July 7, 2010 by AnnMarie
“I enjoy being a girl!” Though the song is sappy, the sentiment works. Being a woman is pretty awesome. Well, it’s pretty awesome when things are going our way. Like when we get rightfully promoted before a male counterpart. When we get together with our girlfriends and can talk and laugh for hours over mimosas or while the kids play in the kiddie pool. When our moms and/or our daughters look up to us as role models for being a strong woman. And even seemingly simple things like fitting into our skinny jeans and having a great hair day and feeling absolutely glorious at the exact moment you run into the ex boyfriend you’d forgotten all about then watching him eat his heart out for dumping an amazing woman like you.
But the true test is on the days when things don’t go our way. Feeling great about ourselves when you run into that ex in Home Depot when you’ve just run there straight from the garden to get a bag of soil and there’s dirt under your nails, sweat stains on your shirt and some sort of cobweb stuck in your hair that you walked through and didn’t realize…and he’s there picking out wallpaper for the nursery with his gorgeous pregnant wife. Then we don’t feel so great.
As a young girl and well into my twenties, I was thin. If there was any doubt I had about that, it was dissolved as I was told “you skinny bitch” over and over in that snide tone by just about every girl I met. I felt guilty for being who I was, like it was my fault a relative or a friend or even a total stranger wasn’t as thin as they wanted to be. Eventually, and for too many reasons to get into here, I started to pack on the weight. The back-handed compliments about my thin physique stopped and my battle with body image issues took a dramatic turn. I tied my worth as a person into the compliments, and then later the lack of compliments from others.
It’s hard some times to find the balance between wanting to look and feel good and wanting to simply be comfy in your own skin, just as you are, dirty nails and all. I find myself making excuses to others if I’m having a “fat” day. There are not many women who could say they don’t care about how they look to others, but how many of us can say we ONLY care about how we look to ourselves? I mean that both physically and emotionally. On my best, most happy days, I’m usually without makeup and have sand and saltwater in my messy hair.
I figured out a while back, about the time I decided my size 15 pants were not acceptable to me, that I can’t control what other people think of me. Even if I am skinny or fat, even if I’m pretty or plain, even if I’m happy or depressed…someone will always find a way to make me feel bad about myself, intentionally or not. I guess you have to find a way to enjoy being yourself as is AND be happy to change if it makes you feel better…for yourself and for no one else.
As tough a critic as I am to myself, I enjoy being the girl I am. Fuck everyone else.