It’s my birthday. Like many women my age, I lingered in the bathroom mirror just a little longer today. I wrinkled my nose and furrowed my brow while carefully inspecting all the lines that time has given me. As usual, the unconscious, unspoken berating of myself began without me even knowing it. I’ve been doing it for 30 years, it’s a hard habit to break.
I also hardly wear makeup and that didn’t really help the situation. I find that most days its a waste of my time to fix myself up because the only places I go are to the grocery store, the park, Starbucks (and if I’m lucky) to work out. On most days, I look like this:
It seems like a bit of a contradiction for someone who has spent a lot of money and years being vain. I had liposuction when I was 25. My body has always been my biggest issue and the moment I had the means, I went for it. I spent a couple of years working out everyday and no matter what I did, I couldn’t make my hips impossibly narrow. Surgery seemed like a good idea. It was painful and expensive and the benefits were only temporary. Two years later when I stopped working out as much, and instead, just plain worked, the only reminders of my liposuction were tiny little scars.
Two years ago I paid several hundred dollars for Botox and the lash-lengthening medication, Latisse. Again, the Botox was only temporary and after nine months of impossibly long lashes, my eyes wouldn’t stop itching. I had to stop using Latisse and soon my lashes went back to their natural length. Honestly, I could do without the lashes, but I really liked the Botox. I know I would do it regularly if I could afford it and the effects lasted longer than four to six months. The frugal gal in me just can’t justify the expense and also… things are just different now. I guess I’M different now.
You see, I have this little girl and she watches me all day long. In the last couple months her vocabulary has exploded and everday I’m astonished when I hear my words come out of her mouth. I see her imitating me right down to the way I drink my coffee and when I think about the way I silently hate myself, I feel ashamed.
Yes, I berated myself a little this morning, but more importanly, I stopped. Because then I remembered something that has taken me 34 years to figure out; my thoughts have power and what I think, I become. So instead of continuing the self-loathing in my head, I closed my eyes and said all the things to myself that I say to my daughter on a daily basis. I told myself that I was a good girl. I thanked myself for being respectful. I reminded myself that I was smart and most importantly, that I was loved to the moon and back. Then, I went and put on some makeup because I’m not crazy and I know that sometimes you gotta love yourself from the outside, in.
And while I was doing that I was reminded AGAIN, why it’s so important that I continue to love myself everyday in ALL ways.
And she deserves to see a role model that loves herself in all ways, with or without makeup, wrinkles, bulges and all.