It’s always driven me nuts that the first thing most people judge you on in this world is your looks and appearance.
“You look like you’ve lost weight!” Or rather, *stark silence after an up down full body stare is done on your body by a relative and you’re already feeling a little bloated.*
It’s exhausting, right? To constantly feel like we have to keep up with a certain appearance, impress our families and peers, men, and live up to whatever the expectation is that day- whether it’s in our heads or someone else’s.
I am someone who has gained, lost, gained back, lost more, etc. my entire life. But how it affects my mood or my thoughts is actually a day to day thing I have to think about and manage. If I’m feeling bloated one day, is my entire day ruined? If someone doesn’t say I look good after giving my body a nice scan, am I annoyed? If someone tells me I look great, does my mood skyrocket?
If you’re not shaking your heads “yes” to any of the above, ignore me. I have had body image issues my whole life so maybe I’m just an extreme example. But I was hoping that opening up about this would resonate with *someone* out there.
And that fact is we don’t need to rely on our bodies and our looks for our self worth, and if we catch ourselves doing it, we need to stop and remember the qualities about ourselves that have absolutely nothing to do with our weight or looks. Remember how you worked so hard for something and achieved it? Or when you did a really nice thing for someone because you’re a great person? Just a few examples, but these are things we need to be leaning on when those negative body image thoughts creep into our heads.
I am actually writing a book as we speak (which some of you may know), and I’m so excited to share some of the experiences/realizations I’ve come to through my novel. Like, so excited. But for now, I’ll share one recent story from a date I went on that put things into perspective for me a bit (and slightly inspired this post to finally be written).
I went on my first date in New York last week and it was super fun. Without getting into details, I could tell this guy was super into me and I was excited. I was into him too, the chemistry was there, and we just hit it off. Throughout the night he was frequently complimenting my looks. He told me I was “more beautiful in person” and called me “sexy” a few times and let me tell you, I was eating it up. But when the next step (aka setting a new date up) didn’t exactly go as I planned, I backtracked and started to think negatively. I thought, “Did I do something wrong?” And it occurred to me that he didn’t even really know me. Like at all haha. While it was upsetting to not get what I wanted out of it, it made me learn so much (even though it’s one date, I know). I was so excited about the possibilities of this guy, but in reality, he doesn’t even know the real me. I was totally leaning on the fact that he was attracted to me and hanging on to those thoughts, even though as I mentioned earlier in this post, I should be leaning on the other things about me (that he doesn’t even really know yet). I checked myself, and I learned.
And it inspired this post because, after a quick time spent in the dumps I remembered, I am a catch and this is not going to make me think otherwise. And another thing it made me realize, hence this post, is to stop relying so much on how people think we look or appear. I am so much more than that, and so are you.