“We talk about body shape, size and weight, but rarely about distorted features. And we talk about plainness, but not faces that would make a surgeon’s fingers itch.
“The Ugly Duckling” is widely assumed to be the story of his own life. But the moral of that story was that a swan would emerge from the body of an outcast, and that you could not repress the nobility of a swan in a crowd of common ducks.
What if you just stay a duck?”
This has taken a lot of lady balls to post. But you know what?! #effyourbeautystandards! People may make assumptions about me — the way I dress, the way I carry myself — but let me tell you my story… I have struggled almost my whole life with poor self image. It was a lot worse growing up; it started very young in my pre-teens and it affected everything I saw in the mirror, not just my body. It’s only been in my adult years where I’ve truly started to accept me for me.
I was almost five years into an abusive relationship, and at best, I was bereft of both self-esteem and hope. The good news is that a month and a half later, I finally got up enough courage to leave. At the time, I thought it was a temporary measure to help him realize that what he was doing was wrong. But it turned into a journey of recovery and self-discovery that I’m still taking today. None of it has been easy, but a lot of that journey has been aided by playing hockey…
I am a young (woman) musician embarking on a career in music performance. So much of the job, particularly for women, involves looking sexy. I am also an introverted person who is dealing with quite a bit of social and career anxiety (making me even less inclined to “put on a show”). Those of you in similar positions, how do you conform to the industry expectations of how you should look and act without making yourself uncomfortable?
Thanks to my son, I’ve now got a better understanding of who I am and why I should be proud of it. You won’t hear me tell my boys that I’m fat, or unhappy with my body because I’ve truly learned the value of self image. I still watch what I eat and exercise, but it’s not to change my physical self. It’s to stay fit and healthy so I can keep up with these boys.
We had a wildly successful show this past weekend, the club was packed and the crowd was very enthusiastic and responsive, which was fantastic. I’d spent the last month wavering between being very excited about my two solos, and being very scared about how exposed I was going to be up there. Normally when I perform, I leave a waist cincher on because body issues.
As I evaluate my role as a strong, positive role model in Johannah’s life, I am particularly cognizant of the image of myself that I share with her, that I unconsciously project into the world. I may be found, at times, in front of a full length mirror scrutinizing the lumps and bumps of my body, rough patches of skin, the crookedness of my front teeth.
I was astonished by this transformation into my ideal body. I felt lighter on my feet and more comfortable in my skin. In one year, I had gained 50 pounds, and then lost 65. I had gone from a size 6 to a maternity Large, then back down to a size 4. I went from a bra size A to B and then C. I felt like a real woman, feminine in a way that finally matched how I had always felt on the inside.