In my pubescent times struggling to create self-identity while painfully accepting changes in my body, blogging became my old trusted friend. I blogged about how I perceived my appearance as unpleasant and my body as very scrawny and gawky. I blogged about tales of my childhood when I was mistaken as a boy. I blogged about how lonely I was having my heart broken by a guy who I thought was in love with me but found someone more good-looking and better than me after a week. I blogged about my low self-esteem, my poor self-concept as an adolescent, on my old abandoned blog. Now being wiser than in those years I am writing for anyone who sheds the same tears, who rants the same pain and who must relearn the same lesson.
Opposite of Anorexic
I posted a picture of a weighing scale while I was weighing in, 53 kilograms, in my Instagram with lengthy caption that says ‘A Tale of Scale Obsessed’ blah blah blah. I was that scale obsessed that kept checking her weight in the scale when she had a chance and whenever possible. Right after waking up and urinating (I was less heavy in those times). After eating meal or having the urge to pee (I was heavier in those times). It’s nonsense but I kept on checking every subtle detail of my weight because it calmed me to think that I am on the right track every fifteen minutes. I had a ridiculous fear of losing weight. I was the opposite of anorexic. In my Psychiatric Nursing lesson, anorexia is an illness concerning body image. A person perceives that she’s fat but she’s actually very thin. She can’t see her true figure because she’s blinded by incorrect perception about her body. Our mind is very powerful.
My mind is very powerful that any idea I consume it becomes who I am. Growing up hideously thin I am accustomed to hearing negative comments about my boniness which stuck in my mind that I must gain weight in order to be appreciated. I must eat large amount of calories than average curvy women can ingest to actually gain pounds. My metabolism is as fast as lightning. Scary. Since childhood gaining weight has always been a dream.
I now gained enough grams. I am 51 kg as of now but turn 52 after eating heavy meal. With the aid of hair rebonding which costed me one pair of Keds my lock appears fine. I had plans of spending my vacation at gym because I heard that toning muscles can do wonders in petite physique. Yet I knew, deep down in my soul that whatever I do my gene is not as fine as supermodels. I might always be forever looking in the mirror pitying the bony person it reflects. Newly rebonded tress can make us feel good for awhile but when a sexy lady with huge butt walks by and your boyfriend takes a long look at her, you feel uglier hundred times. Insecurity kills every beautiful cell in your body.
Insecurity is like a poop. Its stench ruins amazing places, pollutes fresh air. Its presence ravages beautiful view. Any compliment I hear about how wonderful a location is, as long as a stinking poop keeps linger in that area it will always be a stinking place. I would always be a stinking person. I cut my hair shorter. Let it grew longer. Toned my muscles. Gained much pounds. Braced my teeth. Showered more than once. Ingested vitamins. Shopped branded clothes. Purchased signature shoes. But then woke up ugly.
Insecurity begged me to improve but whenever a lady with perfect curves enters the scene all those things that made me feel good about myself vanish. I was a walking poop again, soaked in expensive perfume but smells worse. Insecurity broke, ruined me.
“You criticize girls who are prettier than you.” (Of course not. Is there a better way to tell me that I am uglier?)
“You have zero sex appeal.” (Yeah, ’cause I’m sexless as a plant.)
“You have a body like a boy.” (Thanks to my father.)
“You have flies on your face.” (Maybe ’cause I look like a turd?)
“You look like a tadpole.” (Kokak.)
“You are not beautiful.” (K.)
Thanks for all those reminders that I should not be too proud of my looks. I don’t have nothing to brag. Every criticism sank deep in every neuron of my brain to the point that every praise I heard couldn’t accept by my system. I blocked compliments like a virus in my computer. I didn’t allow it to damage my operating system. I am ugly, no, thanks. I am ugly.
Unfair and Unreasonable
Isn’t it unfair that humans admire good looking humans who just born that way? When we admire people based on their appearance which they don’t have any choice about it, isn’t it unreasonable? My appreciation is only for those who are hardworking who strive to do things with all their might though it isn’t easy, for those who are good at something because she or he exerted enough effort to excel, for those who have good choices, good decisions that describe who they are. I don’t want to compliment a person on how he or she looks but how he or she carries herself or himself though he or she is fat or very thin. I don’t want to praise a person based on how sexy she is in that purple dress she wears but how good her choice is, choosing that fine dress that suits her more despite his or her flaws. Same thing, I don’t despise people with big nose or huge mouth because they can’t make their nose or mouth smaller or alter their faces. God made them as they are. I rather loathe people who look down on others and treat others unfairly.
I questioned my Creator why. Why do humans get attracted to physical traits more? Why was I born unattractive? Why was I so unhappy? You can’t imagine how hard I was to myself by always criticizing, pitying, breaking my own heart every time I kept on ruminating on the criticisms and all. They hurt me, I was hurt and they may hurt me again but I realized that I would always be miserable if I would keep on focusing on the wounded part. I tried to change my way of thinking. I asked my trusted friends to give positive qualities they thought I have so that whenever I was feeling blue I would read it like a reminder of my forgetful heart and I would be okay again. (Yep, I came to that stage of my unhappiness.) I was deeply touched by their answers and never felt so special in the past years of my existence. But then the monster I created that devoured my mirth just slept for awhile and woke up when triggered by life’s callousness. It wasn’t easy as one two three but I kept on pressing hard and now I seek aid from the One who created me because He knows me, my ways, my thoughts more than I know myself.
How I Convince Myself that I am Beautiful
Let this blog post serves as a testimony of how an ugly miserable woman criticized as a shapeless malnourished unappealing human being has changed into a lovely masterpiece of God. I was typing this with overwhelming zest and delight that I want to share with you. You are beautiful, remember that, even if you don’t feel it or the world tells you are not and yourself also tells you are not. You are beautiful. There are millions of reasons you are. You are capable of loving someone so deeply and selflessly and that is so beautiful. You can achieve your dreams, your wonderful dreams if you work and pray hard for it and that is so beautiful. You can change lives of others, you can influence the youth, you can help the needy, you can make the world a better place, you can promote wellness and positivity and those are so beautiful. You have the beautiful soul and you know what, beautiful soul doesn’t fade, rot nor die. It will go back to God where it belongs and your body which is full of imperfections will decay in our coffin and soon be eaten by saphrophytes. So don’t fret. Our sufferings are temporary. Other people can call as names whichever they prefer but do you know that our Lord already has our genuine names written in His book? Amazing, right?
Whenever you have doubts, look at yourself intently in the mirror and may you see yourself how the Lord sees you. You are precious in His eyes because He created you in His image so whenever you take a look at your appearance you can also take a glimpse of God’s image (Genesis 1:27). You might oppose me because the people of this world are pushing you to believe that you don’t fit in the idea of what is considered beautiful. Curvy body, bouncy hair, flawless skin, pointed nose and many more, we all are desperate to have it all because human beings long for appreciation, recognition and acceptance. But believe me or not, many people love and accept you as who you are and if ever your boyfriend ditched you to find someone more good-looking, don’t be disheartened but it’s a chance for you to find the right one sent by God. If we depend our happiness on the opinion and perception of others we will often be heartbroken. If we based our self worth on how others deal with us we will always feel worthless. You see, this world is full of disappointment, frustrations, envious, jealousy and discontentment but try to look vertically to God. Depend your happiness and worth on Him and He will never fail you. His love never fails. It isn’t that easy to change our mind like that but contemplate on this. Try to picture yourself as sexy and attractive as you desire to be, yes, you will definitely feel so elated but it can’t last for a lifetime. We will all age. Our skin will lose its collagen and starts to dry out and crease. Our body shape will eventually alter to the point that wearing a two-piece swimsuit is a big joke. Why are we so obsessed about the superficial and neglect what is essential and eternal? That’s the Lord’s answer to me when I questioned Him before. My child, do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2) I keep that verse in my heart like a treasure.
I would like to share with you how my insecurity and unhappiness turned into gladness and satisfaction. My self-doubt and sadness are created by my own mind which was excessively conforming to the world’s ideals. The more I tried to impress others the more rejections I received. I would never be satisfied in this life if I would merely fulfill my personal goal which is to become better version of myself physically and emotionally. I couldn’t help looking at my weak points and be devastated every time. Then, God spoke to me. Change your perspective, Karen. You are beautiful because you are my child (John 1:12-13). You are the apple of my eye. It doesn’t matter what people say because none of this is permanent. Abide in Me because My will for you is good, pleasing and perfect. Transform into a person I want you to be by getting rid of all the bitterness you cultivate inside of you. Be joyful always, pray often and give thanks to all circumstances. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
When I began to seek my identity in God’s identity I came to value and appreciate myself more. Whenever I feel unworthy, ugly or incapable I look for Him, He who created me, gave me life and is providing me all that I need. He who is perfect, holy, generous, forgiving, kind and just. How can I be sad if I have Him as my father and Lord? So I can say that to be truly beautiful, do not search remedy from physically attractive human beings for their beauty secrets, from cosmetic surgeons to slice your flesh, from medicines and creams which promise stunning difference. If you think you can be happy by doing it, do it. But remember this, you are already beautiful in God’s eyes and in the sight of anyone who loves you dearly.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. -Proverbs 31:30, NIV