The endless struggle with insecurities

Yesterday I was scanning through a friend’s facebook wall and came across an article. This article, like many, was about loving yourself for who you are, flaws and all. I really liked it, and for once, I shared it.

Sharing it would have been hard for me a year ago. It used to be hard for me to talk about my insecurities about body image to anyone. When I mentioned something about my dislike about my weight or my body shape, I was ridiculed or ignored. I was blown off because in the eyes of many, I wasn’t ugly enough to have earned the right to complain. To some, I sounded arrogant or condescending. You think I’m kidding? No, I’m not. I was told this.

No. No no no.

That is wrong. That is SO wrong. That’s just as bad as bullying for being overweight or having acne. I was told I’m not good enough.

What’s worse is that I was actually bullied and picked on for my looks for a long time. Even though I was skinny and generally healthy, I had “chicken legs”, I had glasses, I had big ‘ol chicklet teeth, I was poor and wore secondhand clothes, I was constantly covered in pimples… the list goes on and on. I vividly remember being called “rat face” constantly in middle school because I was mousy. I vividly remember being called “horse face” in high school because my gums stuck out when I laughed or smiled. I have straight up been called ugly and stupid. Multiple times.

These things stick. These things hurt. These things have stayed with me.

For the longest time, I believed them.

These people had no right to tell me I should be happy I’m not worse off. Insecurities come in all shapes and sizes. Anyone can feel the pain of insecurity. Anyone can feel the loneliness of being an outcast.

Thankfully, I found a group of good friends and a great boyfriend who eventually became my husband. I began to surround myself with support and love and I began to forget the terrible things that I felt about myself as an adolescent. Then, I began to transform. I began to love myself as my husband loved me. I began to love myself as my family loved me. I began to love myself as my friends loved me.

I began to see that I was more than just a rat face, a horse face, a gangly body. I realized that I had more to give than my looks. A lot more. I felt more confidence and joy than I had in a long time. I was in a wonderful, happy place.

Then, I got pregnant.

Nothing kills self-esteem like your big fat post-pregnancy ass ripping a pair of jeans that you used to fit into perfectly.

Pregnancy and post-pregnancy sucked. It was extremely hard for me to adjust. My skin and hair became greasy and polluted. My belly was saggy and loose. My bladder… don’t even get me started on my bladder! My boobs went from nearly bursting to deflated balloons in months. Although I didn’t get any stretch marks on my belly, my boobs and hips were absolutely destroyed by them.

I was no longer the girl that I had finally, finally, come to love. I had to learn this entirely new body. This body hated me and I hated it. I refused to go to the beach with friends. I refused to go out for drinks with friends. I refused to do mostly anything because I didn’t want anyone to see the girl that I had become after pregnancy. I didn’t want to hear whisper about how “she let herself go.” I didn’t want to get sympathy hugs. I didn’t want any of it.

This is when I started reading articles like the one previously mentioned. I began to devour other Mommy blogs. I listened to other Moms talking about their body transformations. Every single one of them. I realized then that I wasn’t alone. I slowly began to look at my new body as just that. A body. I realized that it wasn’t my lifeline. I remembered that it wasn’t my only quality.

Over time, I realized that I was simply doing what nature called for. I was getting older. I was just getting older. These things that were happening to my body were inevitable. Even if I hadn’t gotten pregnant, I still would have had to battle with them eventually.

Over time I began to love myself again. I began to enjoy going to the beach again and I rocked a bikini. I threw away those godawful size 3 jeans that I ripped up with my still-beautiful fat ass. I found clothes that complimented my new body. I got a new haircut. I transformed myself into the girl the woman, the mother, the wife that I now am.

I love my new hair. I love my new clothes. I love my fat ass. I love my horseface smile. I love my stretch marks. Okay… I don’t necessarily love the stretch marks, but I certainly don’t hate them anymore. They’re there and they’re a part of me. It is what it is and I’ m making the best of it.

I genuinely believe now that confidence and charisma are much more attractive than perfectly sculpted eyebrows and blindingly white teeth.

Although I’m not pretty enough to be counted as one of the beautiful people, and I’m not ugly enough to be empathized with, I’m happy with myself. I’m finally happy with myself. I’ve come to terms with Ratface and I’ve made Horseface beautiful. I embrace my chicken legs and I threw stupid out the window. I am what I am. I love what I am.

*********

Here is a link to the article I read. It’s called ‘what I know about beauty now that I’m in my 20’s’. Whether you’re happy with your image or not, you should consider reading this. It’s a refreshing and humorous read for all women. I will also include the articles for the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.

What I Know About Beauty Now That I’m in My 20’s
What I Know About Beauty Now That I’m in My 30’s
What I Know About Beauty Now That I’m in My 40’s
What I Know About Beauty Now That I’m in My 50’s
What I Know About Beauty Now That I’m in My 60’s

I urge you to read ALL of the articles. Not just your age group. They’ve all got something insightful to say. I personally loved the 40’s the best. These article helped remind me that aging, and everything that come with it, can be a beautiful and wonderful thing if you embrace it!

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8 thoughts on “The endless struggle with insecurities

  1. I remember being in middle school with u. I never knew people were calling u those names. People were the same way with me. U were one of my best friends in middle school and u were always so sweet to me and we always had fun together. Riding the bus or walking home when we missed the bus. Lol. 🙂

    • Aww thank you. 🙂 I remember riding the bus and walking home too, there were definitely fun times together! I remember I was always so sad when you missed the bus or stayed home sick.
      When I moved to my new town in 8th grade was when rat face started. Almost immediately on the first day of school, too. I think it was harder because I didn’t know anyone. BUT It’s the past, and while I don’t think I’ll ever completely get over that hurt, I’m in a better, happier place and that’s what’s most important!
      I’m happy we got back in contact!

  2. I have always thought that you were beautiful !!!! You & Kyle make beautiful babies too !!! 🙂 Love to all of you !!!!!!! XXXXOOO

    • Aww thanks Jean. We love you and Joe, too! It’s easy for me to be myself around you guys because you’re both such genuinely good, happy and generous people and you accept me for all that I am without second thought. Wonderful people like you are hard to find, I’m so happy to know you both!

  3. Hey you – you are one of the beautiful people! And don’t ever forget it!

    Also, I love your face.

    It’s sometimes funny (not haha, more like ironic) that the people you would view as being secure and confident are really dealing with the same insecurities as everyone else in the world. Isn’t it sad that every woman seems to have insecurities about her body? Anyway, much love friend. From one stretch-marked mama to another. 😉

    • I love your face, too. 🙂

      The best part of my recent realization is that I have friends like you who wouldn’t even think twice if I answered the door in that getup. I was even recently joking with a friend about needing to cross our leg before sneezing… just in case. It was strangely freeing.
      Much love right back atcha!

  4. I’ve been in your shoes! In 7th grade my face EXPLODED with acne. The first day of school a boy in one of my classes said “Dude what happened to your face.”

    I was also blessed with a chest pretty early on. I had to start wearing a bra when most of my friends were barely thinking about boobs. There were nights I would PRAY for them to stop growing. It also didn’t help when the boys in high school were more about dating my chest than me.

    However, as I have gotten older I have realized that everyone has a body part they wish they could change. I have body parts that I absolutely love that others may struggle with every day.

    Life does get better with age! If I could tell my sixteen-year-old self that I would love my glasses at twenty-five, I think that person would faint. Learning to be happy with who you are leads to a much happier life! Agree with this post.

    P.S. Props to you for getting rid of clothes that don’t fit you. There was a woman that came into the library wearing WAY TOO SMALL shorts. I’m going to say she was about our age trying to hang on to her high school clothes. Everything was hanging out. I wanted to tell her, “Honey, I’m glad that you have the confidence to strut around in shorts that I wouldn’t even wear, but maybe strutting around in clothes that complement your body would be more rewarding.

    • Isn’t it so sad that kids don’t think about these hurtful thing they say? These things stay with us forever and we build one insecurity on another. What’s worse is that no matter how many times someone compliment us, it just takes one negative comment to knock down your self-esteem.

      last year was when I finally started getting rid of my shorts that, I swear, were about as big as my underwear. When I tried putting them on, I almost cried. Not because my legs and butt were pouring out of every nook and cranny, but because it was literally painful to wear! I couldn’t sit down without it digging into my you-know-what. I don’t know what I was thinking wearing that stuff. Well… I do, and that makes me (figuratively) cry, too.

      The funny thing is that after reading all of the articles, I’m finding myself actually looking forward to my 40’s. I think my 30’s and 40’s are going to be my golden years.

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