I watched this video, as it popped up along the side when I went to YouTube.com to find the original posting of the video I shared in yesterday’s post.
And it hurt. It hurt because I see that same issue in MY boyfriend’s eyes. I have occasionally cringed when he’s given me a sincere compliment, because he does admittedly like bigger ladies. But I see the self-hate in his own eyes when he looks at himself.
He’s a beautiful man, inside and out. He’s confident, strong and so very capable.
But he doesn’t see those things always, just like I don’t always see those same things about myself.
His own flaws are magnified when he looks at himself, just like my own flaws are to me. When I (or he) have taken nude photos of me, I cringe when looking at them, because they don’t look seductive to me – they honestly look to me like I’m a beached whale. Whereas he finds them so very exciting, as some of my other boyfriends have.
I look at him sometimes, and wonder how he can’t see how handsome he really is. I know he has his flaws, that in his eyes make him look ugly. But, then again, I know he wonders the same about me.
There is nothing wrong with finding a certain type of person to be attracted to. And, honestly, if you find yourself attracted to a different kind of person than you used to be – perhaps your tastes have changed as you’ve grown and changed.
But the real issue is that we – women AND men – need to actually learn to love ourselves. To see beauty in ourselves. To be able to see ourselves NOT through the eyes of those who love us, but through our OWN eyes, without morphing our bodies into some parody of the human condition.
One of my own issues of body dysmorphia is that I have three different body images. One comes from looking down at my own body, one comes from looking at the mirror, and the final one comes from looking at a photo (which is why I rarely am willing to look at photos of myself). Obviously, the smallest body image comes from looking down at myself. I acknowledge the size I am (kind of hard not to, when I know exactly how large my clothing is when I get into it), and for me seems to be the most “normal” of the three body images. I don’t think I’m “skinny” by any means when I look down at myself. I can see the belly, the flab on my thighs, the flab under my arms. And I know exactly what size I am, because I know my measurements.
But, when I look in the mirror, what I see is usually about 25% bigger than the image I have looking down at myself.
And when I look at photos of myself, they look like about 10x as large as either the self look or the mirror look.
Sadly, this kind of body dysmorphia is considered “appropriate,” particularly for women. We’re supposed to hate our bodies, because it sells magazines, diet fads, and surgeries. We’re told by everything and everyone around us that we’re not supposed to love ourselves, that nothing we can do is ever “good enough” for the rest of the world. We get told as kids, no matter our size, that “oh, you’d be so pretty if you’d only lose weight!” Really? It’s only the fat making me a hideous monster?
I’m not put on this Earth to make YOU money. I am NOT a commodity. I am a human being, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let the rest of the world decide my worth.