Singing My Own Praises, and Maybe Yours, Too
The other day, I saw a comment in a forum from a member who had lost weight. She mentioned that she had changed her diet and had lost 50 pounds so far.
One of the first replies was a cut about how nobody cared and that she was just going to get fat again once she was off of her diet and back to her old habits. The original commenter replied that she had lost weight because she changed her old habits: she realized that she was a binge eater when she became emotional and had spent months finding other ways to cope. Her tone was never boastful, but carried the happiness of somebody who had worked hard for her accomplishment.
The other person didn't back down even after reading that. She repeated that nobody cared and that the woman was trying to make other people look bad.
The exchange made me think about how it seems more socially acceptable for a woman to denigrate herself as opposed to recognize her good qualities. In my experience, a woman who occasionally sighs about her hips being too big, her breasts too small or her hair too frizzy will get sympathy and encouragement. The woman who occasionally admits pride to the curve of those same hips, perfectly shaped breasts or perfectly textured hair is more likely to be met with stares that express, "Who do you think you are? Your hips/breasts/hair aren't that great. Shut up."
Of course, my experience has also been that the mean thoughts are more telling about the other person. People filled with their own insecurities never want to recognize the accomplishments of others.
I'm not writing this from a high horse, by the way. I used to be one of those insecure people, too. There are moments when I'm still one of those people: wondering how dare that girl with the perfect blow out laugh and look so happy while she's sitting at the coffeehouse with her friends, thinking that the girl with the Jackie-O sunglasses and linen short shorts is holding her head up too high with her posture too perfect (who does she think she is?!), mentally mocking the perfectly made up chicky walking into Sephora because she obviously needs a whackload of makeup to feel good about herself.
There are two things that pull me up short whenever these thoughts hit. One is accepting responsibility: I could head to the salon for a blowout and meet up with friends for coffee or splurge on the sunglasses and coordinating outfit (as well as workout so that my legs look as trim), and I like makeup, too, so who am I to judge, and why am I judging? Two is that I know all of those people, or folks like them. Laughing blowout girl might have had a nervous breakdown a few years ago and is currently in a place to celebrate every happiness she can, sunglasses chica is thinking - with every step she takes - that her thighs almost rub together and isn't feeling that pride I think she's projecting and Sephora girly...well, no. She really is shallow and needs that makeup to hide. I hate her.
Just kidding. She is a really fun person to be around and the friend you count on when you need a makeover. She's also really unselfish and is willing to part with every one of her beauty secrets so that you can look your cutest, too.
This entire post, by the way, is brought to you by the fact that I caught a glimpse of my reflection in a window and thought, "Dang! My butt is looking cute today! Look at it! It's pert and with just the right amount of curve. You go, my little derriere!"
So what do you like about yourself today?
Originally posted at Rabbit Eats and Feats