Such a touchy subject for so many people. Not pretty enough, not smart enough, not skinny enough. Too skinny, too tall, too talkative. Not funny, not photogenic, not coordinated. Too loud, too crude, too brash. The mantras that run through our heads as we prep for an evening out, go about our daily lives, or drag ourselves to the gym. The tiny little phrases that flit through our minds, undermining our ability to interact with others.
They say that for most people (women in particular) there is a single instant that they can remember as starting their self-esteem problems. Prior to that instant, many people (realize these are typically youth) don’t realize that they are different or that different is bad. I can still remember mine. I don’t know how old I was, probably 12-13, I know that I was taller than Myobi by then and that we were still going to the Presbyterian church in our hometown which makes it pre-high school. We were sitting in the Sunday School group lesson (we sang songs and did bible verse recitation before splitting up for age group classes) when one of the ladies walked up to us. The conversation:
Church Lady: Myobi, you’re so pretty and petite, you’re going to grow up to be so beautiful and womanly.
Myobi and texancountess: Silent smiles at lady
Church Lady: And texancountess, you’re going to be so tall and gawky.
Myobi and texancountess: Silent smiles at lady though texancountess is now fighting tears.
Seriously, I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was devastated. I thought that being tall was being a freak. So I did what any 5’10 13 would do, I started wearing heels. I rebelled against the notion, and have always thought myself less pretty and less wanted than my sister.
Yet, I know that I’m cute/pretty. My husband loves me and is attracted to me. And still, the unattractive, not good enough thoughts harass me at the most inopportune times. I hate pictures of myself, because in them, I still see the awkward 13 year old so desperate to fit in.
Self-esteem. It’s a nasty beast. Words of people, long since forgotten or ignored have more weight because what they said was negative than the words of those who love us who tell us positive things. Negative comments have more impact in general. Why is that? I’m done with it. I’m seriously going to try living life forward only. And I’m going to do my best to only embrace the positive about myself. Maybe I don’t look like a supermodel in my photos, but at least I’m having fun. Besides, B doesn’t want me to look like a supermodel. He doesn’t like the ribs sticking out look. Good thing too, I like eating too much to be that skinny.
Overall, I’m happy with myself. Now to just kick the crap out of my self-esteem when it tries to get me down. Not happening anymore.