Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Owning My Beauty.

This morning when I looked in the mirror, I said, "hello, beautiful." And then I snorted.

So I tried again. “I said, hello, gorgeous.” My reflection eyed me warily, but didn’t respond.

“You really are beautiful. A beautiful woman.”  This time, I couldn’t help the roll of my eyes.

You see, I’ve never been comfortable with my appearance. Never been able to love the skin I live in.

Even as a little girl, I knew I didn’t look quite right. I just wasn’t sure why. The twirly skirts, the pigtails tied with bows…I loved them. But the playground teasing I endured assured me I had it wrong.

Then, as a teenager, I wore glasses, had acne and a mouthful of braces. I was short, had an odd sense of style and struggled with my weight. That, of course, was a recipe for disaster. Especially when coupled with an innate shyness and a tendency to hide my nose in a book.

Eventually, though, I came out the other side. The braces came off, the glasses gave way to contacts, and the acne…subsided. And I? Became a not-too-terrible-looking human being.

But the damage was done. I couldn’t see the reality of what was staring back at me in the mirror. I could only see what I lacked. 

Instead of the pretty blue eyes, I saw only the crooked nose.

Instead of the fantastic smile, I saw only the stained teeth.

My boobs were too big. My thighs were too large. Even my feet were too wide.

I was a melting pot of flaws.

Now, of course, I look back and think, “you idiot. Why didn’t you appreciate what you had?”

And then I go back to beating my self-confidence into the ground.

But that has to end. And it has to end now. As I’ve already mentioned a time or five (million), I have a daughter now. And, as I’ve also said, she needs a strong, self-confident role model.

So, I’m trying to see myself for the wonderful human being I am, flabby belly, chubby thighs and all.

That belly is poochy because it performed a miracle.

Those thighs are supported by some damn fine calves.

I have a fantastic smile.

I have pretty blue eyes.

I am strong.

I am smart.

I am sexy.

I am beautiful.

This post was written for the first Bloggers and Tiaras challenge at MomDot. The task? Define what beauty means to you. If you think I've done a good job, you might want to head on over there and vote for me. There's some serious bling at stake. And I? Would really like some pretty pearls to go with my tiara.


  1. Amen! Isn't it sad how hard we can be on ourselves for really no good reason. I hope we can all be better role models for our children and raise them with a healthy self esteem.

  2. Very well written! Amazing post! Your daughter has a great mom to look up to - and you will be able to help her if she endures teasing like you did (I pray she doesn't though!)
    Good luck in the competition!

  3. I loved your post!!! *hugs* Being a mommy is a beautiful thing.

    (fellow contestant)

    Christine Mack

  4. Great post! I can totally relate. Thanks for stopping by. I'm certainly going to come back.

  5. Awww. You definitely are beautiful. And BONUS I also got to interview you on my blog. You go girl! Hope you win. I'll check the site out to see how I can throw my vote in ok?

  6. I so get it. Hard to love yourself isn't it...I try never to say anything loud about appearances in front of my 10 year old. But internally, I shriek when I see my behind. Ugh, getting older sucks ass.

  7. I was an ugly duckling growing up(well I didn't that I was that bad but the teasin', man.) and now I like to think of myself as a swan.

  8. yes, you ARE beautiful. i'm so proud of you for seeing the good in yourself! you are a fabulous person inside and out. karma likes it when you are kind to yourself :)

  9. Your post was spot-on. Cheers to beautiful curves and strong calves ;)

  10. *blush*. You guys are great. thanks for the encouragement!

  11. You're a great writer to boot! :) May the best tiara-wearer win!

  12. oh, i love it! i do the same when i look in the mirror- criticize and criticize. i must get!

    i'm going to head over and vote for you!

  13. Wow Amber. That was fabulously written. It's hard not to look in the mirror and see your flaws at some point in your life. But I'm totally loving your outlook now. You go girl!

  14. That's beautiful!

    Happy SITS Sharefest!!

  15. BEAUTIFUL post --
    thank you for sharing this with us, and for inspiring us to see ourselves in a different way.

  16. Amber: this speaks so much truth, and trust me, almost every woman I've ever met, short or tall, thin or fat, plain jane or movie star pretty, has the same difficulty looking in the mirror and smiling at herself. we all find flaws even if they are not there! I have an illustration and page in my book that deals with the exact same topic.

  17. You, my friend, are a beeautiful woman. Thanks for sharing this post on my link up.


Feed my blogging habit and leave me a comment! Oh, and if you do me a favor and make sure your email isn't blocked, we can keep this conversation from being one-sided!