At BlogHer, I watch numbers of women strut around with the most incredible amount of confidence and positivity. It was an experience to watch so many different women from varying facets of life come together, be so different, and still illuminate the room with the uniqueness of their personality. It was an inspiring experience to watch so many woman be so body positive with themselves and each other.
Each morning I’d wake up, and stumble to the hotel bathroom. I’d curse my face for it’s blemishes, my hair for being so wiry, and my flat iron for not taming it just the way I wanted. From there I would scan my own body and wonder if everyone, all those amazing women saw my body the same way I did- did they see the lumps, the bumps and the curves I ashamedly detest? Would they judge me for them the way I judge myself for all of those physical flaws? Or do they, unlike me, see through them, and see a woman who has much to offer the world?
During the round of BlogHer speed dating, I had a blogger, one that I admire, tell me that I was incredibly warm, and friendly. Something that I was, surprisingly shocked by. Why? I know that I love to meet people, even when it’s nerve wracking for me. I know that I love smiling at strangers, and doing kind, thoughtful things for others, so where did I lose that vision of myself?
I lose it every morning when I stand in the mirror and judge myself physically. Instead of focusing inward, I focus on my stretch mark, my stomach that’s just a tad too big for my liking. I see everything about myself that I detest instead of greeting myself with that same smile that I use for the strangers I see in the streets. I spend time with myself only doling out the harshest criticisms, and acting as though I am worth nothing more than the number in the back of my pants.
Recently, my mother commented on the tattoo I have on my left forearm, and told me that she didn’t realize that it wasn’t my children because the girl in the picture was simply too “small” to be me. Yes, she was implying that I was fat. Instead of acknowledging her brutish comment, I ignored it, feeling small, and hoping the situation would dissipate before the stinging tears made an entrance. This is a small piece of the atmosphere in my childhood growing up. I was taught, through my own mother, media, and many other sources that the world views me as the fat girl. Even when I wasn’t that. Pay no attention to her talent, or her other beauty, she’s just a girl who has extra skin and lining around her middle, which opens her up to criticism and insults.
That is how I believe the world sees me. I believe they can’t see anything else but the very imperfections that stack up on me physically. I believe that my personality, however funny, kind and sweet, is overshadowed by the fact that I am not able to get into regular clothes like the other girls.
Yet, there are women, the ones I watched this weekend. The ones who walked around with their oozing creativity and confidence, the ones who inspired me to focus on what is in my soul, in my heart, an project that into the world. It’s cliche, but you really have to love the body you have right now. It’s all I have, and it’s so made up of so much more than just what is seen by the naked eye. Even, my own naked eye.
Confidence starts every day, when you look in that mirror, when you decide what you will tell yourself you see.