Saw a piece on Operation Beautiful on the Today Show a few weeks ago. Thought it was a great idea. Encourage anyone to join the movement.
After posting this, I feel dishonest without at least including a bit about my own negative self-talk and fat talk. As someone who most people see as beautiful (or at least that’s what they tell me) I feel insecure about expressing my struggles with my appearance. If I dare to criticize my looks in public I’m usually harshly chastised (by women whom I consider much more beautiful than I, but who seem to have the right to criticize themselves). But as they saying goes, we’re all our worst critics, and regardless of what others think or say, I am mine.
I see my flaws magnified- I pick on my big head, my frizzy hair, or my white and blotchy skin. I have days where I seem to see myself fairly accurately, and I have days where I could swear I’m the fattest, ugliest person on the planet.
I really want someone or something to blame for this- magazines, movies, or–my favorite–MEN. And I do believe that these societal forces influence how we see ourselves. But as with so many thing in life, I would do best to start by looking inside myself. What is it in me that refuses to believe that I could be beautiful? What is it in me that cannot rest in my Father’s unique creation? What is it in me that is much more comfortable with self-loathing than self-esteem?
I haven’t quite figured out the answers to all these questions but I think it has something to do with fear- fear that if there is something beautiful in me, or about me, it will draw people near me. Yet again, it comes down to vulnerability. If I’m beautiful, can I be vulnerable enough to share that beauty with others? The self-loathing I feel is repulsive to others, but confidence is desirable, is attractive.
Embracing my beauty requires more of my heart. Embracing my beauty means letting the love of others in. Embracing my beauty may be the bravest thing I ever do.
For more information on Operation Beautiful: http://operationbeautiful.com/