discomfortable beauty

Posted on April 5, 2011

5


24: How attractive do you consider yourself?

Being as transparent as possible, this question makes me uncomfortable, and I think that’s a good place to start.  The next(really simultaneous) space I occupy is that I consider myself a lot more attractive than I did when I was younger. I used to be very critical of myself, not only my looks but my weight and my hair and all of it (just like most women).  I always thought I needed other people to compliment me or intimate partners to make me feel better, but it was never enough.  What changed the way I view myself and ultimately impacted my self esteem the most was women’s studies classes.  Once I learned how much was invested in preoccupying women with their weight and looks (and what effect that has on a larger scale) and how distorted our ideal was from nature, I began to deconstruct everything I thought I knew about how I saw myself and others.  I began to see how utterly fucked up it is that women are made to feel that they’re only beautiful once they cover their natural selves up (make up).  I was able to see human beings outside of the context we see as the “real world”.. humans have been on this planet for how long? All the shit we do now, everything we focus on, all the cultural norms and ideas we have about how things “are”  are so new in the grand scheme of things.. i began to see it was a scheme.  I deserve to feel great about myself as i am – not with cultural modifications (diet, died hair, make up, fake tan, etc etc).  I believe there is an interesting parallel between the cultural “becoming” of a woman in our culture and in ones where female genital mutilation occurs.  We always look at that example of women’s oppression and say “well look at them over there, we’re not doing it, women have it better here”… but women have to go through gross extremes to be desired (or at the very least feel desired, and that stress on your mind is torturous) by men in our society… women are having vaginal plastic surgery for gods sakes. So how attractive do I find myself is hard, because intellectually i know i should feel fine about myself so long as i take care of myself and eat healthy food and be active on a regular basis.  When we judge ourselves against this cultural standard of beauty that is purposefully unattainable is when we will always fall short, and always feel unattractive.  And so much emphasis is put on if we are attractive as women.  It’s the ultimate factor in how our value is based as human beings in our society.  I can be the smartest, most intelligent, accomplished person in this world and the very first thing I will be judged on is how good i look, especially on a lager scope (for instance, say, if i were running for a political office).  That is a lot of pressure to feel all the time.  And it’s not easy to unlearn.  I still don’t feel quite right without make up, and trying to unlearn ten years (realistically 23) of very disordered relationships to food is ridiculously hard.  I still shave my legs when I go to the beach (only) even though I know it’s bullshit.  But for me, at least knowing it’s bullshit quiets the little monster in my head that tries to force me to comply with cultural standards most of the time.  I don’t know if that answers the question, but I don’t know that I have an answer for the question.  I don’t have too much trouble finding intimate partners, and people smile at me a lot and I’m relatively successful for my age, and statistically speaking those things happen more to people who are “attractive”… and sometimes I feel good or pretty.. but most days I just feel like me and I try not to focus on how i look, i have much more important things to worry about. I have a lot of insecurities about how i look still, but i’m working on it.  I feel the most beautiful when my energy is clear and i’m emitting love and light.

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30 Day Personal Challenge

1: Name two of the most significant people in your life and explain why.

2: What is your stance on religion? Would you affiliate yourself with any?

3: What band / musician is most important to you?  Explain why.

4: If you could chose a time period to be born at , which one would it be and why?

5: At what age were you the happiest?

6: Name five things from your wishlist.

7: Do you read? If so, what are your three favorite books and why?

8: If you could live anywhere, where would you live and why?

9: How old do you think you act? Explain.

10: If you could only live off of one food and one beverage for the rest of your days, what would they be?

11: What is your favorite quote? How does it relate to your life?

12: What item of clothing do you wear the most?

13: What can you not live without?

14: Name things that you do every day.

15: Who is someone you admire. Why?

16: If the world were to end tomorrow, what would you do with your remaining time on earth?

17: What do you want to be when you get older? Why did you choose it?

18: If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be? What would you say to them or ask them?

19: What is your favorite film? Why is it so important to you?

20: Would you consider yourself an optimist or a realist? Why?

21: Do you want children? Why or why not?

22: What subject did / do you exceed in / at school?

23: Are you a fan of art? If so, who is your favorite artist? What artistic movement do you prefer?

24: How attractive do you consider yourself?

25: Would you rather date someone plain with an amazing personality or someone beautiful with a plain personality?

26: Choose two: mentally stable, intelligent, attractive. Explain why you chose those two.

27: Which do you prefer: films or television? Why?

28: If you could choose to live forever, would you? Why or why not?

29: Do you wish for anything at 11:11? If so, what do you wish for? Has anything ever come true?

30: What do you imagine your life like at age fifty?