I Have a Size 4 Personality (Oh wait…wouldn’t a Size 10 be better?)
Ok so today I am going to address the elephant in the room.
Come on….you had to know that was coming.
If you are a female over the age of… let’s go with 15, then you have had moments of doubt about your size. Maybe they were fleeting or maybe they have followed you around for a lifetime. But most of us have fallen prey to the pesky voice in our head that told us that we were just not quite good enough. Unfortunately it is not just in our heads. The voice is also on TV, radio, magazines and the internet. We are bombarded almost daily with before-and-after shots and testimonials. There are healthy eating hacks, quick fixes, miracle pills, shape-shifter-garments, and every gym in town will tell you that it’s better to do it the old fashioned way. If there is an angle to exploit, someone has found it. The entire weight fixated industry is dedicated to making us feel that if we just lost ten more pounds we would finally be happy.
Then there are the soothers. The calm, softer voices that push back. They say you are beautiful just the way you are. Be happy with yourself. Acceptance is the buzz word to calm the madness.
So which side is right?
I think to some extent both sides are. And honestly I don’t have anything new to add to the conversation. I could point out that a healthy lifestyle is important and will make you feel and look better. You already know that. I could list all the catch phrases for learning to love yourself. You have heard them all before. Shoot…..you have heard most of them from me right here! I see-saw with myself all the time between vowing to do better and giving myself permission to just be who I am.
So why am I taking up time and space on an over exploited topic?
Probably because of the fact that I have been invited to the first pool party of the summer! Which means I have to open the dreaded bathing suit drawer! You have one of those, right? Filled with every imaginable combination and size of bathing suit. (Or is that just me??) The ones you bought to wear only in your back yard for tanning. The pretty ones for vacation. The functional ones for outings with friends and family. The ones you bought before you had kids (or turned 40) and swear you will wear again……(not very likely…) Ok, maybe I am revealing too much information *wink*, but my point is most of us have a bipolar attitude with the way we look. One moment we are proud to have made it to ‘this age’ and can still dress up and rock it. And the next moment we are hiding in the closet swearing never to be seen in public again. It is a struggle to find the middle ground.
Here is what I think I have learned through the years.
Beauty is Abstract
I used to think that Size 4 and blonde hair was the only way to be alluring. I know….stupid. (But I’m being honest). I now understand that in this great big world we live in, beauty registers with everyone differently. The diverse cultures all over the world, and even in my own city, interpret loveliness on so many levels. Individuality grants us the freedom to be true to ourselves, and that is the greatest beauty of all. Confidence is way more intoxicating than the latest styles or makeup hacks. I cannot truly say that I am always confident. But I can usually admit to carving my own path. As someone put it to me recently….I may not be everyone’s cup of tea…..but I am learning to be ok with that.
Beauty is More Attitude than Aptitude
Your smile is your best bling. And trust me, I know about bling. I have enough baubles and bangles and beads to decorate a gypsy camp. And while I love wearing them, they become dull and weighty if my eyes are downcast or my walk is halting. Even if we don’t always feel beautiful, we live in a beautiful world. We are loved and blessed. Your gratefulness and appreciation for these things brightens your outlook and gives you a glow. Your laughter is infectious and draws people into your circle. The size of your jeans or the brand of your shoes are insignificant when those around you feel joy in your presence. This is actually often hard for me. I am not particularly social by nature. I tend to gravitate to the outskirts of my surroundings. But I do believe it to be true. My father had the gift of laughter. He really did. And when he laughed everyone around him did too. They couldn’t help themselves. And that is a marvelous and beautiful thing.
On a side note I will also mention that on the occasions where I have had conversations with men regarding weight, size and beauty; I have been surprised to discover that most of them are not as shallow as I had wrongfully believed. I feel a little bad that I may have misjudged some, but it’s nice to know that as we get older we learn to recognize and appreciate what is important.
The bottom line for me is that integrity, decency, kindness and the size of my heart is of higher value than the size on a label tag in my clothing. However that doesn’t excuse me from living the best life I can and taking care of myself. To be sure I want to be around for a very long time. I have grandchildren to spoil and watch grow up.
I can’t wear spanx every day. And I refuse to eat flax seed and celery with every meal. So you know what that means? My personality size AND my dress size may both end up to be the same! And I will do my very best to be proud of and rock both!