn’t beautiful in my own way? Why was I comparing myself to my peers, my antagonists, anyone who wasn’t me? My thoughts went back to the women I observed daily. Big and small, they all had one thing in common. Confidence. Thick or thin, short or tall, curvy or willowy, they exuded an inner confidence that shone despite their appearance. They loved themselves. They thought they were beautiful. Not beautiful “like them,” beautiful as individuals.
With these thoughts, I opened my mind and pushed away all preconceived notions of beauty. I turned, and twisted, and smiled. Not rolls of fat, but curves. Beautiful spots I’d never noticed. An interesting silhouette. The fog on the mirror dissipated and I turned my attention to my freshly-washed, makeup-free face. I grinned at my reflection, teeth shining bright white and straight without the metal of braces to distract from them. Pulling my hair from its band, I tussled it about on my head and let it cascade over my torso. Another smile. A little twirl. I laughed.
“Yes I am.”
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