I’ve had a complicated relationship with clothing for as long as I can remember.
When I was really young, I loved dresses and sparkles and princesses, just like many “normal” girls. Then I met my best friend, who was only interested in pants and trucks and climbing trees, and suddenly I hated anything that might make me look beautiful. When I hit puberty, I had outgrown this dichotomy between feminine and masculine, but I unfortunately gained a lot of weight. So, at that point in my life, despite being interested in looking fashionable, I felt that fancy clothes would accentuate my ugly body and so I purposely dressed frumpy in order to avoid attention.
When I was in high school, I became sick of being (or feeling) ugly, and so started exercising and eating less. The pounds just melted off of me. Suddenly, I could wear fashionable clothing and not feel like a circus animal! I started wearing make-up, I started having a social life, and my confidence shot through the roof.
But I’ve never really been able to recover from my “ugly” pre-teen years. I was never truly ugly (I just felt that way), but even so, I still dislike many things about my body. I have clothes that I feel comfortable in, but nothing that I feel “sexy” or beautiful in because I (in my mind) am just not sexy or beautiful.
Today’s Daily Prompt got me thinking about the relationship between our confidence and our outer appearance. Fashion is all well and good – and despite my lack of interest in it when I was young, I love fashion now … but sometimes I feel that it does more harm to us girls than good. I will never look like an airbrushed model – no one will ever look like an airbrushed model – and yet, every time I see a scar, or baggy eyes, or flabby skin, I immediately think … ew, I am ugly. What kind of world do we live in that normal, everyday signs of living life are seen as disgusting?
Dressing fashionably sometimes silences these thoughts for a time, but they always return. Feeling confident in my appearance is always a battle, it seems. Feeling like myself and not a carbon copy of every other person interested in style is even more difficult. How do you express your creativity when you are being told, every day, exactly what beauty and fashion are?
Feeling sexy is just not even on my radar!