Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Jasmine W on 02/18/2013

Defeating the Enemy: Me

About three days out of every week I have what I like to call “ugly days.” These are days where I feel like I look like crap and nothing I do can change it. This puts me in a terrible mood, and it makes me lose focus. As I walk through hallways of crowded people, hallways of classmates, of peers, I am wondering what they’re thinking about me. Did they notice the swollenness of my face, the scars left by acne, the dark circles under my eyes? Are they judging me because of how I look? They must think that I didn’t even try, but really I did. I tried so hard.

That is when an important question appears: why? Why am I trying so hard? Whose approval am I seeking? Where are these fears even coming from? Insecurities are a part of being human. We think that what makes us us, isn’t good enough, and so, to make up for the lack thereof, we seek to make ourselves as physically attractive as possible because everybody likes the beautiful people, right?

Watching so many girls my age throw themselves at guys has always been quite disturbing. It is sickening. It’s saddening. No, they’re not sluts, not whores. They are young women still feeling themselves out. They cannot be sure of themselves, so they are waiting for someone else to give them the okay, to tell them that they’re good enough. And even if it means selling themselves out, if it means giving away something precious and secret, it is worth it to them. The feeling of being liked, of being seemingly loved, to a young a girl it means everything.

I am speaking from experience here. I am sixteen. I’ve worn glasses since I was in the fifth grade and am a size twelve; have been for the last five years at least. Being “plus size” for most of my life has always made me feel inferior. I am envious of ant-waists, of slender legs, of that gap between thighs. I want to be light, to be elegant, to be wanted.

The number of movies I’ve seen where a girl my size has gotten the guy can probably be counted on one hand. It is the same with the number of ads I’ve seen portraying bigger as beautiful. I don’t want to be some sexed-up goddess. I just want to be acceptable. When I am described, I hope chubby isn’t one of the adjectives.

That is when another question appears: why isn’t chubby acceptable? It is starting to dawn on me now that my worst enemy is myself. I am expecting too much, too unrealistically. I will never be model size, nor reach my dream height of 5’7. (I am 5’3″ and have been for the last three years.) I am pretty only when I become aware of my own self-worth, the natural prettiness that comes embedded in each and every cell of our bodies when we are born.

Comparing yourself to others is a sin against yourself. The opinions of others, whether positive or negative have no true affect. It is only you, only your mindset. To put it simply: screw what the others are telling you. I’ve always thought that the most attractive people were people with confidence, people who gave up on seeking approval. When you build faith in yourself, nothing and no one can touch you, and this I think, is what embodies a truly beautiful woman.

Cross-Posted from SPARK

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  • Danielle @ at 5:49 pm, February 18th, 2013

    well said. Thanks so much for taking the time to write this out!! I love what you said about comparing yourself to others being a sin… I do this all the time.. and it only hurts me.. cheers to you!!

  • Talia bat Pessi @ at 3:53 pm, February 21st, 2013

    You are beautiful. I promise. Really.

  • Asjia @ at 11:33 pm, March 10th, 2013

    I wish I had this thought process or level of understanding when I was sixteen. Unfortunately the things you described in this post are still apart of my daily life but reading posts like these help make sense of it all (that the thoughts in my head are ridiculous and I shouldn’t care if someone likes the outfit I’m wearing or the way my hair looks). I think it’s so hard for any girl/woman across all ethnicities, sizes, etc to walk down a street confidently because there are so many criticisms of female beauty. It’s definitely a problem stemming from popular culture and social media. Just as you mentioned, the advertisements and commerciality of women depict a certain kind of beautiful that women are brainwashed into believing is perfect and ideal. Obviously there’s a problem with that and I think most women realize that at some point in their lives but we still let it affect us. It’s hard to ignore or change the way we’re socialized when we’re living in a patriarchal society. I just hope that girls read blogs like these and know that the model on the billboard down the street doesn’t portray “real” beauty or the only kind of beauty. On a more personal note, screw beauty, I don’t want to be beautiful; I want to be weird, smart, interesting and me. :)

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