Every once in awhile I have one of those days where I look in the mirror and say, “yuck.” I stand in front of my reflection and notice that there’s a blemish on my cheek, my eyebrows are doing their best caterpillar impersonations, my hair looks lifeless or a combination of all three and then some. I feel like I should be living under a bridge of some sort and that I better grab a brown paper bag to put over my head before subjecting society to my grisly appearance.
I’m sure that I’m not alone when I say that I have days where I feel less than flawless. But in more recent years, I’ve started to feel this way more often than not. I find more things that I dislike about my physical appearance than things that I do. My nose, my hair, my breasts, my ass. I knew something was wrong when I found myself thinking aloud in the shower about how I would consider purging after meals if I didn’t know the harmful health effects it has and that I just hate throwing up.
We live in a time where there’s always a camera in someone’s hand, and our peers are at the ready to examine, dissect, critique, double tap and retweet the images that appear on our screens. “Post Bad Whatever” pages, light skin vs dark skin debates, weave and natural hair slander are inescapable. And to be honest, I am guilty of participating in these social networking rituals from time to time. My own grandmother has said she’s afraid I won’t find a man because everyone seems to go after girls with lighter complexions and longer hair.
Female members of my family and friends tell me I’m beautiful but when the world sets a standard that has been shoved in your face since childhood, of course the road to self esteem isn’t easily traveled. When your own older brothers say that women with big butts and long curly hair are the only kinda of women worth talking to, it kind of hurts to know you don’t have these things. If every guy thinks like that, then I’m certain to spend my life alone.
I don’t have BeyoncĂ©’s hips or J. Lo’s ass. My bone structure isn’t built for me to have a Rihanna figure. And because of these facts, I’m afraid to wear anything smaller than a large despite everyone insisting that I don’t need to wear that big of a size. I hide underneath my baggy clothes and pretend that my love of sweats is solely based on laziness and comfort (it’s 80% true though).
Of course a person that is guilty of her own form of shallowness has her own insecurities about herself. The two fit together like peas and carrots. But it doesn’t make them feel any less painful when I acknowledge that I have a distorted view of others as well as a distorted view of myself. I don’t want to think of myself as inadequate. I’m tired of having more yucky days than yummy ones. Wishing to look like anybody else besides myself isn’t healthy. But how do I stop?


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