After the 10th trial in the dressing room of the 5th showroom, I felt I was good for nothing. I felt as if there’s nothing that can look good on me. Maybe I AM a defected piece. Not even a single piece of clothing available that can fit or suit me.
Have you ever had this feeling of dejection, wherein you feel that there is nothing left now to make you happy? As if you have lost yourself, and there’s nothing you can do about it? Yes, that’s how it felt. Maybe, even worse than that.
I couldn’t control the rush of emotions and the tears that rolled down my cheeks. I looked at myself in the mirror, and stared at my own reflection looking back at me.
What could I do now? What HAVE I done till now?
Was this all my fault? Maybe yes. Maybe no. How would I have known who was responsible for the way I looked? At that time, it was just a flashback of all the memories till now. I kept thinking about the times I went on a diet, and couldn’t keep it to more than a week. I kept thinking about the times every salon lady would comment on my face, how it needed THAT glow facial, which would make my DULL SKIN look better.
I kept thinking about the times, when my friends dated, and they always had plans with their partners, while I just sat at home looking for something to work upon. I knew I would never have a boyfriend. Why would someone even date me?
The memories were endless, that included every person who had looked down upon me, maybe I was that one person who can never look beautiful.
Why did beauty matter so much to people? Or maybe it just mattered to me. Yet, how could I have believed anything else, when the whole world wanted to accept just good looking people? Was there any such law?
Good-looking definitely have it easy.
I just felt I couldn’t fit in the world anymore. I didn’t live in a perfect world like others.
I had all these thoughts just while standing in the changing room, looking at all the clothes piling up on the stool. I was so angry and frustrated that I wiped out my tears and came storming out of the changing room.
Ashamed of myself, ashamed of how I looked, ashamed of how nothing looked nice on me, the anger ushered on the people who made these clothes. Were they only targeting a certain section of the society? Did they really not think about other people? The icing on the cake became when I saw other girls trying all the dresses, jumpsuits, tops, shorts, etc, and it all fit them perfectly, like it was just tailor-made for them. I hated to see them happy. I hated to see how gorgeous they looked.
All I could think was- their world was so much better than mine.
If only, I could live a life like theirs.
Well, it was not just the looks, the worst thing about being ugly meant it would ruin other aspects of my life too, like-
- Social Life- Leave alone having friends, I would not feel comfortable sharing the same bench of the metro with someone who looked pretty.
- Academics- Brilliant in academics till 6th standard, I lost my focus thereafter as my school became more about talents, swag, friends, etc. I just could not concentrate on my studies or for that matter, anything!
- No Talent- What talent could I possibly have? Everywhere I went, I felt people were just looking at me with suspicious looks, I felt being judged by them. So I couldn’t be a part of any creative classes, and I couldn’t figure out my talent.
I think my confidence had gone down drastically, because, I didn’t believe in myself, what to speak of others.
And I couldn’t even talk about it with anybody. I didn’t want to let anyone look into my mind and my empty heart. They would think I don’t even have a life, and how shallow I am that I don’t even like myself.
I had accepted that some people would be born with beauty and some people would just have to make peace with their ugliness.
While it had been a long time since I was contemplating on that, I came across a piece of statistics which said- 80% of women population thinks that they are not “good enough”.
That drew my attention. Of course, I was one of those women, however, what surprised me was, do the majority of women feel the way I feel? Well, that was a shock! Were there more like me?
Now the question that came to my mind was- if everyone felt this way, then who started this at the first place? Nobody likes to be criticised or feel inferior to anyone. SO, when and how did it start?
I had tried everything by myself till now, and was too tired to work alone on this path. I needed support and motivation from someone. That’s when I just somehow got in touch with a Life Coach.
All this while I thought, I am destined to live like this, and probably this is how my life would be. Yet, fortunately when I met my Life Coach, I realised that I was wrong. And I loved being wrong this time.
It was perfect that I opened up to a Life Coach because she was someone:
- Someone who understood me
- Someone who made me fall in love with myself again
I realised through my sessions with my Life Coach that- it was the confidence in myself that I needed. Not just that, my thoughts were filtered too. I needed to view things just as they were. Somehow, my glass was tainted with other people’s thoughts.
The Life Coach listened to me and was there to support me. When I had lost trust and hope in myself and everyone around me, the Life Coach gave me new strength and perspective. From somewhere I got this new light, which brought clarity.
It was a gradual process, and we spoke about everything. How it happened? Why it happened? How did it affect me?
There are various reasons to it. One of the most prominent reasons why one becomes a victim of this is that they might have been once or on regular basis told by another person that they need to look in a ‘certain’ way. The way they ‘already’ look is not good enough. They can look better. And that happened with me!
Girls are casually thrown with unpleasant remarks like, “This is not how a girl looks! You need to work on your beauty. How can you be so dark? Why would any boy want to marry you?”
Whereas boys are confronted with “Why don’t you eat anything? Why would any girl be with you if you look like a thin stick or a potato? Girls like to be with men who are tall and have a good physique. Go hit the gym!”
That is the first encounter which totally brings down the confidence of the person, and seeds in the thought of fitting in, because somewhere the originality of a person is not valued. That’s when I remembered how- the first time it happened with me when all the girls in my class were supposed to prepare a dance piece, and I was really good at it. I loved dancing more than anything.
But my teacher pointed me out and said that I could play the role of a boy (instead of a girl) in the dance sequence, because I was dark unlike other girls. I got so ashamed of it, and I remember crying in the washroom alone, because I had imagined myself dancing in that white frock, but now I was supposed to wear a red shirt, and dance like a boy.
That was the most crashing moment, as I was only 12 years old. I started believing I was not like “one of the girls” who belonged to my class. That, I was not normal or like a regular person. I didn’t even tell this to anyone, or share with any of my friends, as I thought they would never understand, in fact I believed that they would be having a good laugh about it. So I started staying away from my classmates.
I never got over that incident, and kept myself in the dark.
It wasn’t just this incident, it was a series of episodes, where I felt that I was not worth anything. When I gained a little weight, that was also another challenge for me. People thought how could I be part of sports anymore. So, in short, everything became associated to my physical appearance- and not my talent.
I believed in the way people perceived me, and I must tell you it was a big challenge to go through this everyday. Every single day, I lived differently than how I actually wanted to live. It was like losing my identity and dying a bit everyday.
I used to wonder-
“If I DON’T use compact on my spots or stretch marks, will people dislike me?”
“If I DON’T use fair complexion creams on my face, will nobody marry me?”
“If I DON’T go on crash diets and literally go on the verge of fainting, will I have fewer friends?”
When we have such thoughts, our entire focus is portraying ourselves as someone we are NOT. Why can’t we just portray ourselves?
Well, if that must have been the case, then we wouldn’t have been so disappointed with the way our body looks. The way one ‘must’ look is often the choice that we leave on others. And we try to achieve that all our lives. What are we, contestants of some beauty pageant?
There are so many things that fall under our dissatisfaction regarding body-image: our skin tone, our size, our physique, etc. This dissatisfaction is also because of how others are setting the beauty standards around us.
In today’s time we have completely immersed ourselves in the virtual world, and have started associating it with reality. We see people around the clock posting their pictures while working out, flashing their abs, thighs, butts, biceps. Particularly putting across an idea of how an ideal body should be.
You must have noticed how the beauty standards keep changing from time to time. From a silhouette of 36-24-36 to a size Zero. Now if we all will try and look the same how will we embrace the uniqueness of an individual? What will be left special about you, if we all became look-alikes?
We all want to be perfect, but perfect is not real.
The beauty magazines are filled with drop-dead gorgeous and carved to perfection men and women.
Layers of colors. Photoshopped.
IT IS FAKE.
Sorry to break your bubble, but that is required. How far can you believe something that is not even true?
One of the most famous actresses of Bollywood, Sonam Kapoor, in her essay titled “I Didn’t Wake Up Like This” busted the myth of female celebrity flawlessness. She tells the world how she has been body shamed so many times in her teenage, because she was very tall, dark, and fat. Her own relative remarked asking “who will marry her?”
At her teenage, when she saw actresses around her, she was quite sure that she could NEVER look like them at any point in her life, saying “Nobody lines up to buy tickets to see cellulite”.
She ended up taking unhealthy behaviors, such as crash dieting, where sometimes she did not eat at all the entire day in order to desperately lose weight; working out 3-4 hours at a stretch, etc.; and now she regrets taking up those decisions because it was at the cost of her health and most importantly her happiness.
“It takes an army, a lot of money, and an incredible amount of time to make a female celebrity look the way she does when you see her. It isn’t realistic, and it isn’t anything to aspire to.”
All in all she is trying to tell us that our endeavor must not be to look in a certain way, but to love the way we look. Love your flaws!
Speaking to a Life Coach was quite an enlightening experience for me. My Life Coach empowered me to change my life at so many levels-
- Acceptance- You know what the trick is for being accepted by others? Don’t look for their acceptance! The key is- to accept yourself the way you are! I always looked myself through other people’s lenses, and never thought about myself: my strengths.
- Break Assumptions- I assumed what people thought of me, and thus I avoided everyone. When my Life Coach asked me how sure I was about others’ negative opinions, I was blank.
- Introspection– I introspect on myself. My likes, my choices, my accomplishments, my qualities. I had forgotten my accomplishments, and with time I forgot that I had so many interests and hobbies. I always magnified my weight and my looks, and forgot about my interest and talent in sports. It was not how I looked that made me a great player, it was my skill & interest towards it.
- Appreciation- I had my focus only on my negatives, and the way I looked wasn’t even a fault. It was the filter in my mind, which I had adapted over the few years due to so many experiences. My Life Coach told me- it was not my fault. There was nothing wrong with it. I realised that- This is how I am.
The best aspect I could hit a chord with was when I was told by my Life Coach to have a “Positive Self-Talk”
There were a few more things we spoke about, which made perfect sense. I would like to remember these forever, because we do tend to forget these things.
We must know, that if ONE person does not like the way we look, it is only his/her perspective, and NOT a fact.
When one says that we need to present ourselves in a certain way, ask yourself “Is that really me?”
Nobody knows you better than you, so you are the best person to know about yourself, your perception, your personality, your needs and your feelings.
Secret For Perfect Body
Do you want to know the secret behind having a perfect body? (Yes, we all do). The core secret to look beautiful is to “feel” beautiful. Now that we know that there is not just one particular way in which we can look pretty, there are more than a million ways. As every person is different and unique looking, thus the definition of beauty will also be different.
To keep this feeling going one must focus on living a healthy life.
A healthy diet to keep you fit.
Burn your calories through work out, to feel energized.
Always keep that smile on your face, trust me it adds up to your beauty.
It’s all these little things that count in the end. You will definitely feel healthy and Empowered.
Looking Beautiful To Being Beautiful
The beauty is not just from outside, but from within too. All our focus is on how to “look’’ beautiful and not how to ‘’be’’ beautiful. One must understand that if we focus on outward beauty, it may not last for very long.
As we keep ageing, our body also keeps changing. Though one thing that will always be there is your inner beauty.
You do realize that being pretty is not the only important factor, as we all are pretty in our own ways, yet if there is no inner satisfaction then one can never be at peace.
So focus on how you can win hearts by spreading your inner beauty, as that will always be there to make you shine.
Respecting Your Body
Don’t you think then your body needs to be treated just like you treat your home?
We keep decorating our houses, and try to make it comfortable for ourselves, so that we feel homely and peaceful. Like every house is different and has its own unique structure and vibe to it, the same analogy goes for our bodies.
So, the next time when you see yourself in the mirror, ask yourself- Do I need to live up to how others have defined beauty for me?
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