It hurts to be beautiful.
What?! Well, that just sucks. I’d like to think that I can be comfortable and beautiful all at the same time. A few years ago I went to a wine tasting with a group of friends and feeling that I needed to, “dress for the occasion,” I wore a god awful pair of suede wedges that had me teetering at every step. I felt the pain of my decision with each step and at each stop along the tour of wines. It seemed to feel worse when I stood still so I was continually moving, not even able to focus on my companions. I felt distant from the conversation because all I could think of was sitting down and rubbing my feet. The balls of my feet were screaming for relief, but along I walked like a newborn baby deer, hesitant with each step because I wasn’t confident in the freaking pair of shoes that I CHOSE to wear. After the wine tasting, we ventured to a local bar and on the way I stopped in the parking garage to grab my flats. Oh the sweet feeling of tossing those terrible shoes to the floor and slipping on my shoes that provided a sure step. After a bit of time at the bar, one of my friends said, “you are like a completely different person than who you were just 15 minutes ago.” The shoes that I chose for that evening made my calves look awesome and lifted my close to non-existent butt. They made me stand up taller because of my ever present awareness of my balance or lack thereof. They also made me boring. They made me uninterested and distant. They made me self-conscience and unsure of myself. I have many pairs of heels that are beautiful, but detrimental to my being. I have literally fallen in one pair of them and the others have required a death grip to my husband’s arm in order to walk from the car to our destination. Who, in their right mind, would rather show up with great calves instead of being part of a great conversation?! I have learned that I am not this person. Every once in a while I still buy a pair of heels because I think that, all of the sudden; I am one of those girls that can actually walk in them. Well I’m not. There I said it, I CAN’T WALK IN HEELS!! It almost feels like I’ve failed as a woman or something, but who decided that beauty and confidence are packaged in stilettos and tight dresses? It hurts to be beautiful. Yes, it absolutely does. In my attempt to fit the definition of beauty, it has hurt my feet. It has hurt my back from wearing girdle like contraptions that rob the wearer of using the restroom without first removing five layers of nylon. It has hurt my confidence in myself.
I absolutely hate my desire to fit in. I loathe the fact that I flip through magazines, envious of another woman’s toned abs or her slender thighs. I use these pictures as “goals” to strive for and benchmarks to reach. We try to remind each other of the airbrushing that happens before these bodies are presented as every day women, but I forget. I forget that they have peach fuzz, just like I do. They have stretch marks, just like I do. These women have struggles, just like I do. They have self-doubt and a negative self-image, just like I do. Oh but those pictures…. those pictures however are forever frozen on the pages of that magazine. They are in front of me on the treadmill. They stare back at me as I wait at my doctor’s office.
I did some quick research before completing this post and happened upon another blog, Beauty Redefined (http://www.beautyredefined.net/if-beauty-hurts/). The title of the post was, “If beauty hurts, we’re doing it wrong.” How refreshing this is. Perhaps this could be our new mantra as women. This is the struggle I have though. I have these feelings…..I get disgusted and then I pluck, I diet and I talk about what I need to change about my body on a daily basis. It’s a daily battle to love my body, but I sure am trying. I have been beautifully and thoughtfully created. I will remember this as I start my work week. I am far from airbrushed and I cannot walk in heels, but I do love a good conversation and a good pair of flats 😉