Sometimes before I hop into the shower, I catch my image in the mirror. Some days, I'll spend a little time staring back at myself. I take stock of each facial feature, of how lines and curves fall, of each coloring and shadow. I marvel at how different I look than the girl bouncing around high school, yet I still see features of 5 year old me.
Some days, I love looking in the mirror.
Some days, I despise it.
Because like every other woman in the world, my eyes are drawn to all of the attributes I deem as "wrong" or "undesirable" or "to be fixed." The dent at the curve of my nose. The hair that grows on my cheek. The asymmetry of my eyes. How my ears stick out ever so slightly. The grey hair inhabiting my mane. The acne that visits my shoulders every so often. The flesh on the back of my upper arms.
We all have these lists.
I think we need to throw them away.
I've started doing this, slowly over time, due to several big realizations. The first being that my list is all but invisible to other people. Have you ever realized this? Get a group of women together, and it's inevitable that body-griping will enter the conversation. They'll rattle off a list just like the list I shared above. And I listen to them, searching their face, their body, for the issues they mention. And never do I ever find them. Other people don't see the seemingly glaring "problems" we see about ourselves. And just like my above list most likely seemed nonsensical to you, so do your lists seem to others.
My second reason for throwing away My Gripe List is my daughters. When I look in the mirror, there are always two sets of eyes peering along with me, taking in every brow I furrow and detrimental word I utter. I want to be a good example of positive body image and self esteem to my girls. Lauryn shares some of these sentiments on her blog, The Vintage Mom. How we treat ourselves truly impacts not only how our children see us, but how they see themselves.
Lastly, I want to take a more positive perspective on my beauty for me. I found it so exhausting spending time scrutinizing and agonizing over the image I see in the mirror. It made my weary to feel bad every time I checked my hair or glancing at myself before stepping in the shower. I decided I want to feel good about what I see, who I am. Because guess what: the only person feeling bad about the person in the mirror was me.
So I continue to spend time looking at myself in the mirror. And instead of focusing on the divot on my nose, I consider my full lips. The graceful curve of my collarbone. The creamy brown hue of my eyes. I try to see myself the way others see me: in my entirety, not as all the individual (admittedly sometimes flawed) pieces of a whole.
I want to own my own beauty.
And I want you to own yours.
You, friend, are beautiful. I know some days you may not believe it. I know you avoid the mirror or cringe over this or that part of yourself. But you need to know that the rest of the world doesn't see those things.
So please take this challenge: spend a little time every day looking in the mirror. Angle your head in different ways, make different faces. And find 3 things you love about the way you look.
I want you to take a Selfie. I know, so middle school. But take a selfie and share it on the CSHM Facebook Wall tomorrow, along with 3 things you love about what you see when you look in the mirror. Hashtag: #BeautifulMe
I can't wait to bask in the beauty.
|I love: My smile, the shape my eyes take when I grin, the curve of my nose.|