Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm Not Beautiful Like You (I'm Beautiful Like Me)

You Are Who You Are Who You Are

Girls we are, in general, very insecure creatures.
Even the most confidant and outspoken of us
can give each other shopping lists of what
we do not like about our physical appearance,
let alone our various quirks and neurosis.
We are told to accept and love our bodies as they are,
by the same society that tells us
we should be a certain size, a certain color, a certain body type.

Personally, I think we should all take
a more balanced approach.
Yes, you are beautiful just as God made you.
There's still nothing wrong with making yourself
into your very best YOU.
Not Sienna, Not Zooey, Not Mary-Kate, YOU.

I think we tend to let that shopping list hold us back.
Maybe one mean person in your past caused you
to look at yourself through warped glasses,
and stunted your desire to change,
or, worse, made you obsessive
in your need to change.

I will use myself as the example, gladly,
of how to have a balanced outlook
between loving who you are,
and making yourself look like your best YOU.

There Are Things That Can Change

My Skin: My face? OILY! I have combination on my face, both oily and easily dried-out. I've never had HORRID acne, but enough to cause me angst, believe me. Worst of all? I have yet to find a solution that works for longer than 3 months. My face builds up an immunity, I swear. But you know what? I DON'T GIVE UP. I keep up a cycle of three facial cleansers, and every now and then I'll try something new. Yes it's annoying, but it works. So I DO IT.

Tooth Color: I have very crooked, yellow teeth. I was picked on for them all my life, and for a while, I thought my only solution would be when I got them straightened, whenever that was. Why whiten them, if I was only going to have to put braces on them later, getting them stained all over again? So I dealt with it, until I got sick of it. I want to feel better NOW, so I'll make myself feel better NOW! Crest White Strips are amazing :D I got lazy there for a little while, but am now back on track. SOOOO worth it.

Feet: Probably my most embarrassing problem...I had warts! Horrible ones! After one incident with a public shower sans flip-flops, I became the budding beginnings of Tree Man. I rarely went barefoot, wore socks to bed with Husbot, it was awful. I thought, with such a profusion, that I would have to wait until I could have a doctor prescribe a cure. WRONG! In a bout of desperation, I purchased Dr. Scholls Freeze-Away. FOUR TREATMENTS LATER, and they were GONE! Poof! I have pretty feet!!! Now I work to keep them moisturized, as I've always had dry skin on my feet, but otherwise? I HAVE PRETTY FEET! I am still jubilant over this. Simple stuff from the pharmacy DOES work most of the time, girls.

Lips: Less of a problem than the previous two, but even so, I am allergic to most lip products. I've envied girls who can grab whatever from the store and wear it well. But I've hunkered down and done my homework, and know how to look for hypoallergenic products. I'm always looking for more, if anyone has suggestions! Almay, while wonderful, is only one option.

Eyebrows: Ugh, I've always had thick eyebrows. In highschool I was completely clueless as to how to work with them, as most of us were. When i got my first job, one of the first things I did with y paycheck was get them waxed, and the lady botched them horribly. I've only found one person who did them well, and she lived hours away from me! So what did I do? I taught myself how to pluck my own damn eyebrows the way I like 'em! And save myself 30$+ a month.

Staying In Shape: The easiest, and the hardest. I've always been weak. I've always been easily-winded, under-fed, and prone to getting sick. Since moving to Japan, I have started working out in earnest, hooping daily, and eating healthier (an easy thing to do in this country). The hardest parts are motivation, and resisting the urge to become obsessive, as I was in the past, starving myself in bouts. Having friends to help keep you accountable is invaluable!

The best part about all of these,
even if they do not fully solve a problem,
they lend you OODLES of confidence in yourself.
Find your solutions!

There Are Things You Must Accept

My Nose: I despise my big, slightly-bent nose. Some days I feel all enlightened, and know that it is who I am, and that if I have a daughter, she'll likely have it too. What kind of message will I send her, if I change it? Other days, I find myself pricing plastic surgeons and comparing that to our budget plans for the next ten years. Bottom line, though? It's not gonna change tomorrow. I won't be uber-at peace with my body, nor will I have a few grand to drop on some slicin'. IT IS WHAT IT IS, TODAY. I know it is one of those things that is most noticable to me, that other people don't really see it the way I do. This applies to many things about yourself, incidentally! There are plenty of things about my face others find enviable. So suck it up, self. Either way, I'm stuck with this nose for a good while.

My Curves: I know, right? For the record, I do like having a shape. I like having hips, and a chest, especially as the rest of my body gets toned. But we all want what we can't have, and I wish I could be the willowy, lithe girl swathed in whatever designer dress she wants, on whom all styles are flattering. I envy Sienna Miller, I envy Jessica Stam and Cintia Dicker. But I've learned to dress what I have. And I know plenty of girls would kill (or drop good money) to have my cup-size. And hey, I have a husbot who's QUITE happy with my digits. So I pass over the suspenders fad, and enjoy being a classic body type.

Skin Tone: For YEARS I wanted to be able to tan. And while I've learned how to get a little healthy color to my face, I will never be tan. It's just not in my set of genes, despite the bit of Native American in me. I'm far more French. And you know what? That's okay. I keep my skin healthy. Tattoo artists rave about my skin tone as they paint upon me like a perfect white canvas and tell me to never, EVER tan. I'm pale. I like it.

My Height: It's not as if I am all that tall, really. Still, at 5'7, I am already a giant in Japan. Most of my good friends here are very petite, short and tiny. I feel like a giraffe in comparison. And then when I want to put on sky-high heels? Forget it, I feel ten feet tall. But SO WHAT? Especially when I found out that Rumi is the same height I am, I stopped caring. I'll wear them high heels if I want, I'll tower above the masses if I want to! Being singular is nothing to be scared of.

Some Things To Do

List What You Love: I love my eyes, I love how big they are and that they are dark. I love my hair and I love my floaty arms. I love my lips! People have told me they envy my lips, and I am happy to have them, in all their plump allergic-to-everything-ness!

Stop Using The Word 'Hate' To Describe Yourself: Sounds fluffy, but it's true! Even when you're talking about the things you don't like, don't use the word hate. You're slowly, subtely killing your own self-esteem.

Think Of All The Other Things That Make You Fabulous & Fascinating: I am a creative person. I spin worlds and see things nobody else does. I'm a grand cook and a deviant lover and I can knit a scarf in a single evening, and so on and so on. Knowing and owning all these wonderful things about yourself adds a spring to your step, a secretive smile to your face, a confidance of the soul. Few things brighten a face like confidance.

Listen To Your Loved Ones: This one is still hard for me. But when someone compliments something about you? Accept it! Thank them! Don't protest. Don't make a face. Especially when it is someone dear to you. This is a person who loves you inside and out and sees every bit of beauty about you. They are TELLING YOU THE TRUTH, even if you don't believe it. And slowly, maybe, by not protesting, you might start to take their words to heart.

Compliment Others: Seeing the beauty in the people around you in your every day life will, I believe, help you see it in yourself. Also, it is just good for the soul, plain and simple. Don't always be looking for the faults in yourself, look for the things that are dazzling in others.

Again, I often fail at these things.
But it is good to have them written down,
committed to memory.
I challenge everyone to do so!
What are the things you've changed in yourself?
The things you've learned to accept?
Do you use different tools to build up your own
self esteem?
I won't tag any other bloggers, but I think that it
would be a wonderful thing to share :D

'Til Next We Meet,


Blogger Emily said...

I've been really enjoying your blog for a while now, but this post? I absolutely love it. It's funny, I felt like I couldn't written a few of the sections myself (oily skin? hello), and accepting and working with them is something I've been very conscious of recently. It was great to have a little confidence boost before I head out to an orientation for my new school program. Thank you for such a lovely and insightful post!

9:29 PM  
Blogger Pansy said...

<3 this post!

Have you ever tried Lush's Angels on Bare Skin cleanser? I SWEAR it's the only cleanser that has ever worked for me without drying out my (combination, very sensitive) skin. I was SO shocked when it worked!

1:05 AM  
Anonymous Mel said...

This is such a great post. I really do find it very inspiring and all of it is just what I needed to hear. Thanks so much for all of your insight, it is much appreciated!

5:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love what you had to say, it was just what i needed to hear! :D *hugs* . .BTW after reading your recent comment my daughter said "I miss Amy she is sooo awesome!" . .you are a good role model for sure!

11:00 AM  
Anonymous hannah said...

miss you lady - this post was SO very fitting and needed on this cloudy overheated morning in vt. Thanks for putting your sound advice into such well written prose.

9:12 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

So wise :) I must tell you, in my mind, you are willowy :) I always used to think, If only i could be willowy like Amy, and less athletic. :)
I am also embracing my body more and more, curves are a gift! I am going to tone mine also. :) I shall perhaps start to take pics of myself .. hmm maybe :P LOL
Thanks Amsie, your inspiring. :) Love ya miss ya TONS AND TONS.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Melissa Dominic said...

it is my first time by this blog, i love it so much already! your entry title made me want to sing some joydrop though, haha.

11:24 PM  

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