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"Mens sana in corpore sano."
Look at some of the sayings in day to day life, and see how obsessed our language is with measurement:
- carrying the weight of the world
- size matters
- fattening you up
- worth your weight in gold
- bigging something up
- the fat cats of business
- weigh in on an argument
I’ve always been of the opinion that your size shouldn’t dictate how fun you are, how happy you are, or how beautiful you feel.
Of course, it rarely ever works like that, and as a race, we are cruel and judgemental. I am not a slender build, but I carry myself well enough, and having spent the last two years trying to take control of myself and improve my overall health, I know that I’m still in no position to dictate what it is I should find attractive in others. But I have my preferences. Everybody does, right? And mine are the complete opposite of myself. Why?
Because it’s everything I’m not.
Every once in a while, I let myself be convinced that the kind of person I find most attractive could find someone like me attractive. It’s not a denigrating statement; it’s merely a fact I’ve observed over time: a ratio of statistical findings, if you will. But then there are the times that someone I consider out of my league comes along and they do like me, and I become comfortable enough not to change because I’m attractive enough for them.
But that’s just not good enough.
I shouldn’t ever have settled for being good enough for someone else’s standards, because I was never good enough for my own. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve ever looked in the mirror and thought I’d totally go for that that, but there are moments. There are those golden moments of thinking such a crazy little idea, and they count. They make me smile. They make me carry on trying to chisel out the girl underneath. But for the most part? I wouldn’t be attracted to someone me in a million years.
It’s not to say that I’m purely based on the looks, although they are a big factor. It’s hypocritical, but I admit that it completely incurs my wrath and all hell’s fire when someone alludes to the fact that they are picky and selective about what they find attractive. It’s not because I don’t do it myself, but it’s because I already know that I’ve forced myself to see beyond the skin a number of times in order to find the true beauty underneath: because it’s what I need people to do for me.
I’ve written maybe once ever about the journey I’m on in terms of real-life, adult, “lose weight or you’re going to die” shit, and it doesn’t do it for me. I don’t want to go to the support groups and share my successes and failures. I don’t want people to comment “Don’t you look good! Have you lost weight?”
Because inside, I’ve been that girl all along. You just couldn’t see her in my shadow.
I’m never going to be the next top model, and truth be told, I wouldn’t want to be. I’m a girl who likes her salad with dressing as much as she likes her potatoes in a jacket, a girl who likes her fresh fruit as much as her chocolate chip muffins. My former boss once said the famous quote of ”Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” and I changed my opinion of her then. Clearly, she has never tried a jalapeno cheeseburger. Of course, she hasn’t; she doesn’t eat meat or carbs. I joke sometimes that people like that aren’t to be trusted. I’ve tried the fad diets, and they just make me even more miserable than still being in triple digits.
I faced a hard truth some months ago that should have both crippled and strengthened me. I forgot about it until tonight, and even sat here writing, I’m unsure why it hurts so much to have been reminded of it.
Some people may glimpse your inner beauty, but they still won’t want you, and that should be okay. They should be fine to live like that if they want to. It’s all the more for those who don’t have a blinkered view, right? But it’s not okay, and that's not for the reasons everyone subscribes to. It’s because them not digging down and pulling out the core just builds up another layer of dirt on what’s hidden beneath an exterior.
It’s not that everyone is beautiful; it’s that everyone should have chance to show if they are. I don’t find many types attractive, and those I do I’ve never had fall for me. But sometimes, you question your inner beauty enough that it becomes your inner ugly, and feeds the demon of your outer ugly, too.
There’s no reason a girl or a guy shouldn’t have an issue with their thighs, or their butt, or their belly. Everyone should have something they’d change about themselves because it’s human nature to be dissatisfied, and if there’s nothing at all you’d change about yourself, what must that be like? To consider yourself the perfect being? I’m not saying that those comfortable in their skin are bigots or pig-headed, but who hasn’t reflected on themselves at least once and thought 'I wonder what it’d be like if…’
And it’s not even that I’m dissatisfied with how I’m perceived. I genuinely don’t care all that much about 99.8% of the world population’s opinion of me. It’s just that they’re not seeing the me I see underneath. The me that fights to be seen under the surplus. The excess baggage. The added comfort. I’m not a skinny girl in a fat girl’s body - I’m a girl at odds with the her she sees, and the her the mirror shows her.
But if you were to talk to me — really talk to me — would you find me more attractive? If the body that overshadows me were overshadowed itself with mystery, would you start to build an image more like mine? I remember the days of old, describing myself in a chatroom, and the obligatory "You sound cute." I believed it then, because it felt like me. I am cute. But then the image doesn’t show what I’m trying to, and suddenly I’m not cute anymore — I’m the perception the world has instead, and you become jaded by it. So I become jaded by it.
The camera lies, everybody knows that.
What you see isn’t who I am.
Because the body is only a vessel.
I just ordered mine a few sizes too big.
The Girl Who Fits Twice In My Jeans