So, for Halloween I was Napoleon Dynamite (and a damn fine one at that…I even gave out tater tots). It was a strange experience dressing up as an extremely awkward male and enjoying it.  I’ve come a long way since my body conscious self of several years ago. It appears something unexpected has happened as I’ve gotten older…I actually like myself. So many of the insecurities I felt about my body, my nose, my boobs, my hips, and the list goes on have gone by the wayside. I don’t know where they went or when they left, but it feels good. The past few years I’ve noticed a slight decline in my personal hygiene (fewer showers or hair brushing, wearing make up about once a week…) and yet I feel better than ever. I spend very little time focused on the way I look or how I feel about how I look, and it feels great.

It just so happens in this lifetime I’m a blonde, 5’7”, blue-eyed, slender woman and am aware of the all of the privilege this lends me. And at the same time I’m aware of how often I want to be invisible. It was a strange experience of enjoying a holiday where so many women wear more skimpy clothing looking their best and I choose an entirely different route. Some people seemed uncomfortable around a woman who purposively made herself less attractive instead of more.

Unconsciously for the past several years I have felt on a mission to redefine beauty for myself. I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been thanks to not owning a car, healthy CA produce, and two gym memberships. I work out because I feel better when I do, not because it means I can eat more. If my pants feel tighter a certain week –  I wear spandex, not convince myself I have to lose weight. I now enjoy the feeling of tight pants, it reminds of all the yummy food I ate that week. Somedays I eat several desserts and instead of feeling guilty about it like I used to…I bask in my sugar high.

I know women struggling with body image and insecurity and I can only nod in compassion knowing I’ve been there and am glad it was a phase. I don’t know where this woman came from, but I hope she stays for a while, she’s flippin’ sweet.

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