I totally remember being a little girl, sitting in the backseat of the car with my sister, and being disgusted with the size of my thighs. To be fair, my sister had legs like twigs. But I'd sit there, in my shorts, and try to keep my legs from resting too hard on the seat to keep them from smooshing like they did.
For the remainder of my adolescence, that's what I'd do. Be ever so careful when I sat down while wearing shorts. Because thighs.
What the hell, you guys? I was, like, 12! How does that even happen?
Today, as a grownup, my legs have become the part of my body I'm most proud of (funny how that works), but the body image insecurities continue to ravage my mind. Hard. I was having a conversation with a girlfriend yesterday, and we -- piece by piece -- tore ourselves apart. Stomachs, backs, midsections, hands.
Once I stayed home from the gym because I couldn't handle the way my shorts were fitting, and how they dug just ever-so-slightly into my waist, and god, that was unflattering, I can't do this, throw things, cry, and go back to the couch. Getting dressed for a run is an event. A stressful event. For all of these reasons.
When I get dressed each day, I check every single angle of my body in the mirror because maybe I shouldn't wear this. Is this pinching funny? Is that my stomach? Dammit. Try again.
Why are we insane? I suppose I meant me. I'm insane. None of these issues drive to me excessive exercise. I don't starve myself. God, I don't starve myself. Are you kidding me? FOOD. But they do make me hate myself. Maybe hate is too strong a word. But I get mad at myself. I crawl into my shell. I feel ugly. I feel 12.
And let me tell you something: I am not overweight. Not even close. By all standards, I'm pretty damn normal. But what is it about society that affects me so much? I'll never look like her. I'll never have those abs, that waist, those arms. I look real. I don't look like I crawled out of a magazine. But why does normal and real make me feel gross? And why, as an adult woman, am I even having this conversation?
I remember feeling fat as a kid. Comparing myself to friends. Wondering when I'd look like that in my jeans. I wasn't even a fat kid. I mean, sure, I was a bit of a porky toddler, but I grew out of it. Then I grew up, and I remember comparing myself to my college roommates. One was a dancer, it wasn't a fair contest. Nine years later, I'm still playing the comparison game. I hate this game. I suck at this game. I don't want to play anymore.
So why do we play? Why do we carry insecurities around like an extra limb? It's a part of my body. A part of my mind. A part of who I am. But just like the stomach that I hate, I CANNOT GET RID OF IT.
I feel like I want to be mad at something for this -- America? Reading Cosmo as a teen? Actresses? But truthfully, there is no one to blame. It's a mindset I need to change. A ridiculous mindset.
I am me. I am fine.
That's as far as I can get. That I'm fine. I'll work on it and get back to you. In the meantime, let's all be a little kinder to ourselves. We're stuck with ourselves for a long time. No need to be an asshole.