Is it possible for a dress to make you feel pretty? I used to think so – that an outfit had the power of taking away insecurities. Then one day I put on one of my favorite dresses that always makes me feel beautiful and it didn’t work. I spent an hour on my hair, painted my toenails, and I still felt… less than. I just wanted to crawl back into bed and try again later.
Beauty can’t be bought in a store. It isn’t hanging on a rack or hidden inside of a tube of eyeliner. It comes from the inside and its a feeling only you can manifest and embrace.
“Although beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, the feeling of being beautiful exists solely in the mind of the beheld.” Martha Beck
Let me tell you a little bit about myself… For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with feeling beautiful in my own skin. Whether it’s my weight or the way my hair falls, my squinty right eye or the lines in my face when I smile, happiness with my physical appearance has never seemed easy. During high school and college is when I was most unsatisfied with myself. I tried everything on the outside to feel beautiful, from dying my hair blonde to exercising excessively, but at the end of the day my insecurities won.
Pregnancy and motherhood has impacted my vision of what beauty feels and looks like. My body has carried the weight of a child twice and as I watched it stretch, expand, and transform in so many ways, it was difficult to look at the scale at the doctors – even though the increase in number meant we were both healthy. When I caught a glimpse of myself naked in the mirror I would shudder, even though I knew this was normal. It’s natural. And to be pregnant is a beautiful gift.
After each one of my daughters was born, I stared at the scale on a daily basis, hoping to lose another number. Now, at almost one year postpartum, I weigh less than I did when I thought I was thin in my younger years. Do I think this is beautiful? Sometimes… But there is more. My hair has fallen out in clumps and grown back. My curls are strange and my scalp becomes oily. My skin has changed significantly, I’ve been so pimply I resemble a 13 year old going through puberty for weeks. My breasts at their smallest were a size A and the largest a DDD, and now waiver somewhere in between a B and C. My hormones even make my actual body odor smell differently these days … EVERYTHING I have ever known I’ve looked like from the outside has changed.
When I started writing this post, I thought I would end it by saying how beautiful I feel today, no matter what I wear, because being a Mother has made me feel so. That’s a lie though. There are moments when I still look in a mirror and hate what’s looking back at me. It’s not a problem of what I physically see, its what is happening within my heart and soul. Beauty is happiness and satisfaction – it’s being the best possible self I can be inside and out. So, if you wonder why my posts may seem distant lately – this is why. I’m just working on becoming a better me… and I hope you stick around while I try to figure it out.