I have a confession to make. I’ve never been completely happy with my appearance. What woman has? (Maybe Tootsie?)
“I’ve never been completely happy”, is actually a mild way of putting it. I’m pretty hard on my reflection. It would make my husband crazy. I’d look in the mirror and go, “Ugh, look at this ponch on my belly. With the stretch marks, it’s like a deflated balloon.” He’d try to reassure me, and I’d just cross-examine him like some vicious defence attorney.
Me: I hate my hair.
Him: What do you mean? You look beautiful.
Me: Are you really looking at my hair?
Him: Of course.
Me: You can’t see all this friz? Admit it, my hair looks frizzy.
I know I’m not alone in this. I’m friends with dozens of beautiful women. Women whose faces are some of the loveliest things I’ve ever seen. I honestly don’t have one unattractive girlfriend. But I can only think of a small handful whom I’ve never heard disparage their own bodies.
And why? Why can’t they see their own beauty, which looks plainly obvious to me? Why can’t I see my own? There are those impossible beauty standards we see in magazines and advertising. But I don’t think it ends there. There seems to be some gene inherent in all womankind that makes us think, “the normal way to feel is to hate my body.” It’s passed from seventh-grader to sixth-grader and mother to daughter. (Not my mum, though. Maybe because she’s so pretty. 😉 Thanks mum!)
So, a couple of years ago, I decided I was going to change the way I think about my body for two reasons. Emma and Sophia. I’ll be damned if I’m going to pass on my self-loathing to my daughters.
I started off just trying my best to refrain from making negative comments about myself in front of them. And let me tell you, it hasn’t been easy. If they’re awake, they’re listening to me. (Well, not listening per se, but they’re hearing me, anyway.) They could be chasing each other around the house or completely absorbed in their favourite book, but if I even mutter something under my breath, they’ll go, “What did you…