Thursday, May 26, 2011

Self-Esteem in a Media Crazed World

Here, in my little corner of the Interwebs, I am finally getting kinda comfortable.  I recently have started with my What I Wore posts, which are new and exciting for me.  I never used to think about those kinds of things... what I am wearing... how I look.  My new job requires me to dress in "business casual", but as my boss put it "dress as you usually do and you'll be fine."  I thought about that for a moment.  I had previously been working from home, where I wore my glamourous PJs and Bear's old shirts... surely she meant the last time I worked for her with that comment!  I only own a few nice pieces of clothing that I would wear to work, so I am going to have to be creative.  I thought documenting that would help me with those days when I wake up and stare at my closet with a "duh" face on.  So far, so good.

Then I start looking at other "What I Wore" posts on other blogs... and suddenly feel inadequate.  I know I am by no means the biggest girl in the world.  I also know I am no Twiggy, either.  I am somewhere in the middle.  A little bigger than I would like to be, and that is my fault (I am the queen of excuses... "oh I can't exercise because my house is a wreck while we work on the kitchen", "I can get into the gym on campus for free as an employee, but what is the point in going to campus to exercise, rushing home, and then going back?", "I really should eat something healthy, but I'm in a rush, so I guess fast food is okay this once...").  I have actually lost a bit of weight since getting engaged, but stopped exercising for no reason I can think of, and slowly started eating out more regularly again, probably due in part to a disassembled kitchen.  I look at myself in the mirror and think I am getting to a good point, where I like what I see.  I just need to keep working at it...

Then I see pictures.  And I rip myself apart.  I see my hereditary double chin, my short neck (oh how I long for a long ballerina neck!), my extra weight seems obnoxious.  I don't wear make-up often because I feel it's better for my skin in the long run, and really, who has time for all that crap?  But I see those circles under my eyes, another genetic gift.  I see how pale I am.  I see how weird my head is shaped.  My awkward eyebrows.  My discolored teeth, the front teeth gap my parents paid for braces to get rid of is returning because I lost my retainer.  I see all the "wrong" things.

SO, I am making a conscious decision and trying to embrace who I am.  I am trying to reprogram my brain to see these "defects" as things that make me unique.  I am trying to see myself through Bear's eyes (and I hope everyone is as lucky as I am to find someone who truly finds you beautiful inside and out).  But mostly, I am trying to stop comparing myself to everyone else.  Nobody is made the same.  I would look ridiculous at 98 lbs (which I have been told by medical professionals is my goal weight to be out of the obesity zone for my stature... yikes), even though I look heavier than most of my friends while I only weigh about 135 now.  It's just how I'm built; short with wide hips and a short neck.

My challenge is to begin with focusing on things I like about myself: my eyes, my hair, my hands, my tattoos.  Whatever.  I am allowing myself to change small things if I want to, for example, I am gauging my ears and dying my hair.  Just little boosts of self confidence.  I am experimenting with clothing styles to find some style that looks good on ME, that makes me feel confident and beautiful.

via: Heather Bartlett Art & Photography

I also was a part of my friend Heather's Goddess Next Door project... all about promoting the beauty of women of all body types, ages, ethnicities, etc.  I was incredibly self-concious, but also really empowered in being a part of the project.  I didn't pose nude.  I wore what was sexy to me: t-shirts and boy shorts with knee-high socks.  And learned that that's okay.  If having a camera in my hand at all times makes me feel empowered and beautiful, then it's okay.  If my idea of lingerie is funky patterned boy shorts and crazy colorful t-shirts, that's okay, too!  This is a message that gets lost in today's media frenzy: sexy is an attitude, not a bra.  Not a cologne or underpants or being undernourished.  Sexy... BEAUTY... is being yourself.  I plan to work this idea into my core programming... every day... I am beautiful because I am 100% me.

Anyone else up for the challenge?

Happy Thursday, Snappers!
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  1. Oh boy, I have the same problem. I'm not huge by any means, but I weigh more than I've ever weighed before and I feel very uncomfortable in my skin. Same here, I did it my myself, but oh man... it's the worst feeling. I'm working on it too, being more confident with myself but oh boy is it hard! Good luck to you!

  2. Sara Bell- I think low self esteem is a pandemic these days! We have so many subliminal forces telling us how to look and dress and what we need to be happy. It's difficult when you don't fit into that ideal... and most of us don't. Good luck to you as well!

  3. I'm very skinny and I've had times where I'm uncomfortable with the way I look. I think everyone goes through things like that. It's better to just ignore what other people are doing and be yourself, and do what makes you happy. Have fun with your outfit posts! Fashion blogging/outfit posting can be great fun.

  4. I LOVE this post! Ahh, I had a smile on my face the whole time! I can assure you I didn't notice any of the 'bad' things about your body when I first saw your blog, I thought you were cute!!

    Just like Amber, I've always been skinny, but I've still had issues in the past, especially in high school. I'm comfortable with who I am now, but haven't always been!

    I hope you achieve your 'goals' =D


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