I can’t see my worth. I know I can’t; but knowing this doesn’t mean I can just flip a switch and change that.
Insecure, insecure, insecure. The word of the day, and my life.
I watch TED talks and read articles motivating women to believe in their inner beauty and not the manufactured beauty touted across media. I nod along, I cheer on the sentiment, and I roll my eyes when others doubt their beauty.
“It’s all fake, no one really looks like that” I say.
“You’re beautiful. Anyone who can’t see that is blind” I encourage.
And yet my own insecurity remains.
I am not beautiful. I am not pretty. I am not worthy of being desired. Not to me; and certainly not to the media.
I don’t need to tell you what the media does promote as being beautiful, but needless to say, I am not it. Over time, some of my features have started to be promoted as beautiful, but never in the package I have. No ma’am.
If I receive a compliment, I roll my eyes. If I get any attention, I’m genuinely surprised. Why? Because I am not beautiful. I am not pretty. I am not worthy of attention. My friends and family can tell me I am until they’re blue in the face, but I don’t FEEL it.
I simply don’t. The saddest part is I’m not alone in my insecurity. When media and society has spent generations promoting one image, an image you are the complete opposite from, then they suddenly start to half-assedly promote some of your features (i.e. saying those features are ok, but NOT on you), how are you meant to suddenly snap to the present and be content with the change? You’ve tweeted I’m now beautiful so I guess I should hurry up and donate my insecurities to some of the other people you haven’t found a spare moment to accept. After all, you’ve said I’m pretty now so I don’t need them anymore.
“Hey Sally, do you want my insecurities? I don’t need them anymore.”
“Yeah, didn’t you see the tweet? I’m beautiful now. They’re probably going to get round to you in a couple of years so the least I can do is donate my insecurities to keep you warm until then. I know how it feels when they accept yet another thing as beautiful and it’s still not you.”
My lips are trendy now? but not on me? Ok, that’s fine. I’ll just wait a few more years for you to make the leap in accepting them on me. Maybe by then I’ll forget that I was once the complete opposite of your notion of beautiful. Maybe by then I’ll be secure in myself.
I really am trying to see what others see in me but it’s hard. Honestly, I’m not sure how long it will take for me to snap out of it, since I’m intelligent enough to know the beauty standards I’m being told to aspire to are impossible for most, but especially for me. But that insecurity is deep. Too deep for the primitive tools I have at my disposal.
Positive thinking will only work in conjuncture with positive action.
So I’m going to work on my mindset whilst the world works on its attitude. Here’s hoping one day we can come to the same conclusion.
Beauty? It’s not everything. But when it’s importance is so inflated everywhere you look, it’s hard to feel worthy when all the images read not you.
I can’t see my worth. But I’m trying to. The media just needs to stop blinding me.