Friday, 8 May 2015

Liking the Way You Look

My mom and I walked into an expensive boutique at the mall, she reigning in Afon so I could check out the price tag on a luxurious white linen blouse.

Not in the budget.  Ever.  

She was anxious to get out of there, and when I asked her why, she said, "We're not dressed to go into a store like that."

I looked down at my Hello Kitty t-shirt and trendy black skirt with my well-loved and stringy sandals and balked.  What did she mean we weren't dressed?

Truth is, I knew exactly what she meant.  The greater truth is that I just didn't care.  Not because I take no pride in how I present myself; I picked out that outfit with thought and did my hair and makeup with purpose.  It wasn't the type of outfit that screamed "I have money!"

But I thought I looked cute.  I liked the way I looked.

And I've worked too hard and too long to let a superficial store clerk, co-shopper, or anyone for that matter, take that away from me.

We're born with confidence, you see.  If you ask a three-year-old, "Can you draw--?" he will eagerly get down to it and be thoroughly pleased with the result.  Ask a ten-year-old the same thing, and suddenly it becomes, "I can't draw."  What she means is, she thinks she's no good at it.  Of course she can draw.  She might even be really good at it!  But how would anyone know?  She's shut the door on herself before she's even given a chance.

When and how did that transformation take place?

It happened to me, and it happens to many.  Maybe everybody.  I went from the Sleeping Beauty with long blond curls in dress-up to the shy, stooping adolescent who was so uncomfortable in her own skin, she actually wouldn't wear the clothes she liked and wanted to because she was convinced she didn't look good in them.

With and without makeup.

I lived like that for a long time and climbed my way out of the negativity only slowly and with great effort.  I guess I was pretty lucky (or looked out for) that I didn't develop an eating disorder or try to compensate with boys or drugs or alcohol.  

Today, I feel like I have a more healthy body image and most days, I like what I see when I look in the mirror.  Which is not to say that I don't feel frustrated at weight gain or the flab on the backs of my arms; but the prevailing attitude is one of acceptance, and even fondness.

And really, I have no right to complain.  It's extremely rude to go around insulting someone else's work/house/daughter.  God is the author of me, and God is my keeper.  He gave me bouncy soft curls, graceful hands inherited from my grandmother, the body type of a {Regency era country lady}, and a radiant smile.

Your turn!


For further reading:


  1. ooh! I like this! I think I'm going to do a whole blog response..maybe even with make-up-free photos of me..:p

    And I LOVE your attitude about shops. Wear what you like, what you look good in, but not stressing about whether you look 'good enough' (as in rich enough or skinny enough or whatever) for all the strangers around you who might judge. I think you look amazing! And I totally envy you rocking the red lipstick. I can not do red without getting the lines all just looks messy on me for some reason. :/ But you've got it down!

    1. If you're going to write a whole blog post, I'll let you get away without sharing the beauties God gave you here in the combox. ;)

  2. Now that I have a daughter it's doubly important to me to exude confidence no matter how put together or not I am. I don't know where that crippling shame and embarrassment comes from, but the least I can do is make sure she doesn't get it from me.

    1. Very inspiring and a great point, thank you Clare!

  3. This is lovely, thanks for your bravery.

    1. Aw, thank you! I'm so happy you liked it. :)

  4. This is so helpful for me to read, especially as I am finishing up my first trimester! Everyone seems to have an opinion on a pregnant woman's weight. It is enough to make me revert back to being a overwhelmed 14 year old who hated her body for years. Thankful for you writing this.

    1. Oh gosh! The pregnancy comments. For some reason, I always got "you're so tiny," which baffled me because they never said that when I wasn't pregnant (and I am overweight). So . . . thanks, I guess? XD Haha!

      Thanks for commenting. xx


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