See this? This is the real me. No makeup, no filters, not even clothes to cover up who I am. Straight from the shower, makeup smeared all over my face, flabby-armed, broad-shouldered, muffin-topped, fuzzy-eyebrowed me.
I have acne that I pick at. I have a dermatological disorder that causes my skin to dry out so horrendously that my hair follicles produce too much keratin and clog up, leaving zits the size of grains of sand all over my face and arms that don’t. Go. Away. I have hairy knuckles and peach fuzz on my upper lip and a giant chip on my front tooth that never stays fixed because I eat too many caramel apple suckers and I chew on pens when I’m thinking too hard. I have awkward length bangs because they look good short, but I’m too lazy to take care of them so they grow out until I chop them off again in a burst of completely unnecessary creative spontaneity.
I have a slightly crooked smile that makes my left eye squinty in almost every picture I take. I have a round face and a big forehead and a stick-out chin and a slightly larger than average nose.
My left boob is smaller than my right boob, and my right foot is smaller than my left. Every line and every tiny little wrinkle on my hands are as visible as those of an old woman’s. My thighs jiggle when I do practically anything and I have a pear shaped ass, and fat toes, and flabby knees.
One day, standing naked in front of my mirror, I set out to discover every little crooked feature, and nitpick every minute flaw that I could find. And after what seemed like hours, standing there damp-haired and blotchy, I realized that I was looking for things to hate, things to pick, pluck, and fix. When I realized what I was doing to myself, I took my mirror off my wall.
A few days later, after my acne-picking scabs had healed and I wasn’t bloated from eating too much food, I looked in the mirror again. Right at the same damp, blotch-y mess I am after every shower.
The first thing I noticed was the nice rich color my hair has when it’s wet and how well it frames my face when it falls behind my shoulders. My German family’s round jawline and strong eyebrows slant just enough to accentuate my high cheekbones. My seemingly fat face slims nicely when I pull my hair back to show off my long neck and that, paired with my very prominent collarbones, makes my shoulders seem much less like those of a water polo player. My boobs, being what I though of as too small, are actually big enough to make my waist look smaller and my hips look wider, giving me a slight hourglass figure. Staring at myself, I then realized that there is absolutely nothing wrong with a size 9 ass and thighs that like to stick together. In my opinion the more curves, the better. I looked at my butt from behind for a solid ten minutes until I came to the conclusion that I have a fantastic ass.
Sound stuck up? I don’t care. It’s not. I can love the way I look physically and flaunt it any way I please without being self-centered and prissy. The difference between being confident and being egotistical is not in the opinion you have of yourself, but in the attitude with which you present your opinion of yourself.
I still think I have fat feet and frizzy hair, but I love the way I look. I don’t love it because I think it makes others jealous or because I think it makes people attracted to me. I love the way I look because it’s the way I look and it makes me happy. Because when I look in the mirror, I like the busty, long necked, curvy woman who looks back and tells me that I don’t need to nitpick to be beautiful.