It’s shocking when I look in the mirror these days. Shocking, I tell you!
When did those wrinkles appear, my neck become crepe-y, and my double chin triple? ACK!!!
Just to be clear, I’ve never been homecoming queen or won any beauty pageants. I was thrilled to be on the cover of P31 Woman magazine when it existed, but Vogue has never called. I wasn’t the most sought-after girl in high school, and in my 30s I once got excited to be leered at by a man at the convenience store… even though he was about 80 and obviously drunk. What can I say? You take it where you can get it.
I actually do feel beautiful, though. It’s because my amazing husband tells me I’m beautiful every day, and I’ve chosen to believe him rather than question him. 🙂 I’m thankful for such a sweet gift!
But the magazine covers tell me differently. They tell me…
I’m not young enough.
Or thin enough.
My nose is too pug, and my jawline to soft.
My tummy has too many stretch marks from bearing big ‘ole boys.
The clothes in my closet aren’t hip enough.
My bag doesn’t have the “in” designer label.
My preferred flats don’t shape my calves enough….
I’m going to stop the list now because it’s getting depressing. Goodness knows there enough of that scrolling through my head on an hour to hour basis without feeding it.
In fact, that’s what I want to focus on today. What pictures of perfect beauty are your carrying around in your head that leave you feeling “less than” and even ugly? What does your self-talk sound like?
In the last few weeks, I slowed down enough to realize how brutal my dialogue with myself has become. Since being an adult, I’ve struggled with my weight, and mostly I’ve been losing the struggle recently. The stress of writing and releasing Breaking Up with Perfect was intense, and I used food as comfort. Not a good move for reducing my chins. 🙂 The thoughts that go through my head constantly regarding my weight and appearance aren’t good, and I’ve decided they’re going to stop. I’m going to banish the pictures of perfect beauty in my head.
Here are some steps I’m taking:
- When I catch myself critiquing myself, I’m stopping to pray, asking God to help me treat myself with as much love and grace as He gives.
- I’m reminding myself that God created me perfectly and that I’m beautiful in His eyes. Magazines and media don’t get to define beauty for me. God does.
- I won’t allow myself to critique other women’s appearance–even in my head. I’m shocked by the “body-shaming” news stories that have been circulating including the two below. Y’all, we’re sisters, and we need to look for God’s beauty in each of his creations!
- I’m going to start eating healthier and treating food as fuel instead of comfort. I’ll feel better when my clothes don’t HURT, and I need to curb the “on-a-diet”/”off-a-diet” attitude I’ve had for years.
I want to tell you today–You’re beautiful! Really. Now I want you to pass it on. Look another woman straight in the eyes and tell her that she’s beautiful. She probably needs it. Maybe she’s single and doesn’t have someone to remind her regularly or maybe her husband has fallen down on his job. We can encourage each other!
How about you? Do you compare your looks to other women? Shame yourself in your head? Use your appearance to create a perfect facade?