April 18, 2013
Real Beauty: hard to watch
You've probably seen this already. It was all over my Facebook feed. Friends and cousins and every other woman posting it and commenting on how touching it was and how much they wanted the women in their lives to know that they are beautiful.
It was hard for me to watch. Like many of my friends I cried when I watched it, too, but I also felt incredibly awkward and uncomfortable.
I thought about how I would describe myself, what words I would have given to the artist. Of course I didn't have to think very hard or long. They are all right there, at the forefront of my mind and on the tip of my tongue because I think them every time I do my make-up, pass a mirror, or open the door to leave my home and go into public.
big, pale forehead
wide, rounded nose
medium sized eyes that are "hooded"
full, pudgy face - fat like the rest of me
small dimples on the cheeks
hair that's probably inappropriately long for my age and in bad need of a trim
I am in this terrible rut where I do not like how I look and how long I've looked this way. It's embarrassing, really. I feel embarrassed. As I meet new people I want to take them back in time to the Bonnie who happily wore a size M. Who had strong legs, a thin face, and perfectly sized c-cup breasts. "See! I didn't always look like this... most of my life, yes, but there was a time when I lost 50lbs and I kept it off for 6 years. Six years! It wasn't a fluke!"
My kids will sometimes get a hold of my camera and take random pictures. Later I'll see shots of me giving T a bottle, typing on the computer, walking through the living room, fixing a meal. These pictures are always unflattering but I think the reality is that when picture after picture after picture is bad then it's not really the picture that looks bad - it's me. I'm sure there is a huge difference in what I see in the pictures and what my kids see but, well, I guess it just is what it is.
I know the message of the video is powerful and so I showed the it to my husband, who was also impressed by it. "You should show it to your students," I told him. "I should," he said. It doesn't really fit into any chemistry or physics lesson plans but imagine how powerful it could be to classrooms of high school boys and girls.
But me, I don't want to watch it again. What they are stating is obviously true, but it's a truth I can't hear right now. For some reason it is just much too painful.