Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's Easier to Criticize Somebody Else Than to See Yourself

George Harrison, kids. Check it out.
I think it's pretty safe to say that all women hate something about themselves, and that it's usually something irrational. For example: I hate the right side of my face. I don't know what it is, but my nose looks different on that side, and I hate all pictures taken from that angle. My mom gets furious with me when I complain about my nose, because she thinks I have an adorable nose, and that hers is ugly. I, of course, think that she is crazy (on both accounts).
So we all have a thing, or possibly several. But are we seeing ourselves honestly? Have we ever actually seen ourselves, the way other people see us? My guess is, probably not.
I've gained about thirty-five pounds in the six years since high school. There are a lot of things that I hate about my body the way it is now--my stomach in particular, and not being able to fit into the jeans I want. But you know what? There are things I like better about myself now, too: like my face. It's rounder than it was back then, and I think it looks better that way. I think I'm much prettier now than I was in high school, and who knows--maybe that's why I have a hard time losing weight. I don't want my face to go back to the way it was. When I see pictures, I look too skinny to myself.
(For the record, I thought I was fat all through high school. I was technically underweight for my height, but I was squishy and had love handles and a sister who was a size two, and I hated my body like crazy. Being thinner doesn't solve self image problems. You know why? Because your self image shouldn't be based on your physical appearance. But that's a topic for a different post. :) ).

So do something different for a change, and try to see yourself objectively. Look at yourself in the mirror and try to see what others see. Find little things that you like about your appearance, and they'll start to add up--even if it takes a while. Learn to see yourself as you really are, without all the criticism, and what you will find is that you're beautiful. Guaranteed.

8 comments:

Brandon and Dafni said...

Try having two sisters and three brothers all five times skinnier than you.... :) I was the exact same way in high school. I was actually chubby through junior high (unlike you:)) and thinned out once I got to high school. But the way I saw myself never changed. I always thought I was fat. And now that I have had a few years of loving myself and my body, I look back at pictures of me from high school and see that I was skinny! It's ridiculous how distorted and completely untrue our perception of ourselves can be. I don't know what changed for me once I got out of high school to college, but I love the person I am and the body that I live in! :)

Tor said...

This is a great post for me right now! I have gained weight in the past year, and I hate it, but I'm working on it. And I am now heading straight for my mirror to start finding the little things.

Miki and Ed said...

i GUESS IT DOESNT REALLY MATTER IF YOUR FACE IS THIN OR FAT , LIKE YOU SAID , YOU GOTTA LEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF FOR WHO YOU ARE AND ITS HARD FOR EVERYONE MOSTLY (:
I THINK IF YOU LOVE YOURSELF THEN YOU WANT TO BE HEALTHY SO YOU NATURALLY DO WHAT IS BEST FOR YOUR YOU REGARDLESS OF HOW YOU THINK IT LOOKS, AND THIS IS THE POINT WE ALL WANT TO ACHIEVE. I CAN ALWAYS FIND THINGS I DONT LIKE AND I DO CARE ABOUT MY APPEARANCE ESPECIALLY FOR MYSELF BUT I THINK THAT OUR CULTURE IS SO DAMAGING THAT WE WOULD GO SKINNY OR FAT JUST TO SATISFY SOME IMAGE WE THINK THE WORLD IS ACCEPTING AND THEREFORE WE WILL BE ACCEPTABLE TO OURSELVES. IT'S AN CODEPENDENCY WITH THE WORLD RATHER THAN INTERDEPENDENCE! a MIRROR CAN TELL YOU LIES IF YOUR INNER SELF IS SCREWED UP WITH WRONG IDEAS. WE HAVE ALL BEEN THERE. ONE DAY YOUR R TOO FAT , THE DAY NEXT TOO SKINNY HERE OR THERE, HOW MUCH ENERGY...
WHAT ALWAYS BOTHERED ME IS THAT WE WOULD GO UNHEALTHY FOR LOOKS. THAT IS SCARY DON'T YOU THINK?

Lis said...

It helps to have someone else who loves you just the way you are. You still have to love yourself to believe them, but having someone else love you helps a lot.

fierygiraffe said...

It is the left side of my face that I have a problem with… I have a lazy eye thing going on, more moles, and my right eyebrow just looks better to me. I have to admit that all through high school, I spent hours in my bedroom staring at my face in a magnifying mirror, trying to “fix” myself. I guess my train of thought was: “if I wish for it hard enough, or pull my down-turned eyes up for a long enough amount of time, I can change it.” But of course, it never did. I myself have gained probably 50lbs since high school, and thought I was fat back then! Man, what I would give to be at that size now! I’ve never been a skinny girl, and I can’t imagine myself that way; but I sometimes wonder if I would still be unhappy with my body image after I shed the 10, 20, 50lbs I incessantly “need” to lose.

Elisia said...

Miri, I think that you did a "Marvelous" job on this post. I for one think you look more beautiful now than in High School. It is so important for everyone to understand that we have been given our bodies and this life as a gift, and we are to do the very best we can with it. and that includes appreciating who we are and what we are. I will never look like any of my 4 sisters. I am me. The only me there is, and I like who I am. Do I need to keep up the excercise? Yes. Why, to be healthy, not to be a size whatever. We are here to be happy and to learn, and I think you have done a lot of that. Congrats!

Elisia

Adam, Rachelle, Alee and Sonja said...

Scary how women are all made the same! Beautiful but still don't like something. What a curse. I was 108 when I was dating Adam (underweight BMI for my height) and still kept saying just five more lbs! It was a sickness I thought I was so fat. Now MUCH chubbier I look back thinking how sick it was and yes I was skinny enough. Three babies later and here I am again thinking I'm not good enough or skinny enough. Sick thinking. Trying real hard to see me not the "fluff!" :)

Miki and Ed said...

Eilat,
u were def very skinny, and I am glad u see that, thing is we tend to fall into th same trap of thinking until we change the real root problem which is not weight or nose or toe, it is basic acceptance of one self, and for that some of us need to do major work, deep look inside(which is painful). Our fam is perfectionist and very critical, if we become more accepting of diversity in people and ourselves and just love , i think we can be so much happier. I am so happy we get to talk abut those things, I think we will be much more open and close that way. YAY to Miri and and to FB and to BLOGS. (and Miri's lovley friends), Just so u know from the outside u look strong and special and smart and i hope u c that about yourself.