just call me seven

This is what beautiful looks like.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this subject lately… so many women have issues with their bodies, myself included. And you girls all know all the usual suspects… billboards, magazines, movies, television, romance novels (would you really want a heaving bosom anyway? I don’t get that.) and the like. I love this Dove commercial that’s been floating around on YouTube, because it displays an important truth: Advertisements lie to women. They say that you have to be This Thin and have beautiful flowing hair and sultry, smoky eyes and full, pouty lips and be a 32D… but most people don’t look like that! It’s telling that models even have to be Photoshopped, because they’re not good enough! Girls, why are we buying this lie? It sucks.

I read in a book recently that you can’t give what you don’t have. We’re taught that loving ourselves is just vanity and pride, but can you really love other people if you don’t know how to love yourself? Even the Bible says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18) So if that’s the case, obviously we are to love ourselves. Otherwise we’ll go around saying, “You’re fat, and you’re ugly, and whoa! Look at that bird’s nest of hair. Looks like you could use a shower. You’re a lazy bum, and you’ll never amount to anything. You can never do anything right… you always just screw everything up.”

I want to kick that habit, so that someday when I have children, they won’t grow up thinking poisonous thoughts about themselves that will only cause them hurt and not growth. So I stole this idea from Trudi Evans via Big Fat Deal: I wrote on my bathroom mirror, “This is what beautiful looks like.” I had to take it a step further, because that’s how I roll, and I put an arrow pointing to the place where my face is in the mirror, just to emphasize the point.


That’s me, in all my unwashed glory. I am who I am; I look like this sometimes. Sometimes I look better, sometimes I look worse, but dangit… that’s me. I have pretty eyes, and my laugh is infectious (not in the bad way). My hair is cute, even after 4 days with no shower. It’s a little greasy, but it’s still cute. I have cute toes. I have graceful hands. I have a sparkly little nose ring and an upper cartilage piercing, and four normal earlobe piercings. I wear a ring I made myself, by tying silver wire in a knot. I can carry a tune, and someone told me once I sound like Jennifer Knapp, and sometimes I do… sometimes I sound like Sarah Kelly, and sometimes I sound like JJ Heller, and I can imitate Sarah McLachlan pretty decently too. I have a mole on my left cheek that mirrors the one my dad has on his right cheek. I smell good, even unshowered, because of my love affair with things that smell good. My skin is really soft, except on my feet, but whose feet are soft anyway? They’re for walking, and that’s what they do. And besides, my toes are cute.

Have you ever seen The Kid? The premise is that the main character’s 8-year-old self time travels to the future. He’s chubby and sort of a dweeb, and he’s clumsy and has a lateral lisp. And he always seems to be doing something weird, but he’s really sweet and endearing and funny. And Bruce Willis’ character can’t stop yelling at him and telling him that he’s a loser (because that’s how he sees himself). And every time I watch it I hate to see him yelling at his little self, but that’s exactly what I do to my own little self every single day. At the end-ish of the movie, there’s a scene where he hugs his little self and comforts him, and I think we all maybe need some of that. I love that movie! I’m pretty sure I could watch it every day. Which is now possible, because The Married One and The BFF gave it to me for my birthday! Woot. I love those peeps.

I have no thrilling conclusion, other than to say that I’m trying to learn how to love myself, flaws and all, so that I can learn to love other people too. And, on a more selfish level, so that I can stop being so stinking depressed by my usual lame outlook on my life, which is that I’m ugly and dumb and I suck at being a person. So I raise my hands to the sky and scream along with Bruce Willis: I AM NOT A LOSER!