Note: Just so’s ya know, there’s lots of full body photos here.
This is a difficult country to look too different in—the United States of Advertising—and if you are too skinny or too tall or dark or weird or short or frizzy or homely or poor or nearsighted, you get crucified.
Ain’t that the truth.
Sally’s challenge was to begin posting full body photos of ourselves, rather than only shoulder-and-above photos. Well, my arm isn’t long enough for a full body selfie, but I did dig through my archives and found that I was pretty okay with the full body photo at age three.
Look at that girl! (ME!) Three years old and she hasn’t yet been barraged with all sorts of negative body snark. She doesn’t care that her thighs touch. Or that her toes point out or that the baby fat on her body gives her a double chin. No, it’s all so freaking cute and she knows it!
I can tell you exactly why I started the body snark. If I didn’t do it first, then I beat anyone else to the punch. Laugh at myself, I thought, and then we all laugh together. Bad strategy, I know. That might work well if you trip on a banana peel, and so you laugh at yourself rather than cower into a corner and sob. “Hey everyone, wasn’t that funny?”
But turning myself into a big laughing stock kept me from feeling comfortable as ME. My friends liked me the way I am, why didn’t I?
It wasn’t until I fell in love with this guy when I finally fell in love with myself. (Hang on all you folks who think I’m going down that you-need-a-man-to-feel-good-about-yourself path. I’m not. Hear me out.)
When I met Steve I didn’t have room for all the negative self-talk about my appearance because I was SMITTEN! Well, at least that’s what I thought at first, but then realized it was it the other way around. Without the negative self-talk I was able to fall in love. And it took me to age 40 when that all happened. That’s waaaay too long to wait for that to happen.
Feeling more confident in my own in skin not only helped me to find love, but it also led to some crazy activities, all under the influence of Steve. (He now sounds like a drug.)
It’s been a crazy ride alongside this guy and it’s only been seven years now since we met. But here’s my message: don’t wait for a guy to come around to sweep you off your feet to make you feel good about yourself. You have to feel good before you can open up yourself to anyone.
I mean that. Yes, I’m convinced that if I had been still self-deprecating that Steve—the guy above who makes me do crazy things—would never have found me. It doesn’t matter that I’m frizzy, short, weird, or need readers, he loves me. Shouldn’t I do the same?
And besides, if I had screwed up and never liked myself, we would have never made a really cool Christmas card like this, because it takes two people to hold that sign and it only works if you can get a full body shot. Otherwise, it’s lame.