I said a horrible thing to my dad the other day. And what’s even worse is that I’ve said it more than once. Now before you assume that I’m the daughter-from-hell, let me explain.
I didn’t say something horrible about him (how could I? He’s a gem) rather I expressed my desire to be blind.
“Euh..What?” I hear you ask. “Why on earth would you want that?”
Well, let me clarify.
Firstly, I need to say that I had no intention of offending anyone who is blind or who knows someone that is! I can’t put myself in that position so I know that I shouldn’t downplay the seriousness of such a life-changing condition. And secondly, it was one of those “I’m-so-frustrated-in-the-moment” kind of moments.
Now for some context as to why I might have said what I did…
- In a nutshell, I am sick to death of worrying about my body.
- I am tired, so tired, of worrying about the padding that covers my stomach (and protects vital organs!) as if it is somehow connected to my worthiness as a human being. Why do we equate having a taught and toned tummy with “goodness”, with attractiveness, and then cast out anything else? Do we think that women (and men) with a six pack have achieved greater, disciplined themselves more, possess a better sense of control and are therefore more “put together”?
- I am so exhausted by my inner critique, that wicked dictator that occupies such a prominent space in my mind. (Perhaps I should rent that space out to a kinder, more loving voice?) And you know what? This is a one woman battle. Me vs me. Because none of my friends or family or anyone in between has ever actually told me that I should look a certain way. No, I’ve been pushing idea that on myself. Sure, social media and advertising don’t help one scrap, but there is something to be said for the woman who challenges all that, who wholeheartedly embraces herself on the inside, deeming the outside not quite as important as all those crappy magazines make it out to be.
- I am saddened by the fact that such a large percentage of my thoughts are dominated by food and body and “improvement”. Would it be so wrong to acknowledge and accept that I’m perfectly fine the way I am right NOW? (Capitals for emphasis, I’m not yelling I promise.)
I could keep going on for pages and pages like that, but I won’t… Because like I said, I’m tired of picking at my body. I’m tired of caring. I’m tired of constantly trying to improve myself.
And that is why I said that I wished I was blind. If I couldn’t see myself, or others, or the unattainable standards set by the crapvertising industry, surely I could just let go? Surely I could free myself from society’s (and my own) obsession with self and diet and image.
But writing this now, I’m not so sure that a lack of sight would be the end to all my struggles, because to be honest, self-acceptance is an inside job. And like I said, it all comes down to me.
My friends have never said “If you just got rid of that little bit of pudge you’d be a much more likable person.” And if they ever did they probably wouldn’t be my friends much longer.
My mum has never said “Well if your hips weren’t as wide and your boobs a bit bigger then you might be a more confident person”.
My dad has never told me that “If the gap between your thighs was larger then maybe your terrible self-esteem would get the boost it’s always needed.”
And you know why they’ve never said those things? Because they’re 100% untrue.
So no, I don’t wish I was blind. But I am going to start living a life blind to harmful thoughts, to comparisons, to improvement. I’m determined to live a life free from all that, because a life lived in fear of rejection and a constant desire to “fix” myself is not much of a life at all.