I can’t believe I’m having the problems I’m having now, at the age of 21 and a half, because I’ve always been very appreciative of my body, very unvain and uninterested in beauty, and a strong believer of everyone’s innate natural beauty which comes from within. I’ve also been strongly against the media’s patriarchal, heteronormative standards of female beauty, and always been proud of my love of learning, my kindness, my love of running and dancing, rather than looks. However, I’m starting to feel like my beauty is worthless, and that I don’t fit in anywhere, and it’s become hard to ignore.
Looking back, I used to have a slim face, small waist, big bum, and very muscly legs and arms when I was 17/18. However, lately I can barely bear to look in the mirror. Some days, I don’t go out or miss social events because I’m too shy and feel like I don’t look acceptable. I try to give myself confidence by wearing nice outfits and starting to wear makeup in the day, but this only gives temporary relief because then I realise I don’t want people to start noticing me and looking at me too closely either. I don’t have the flawless skin or womanly body of my mum and my friends, and my hair is neither a nice fluffy afro like theirs, nor long and sleek like someone with euro hair; I don’t even have corkscrew curls, it’s just dry, midlength and puffy.
I’ve got a round, chubby face, pale oily skin, I look tired all the time (because I sleep badly and also have been ill a lot), my stomach is bigger, I have literally no boobs, barely any eyelashes, and I just feel I lack any kind of natural beauty. My confidence has gone down a lot, because all the people I was friends with during my crazy, amazing whirlwind first year at university I know longer know; I’ve lost so many friendships in general, partly because I start to get bored or indifferent to people, or discover they aren’t nice, but others…I think it’s me, and now I’m becoming crippled by fear; I find it so hard to talk to people, or to get the courage to call friends, and even family. I just don’t believe how anyone could be interested in my life and what I have to say anymore.
People tell me all the time that I have a nice figure, or they like my hair, but I don’t believe them, or else I say it’s down to drink or a trick of the light or my makeup. People say they want my body, but the media trains people to think skinny equals hot. In reality, no one wants to be skinny, unfit and boyish, people want to have nice healthy bodies with a womanly shape and big boobs! My boyfriend tells me not to worry about how I look, but he is biased, he has to say that, and he is also very shortsighted and rarely wears his glasses…lol. I don’t know, I just feel I’m hard to get to know cuz I’m shy, and now I feel I look shit too, so I don’t know what I have to give. My old, very close friends of course give me comfort, but I don’t know how I will ever progress in life or meet new people if I feel like this. I’ve started day dreaming about boob jobs and hair extensions, or making myself feel better by wearing less and going out clubbing more…I know this kinda thinking needs to stop. I just want to be carefree about my body again, and throw on whatever without having to worry and spend 2 hours getting ready every day.
I’m confident in my intelligence and ability to write well, etc – I’m doing a masters degree next year. I also think I’m quite an honest and genuine person. But on the other hand, this thing about my looks has come out of the blue and made me feel so bad about myself, and constantly paranoid that my hair looks crap or my makeup is running or I smell or my clothes are too tight…I’m sick of it! I feel so dumb even writing this, I know I should snap out of it but I can’t! Sorry for the clichéd essay. Hope u can help.