It’s funny the things I worry about people noticing. Like acne that is on my face. Like fat that rolls over the waistband of my jeans. Like the way my hairstyle has started to resemble a baby mullet. It’s not like I even go that far out of my way to hide these things from the public eye. I just fret when I happen to catch my reflection going into the bathroom or passing by a window and notice what I wish other people didn’t see when they looked at me. As if it was actually possible for people to see something that isn’t really there. As if by magic or just by wanting it, they would see a beautiful person instead of a plain person, a skinny person instead of an overweight person, or a stylish person instead of a dork.
The truth is, I have spent more time and energy caring about what other people will think of my body than I have taking care of my body. I worry about the acne on my face because I believe it makes me more unattractive to others, not because it’s sudden appearance might indicate underlying health issues (like what consuming a barrel’s worth of sugar a day is doing to my system). And the sadder thing is, I’m not even trying to get with anyone right now (though sometimes I think a one night stand would be pretty kick ass). If ever there was a time for my attention to be focused inward, this would be it. Yet I walk my dog down the street and I suck in my stomach when cars pass me by. I bought acne treatment pads today. Because clearly that’s the way to solve it.
I wonder if it all comes back to wanting to be loved. Maybe I believe that if I had perfect skin, a flat stomach, and fashionable style I wouldn’t feel so alone so much of the time. That someone would want me then (taking the fact that I’m single as evidence that no one wants me). It seems so silly when I spell it out like that, but I buy into it every day. I can’t do anything tonight about how my body or my face looks. I can’t change it tomorrow either. I can start to do things that over time will change the shape of my body and maybe my skin tone or texture. But if I am going to diet or exercise or drink more water, shouldn’t it be so that I don’t end up with Diabetes or Heart Disease, not so that I have a slightly better chance of maybe getting laid by someone who is only interested in my external packaging? It’s so, so stupid. Yet I torture myself with it every day.
I have never been thin. I have always, always hated that I wasn’t. I just really don’t want to waste the time and energy caring anymore. At least, not for any reason not related to my health and wellbeing. And yet, the truth is, I totally will. I will suck in my stomach tomorrow and not even realize I’m doing it. The problem with pretending to be something I’m not is the inherent implication that I’m not good enough as I am.