stop waiting to be prettier

You know that moment, where you’re gripping some of your side fat in the bath, and you just ate all of the leftover spaghetti at once, with pesto and tomato sauce and grated cheese and, weirdly, liverwurst, and you’re thinking, “Tomorrow I will go to the gym. And then I’ll go every day after that, for the rest of my life. And I will lose weight. It’ll be easier than I expect it to. And then my hair will grow out and it’ll be thicker than last time. And then I’ll be prettier. And then I’ll wear sleeveless dresses all the time and I’ll be happy”?

(like this! source)

That moment is lying to you.

I don’t know when I learned it, but somewhere along the way to twenty-six, I had very deeply, very seriously internalized the idea that after I got prettier, things would be better.

You have to think that way, to get cosmetic surgery.

 

You have to really, really believe that you will come out of it a new, better you. A you that can face the world with a better face, which will make the world infinitely more faceable.

Sometimes it’s true. Sometimes you end up more confident. Sometimes you end up smiling more.

A lot of the time, though, it’s a big, cruel, manipulative lie.

Before I changed my face, I had big plans for after. I was going to wear things I’d not been confident enough for before. I was going to stand up straighter, finally. I was going to be better at making friends with strangers. I would probably be able to carry on a witty conversation while grocery shopping, and I wouldn’t forget the eggs, and I would laugh rivetingly, with my head thrown back. I was going to be more thorough in my enjoyment. I would feel corrected, ready, persistently better.

When the hilarious nose cast (that even my brother felt too sorry for me to make fun of) came off and the bruises faded enough, I took my nose for a walk in town. I was wearing a little dress, and I stood up straighter, and I walked with purpose into my new life with my new face.

“It’s working,” I told my friend later that day. “It’s totally working. People look at me differently now. I can tell they think I’m prettier.”

She shrugged willingly. “Maybe they do. But you don’t look that different.”

“No, it’s the subtle changes. People can pick up on them. We’re very sensitive to proportions.”

She shrugged again. “I guess we are.”

I sighed. How little she understood about the world.

I believed absolutely in the subtle variation argument. After all, I drew and painted faces all the time. I knew how the spacing of the eyes was a matter of measurements well under an inch. The length and width of the nose, either prominent or gentle, depended on fractional differences. Features are delicate and slight alterations can transform their fragile interplay. You know, from, like, me, for instance, into, say, Gisele Bundchen (whose own post-op nose I awkwardly showed my surgeon, when he asked for examples of what I wanted mine to look like).

(so happy, too! source)

But the truth was, I didn’t look that different. After a while it became clear that my nose had not so much been improved, but rather slightly rearranged. The bump had traveled down a little, and now it was faintly crooked.

Even my surgeon agreed. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I’ve only gotten it wrong one other time.” He explained that he’d had this long, important career. That my face was one of only two major mistakes he’d ever made. He offered me the second surgery for free. A gentleman.

I had been so sure that everything was different. That I had crossed this magical line into beauty, and there would be a welcoming party of enthusiastically appreciative, yet comfortably respectful young men, and poised, confident, mildly jealous young women waiting to greet me. The whole world would turn, catch a glimpse of me, and stay there for an extra second, smiling, dazed, glad of my existence.

I had been so sure, that I saw it happening.

Maybe it happens more than I think, when I let myself look for it.

When it turned out that I was wrong, I slid slowly back into seeing people as unaffected by me, as unimpressed. I went back to seeing my face as a work-in-progress, poorly expressed, in need of refinement, unfortunate and impeding. It was like I was tripping over my own face. And I’m not even flexible.

That was years ago. These days, I find I have less of a need for the whole world to check me out. Thank god. It’s taking a long time for that impulse to die its soap-opera death.

But I still do that thing. It’s not always about my face now. Often, it’s my belly instead. Or my arms, of course. Once you lose enough weight that it finally comes off your arms, which will take a while because arm fat, according to that time you overheard your uncle talking about it, is the worst and most determined kind of fat and you don’t lose it until you’re starving, basically—so once you have starved yourself to the point of losing the goddamn arm fat, then you will put that dress on, and you will look amazing! Well, not amazing, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, your legs will always be too short. But better! So much better! And then you will be more confident, and you will write the next chapter of your book like it’s no thang at all and you will be clever all the time, even in the elevator, instead of pretending to read things on your phone and wondering if you are standing funny. You will be loved by all. You will be so much happier.

But actually, no.

Because no one is ever pretty enough when they think that way. There is always something left to do. To improve. To tweak. To work on. To fix.

Because sometimes it’s all just an excuse not to be happy right now. Not to have to figure out why we should be happy right now. Not to have to deal with the reality of happiness. It’s not a thing you get to, like a pot of gold hidden by ancient aliens at the top of Mount Everest and only the strongest, sturdiest climbers aided by the best Sherpas (who still won’t get any credit) will ever reach. It’s a thing you have to find inside of yourself, even when you’re at the Walmart at the bottom, just trying to find a pair of underwear that is a low-rise bikini in a plain color, damnit, why is that too much to ask?

Happiness is a thing that doesn’t actually have a whole lot to do with how pretty you are or could, potentially, with a lot of willpower and special expensive makeup, become.

So stop waiting for yourself to change.

Or at least know that, even if you do change, it’ll still be your brain in there. And somewhere along the line, there will be something else about the way you look that you keep tripping over.

So you might as well learn how to stand up straight now, and stop tripping, and notice when people appreciate you, and get in the bath and just lie there, letting the water soak into your side fat. It feels good, doesn’t it? Especially after all that spaghetti.

(wow, how nice is this? source)

*  *  *

Are you still waiting? Have you stopped?

Unroast: Today I love the lines of my neck. Just for a second.

I wrote a piece about the time I ran into Anne Hathaway in my grocery store, and then she was stuck in line behind me while I bought a lot of cookies. Check it out over at the Gloss.

50 Comments »

Kate on September 12th 2012 in beauty, body, nose, perfection

50 Responses to “stop waiting to be prettier”

  1. Also Kate responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    This is why I like the discipline of daily unroasts – they have forced me to stop thinking about that magical future moment of perfect body happiness, and instead seek out little moments of gratitude I feel for my body, right now. And it turns out that there are about as many things I like about my body as things that frustrate me – I was just hyperfocused on the frustrating things before. So now I’m trying to focus on the good stuff, and stop lying to myself about how smaller thighs will make me happy.

    Because I’m not sure smaller thighs WOULDN’T make me happy, at least for a few minutes, but thigh-size-related happiness won’t last forever. Plus, having now lived in this body for 25 years through various size changes, I can tell you that even when I’m toned, healthy, and fairly low in body fat, my thighs are a force to be reckoned with. “Slender” is not in their vocabulary. They are both muscular AND the last hold-out of body fat, the place where it simply will not exit my body, even under penalty of starvation. So now I’m aiming to – someday, hopefully – just be happy with them the way they are.

  2. Melanie responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    This is so true. There’s a great plus size lady who does YouTube videos saying things like, “I look back at pictures of me at 17 and I never realized how cute I was. I don’t want to be 60, looking at pictures of 30 year old me thinking how adorable I was. I’m going to realize it now if it kills me.”

    It really made me change my perspective. All of the things we don’t realize ’til many years past. All of the griping and hating ourselves. Such a waste of time. I still have my ugly fat girl days. Hell, I had a really bad one yesterday. But I’m getting better at it. I want to know how great and special I am right now in the moment. I don’t want to be home alone at 70, looking at pictures and wishing I’d have loved myself more.

  3. Lisa F responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    Kate, something about this post nearly made me cry. It’s so strong and so encouraging and so true! I often resolve to be different, better, prettier, etc…and lately, I’ve been thinking those rebellious thoughts like, “No, just wear that dress/skirt/color/whatever just because you LIKE it and because you deserve to wear pretty things already, JUST AS YOU ARE.” Women deny themselves things all of the time, as if we don’t deserve to feel beautiful and worthy just as we are…but we do! Now. RIGHT NOW.

  4. Melanie responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    Many years *pass.

  5. Mindy responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    How do you get in my head like that? ;)

  6. Mandy responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    Kate;

    This is one of those posts where I wonder if you’ve been reading my mind. I’m 46, and I STILL wrestle with this particular octopus every now and them. Although, now, it’s more like: “when I take off the five pounds I gained over the holidays, I’ll be able to get back into my size eight jeans–and I won’t have to buy new ones.”
    Which, by the way, would actually make me happier. At least for a while.
    I’ve gotten a bit more practical and realistic, but I still have those “I’ll be happier when I…” moments.
    Still trying to be happy with myself right now. Most of the time, I succeed.

  7. Diana D responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    I’m still waiting. I haven’t stopped. I keep thinking I’ll come across the perfect pair of shoes (20 years and counting) or the perfect purse (30 years and counting). Even the perfect body (40 years and counting).

    But there is no such thing as perfection, only now, so I enjoy today, celebrate the now, and let the rest go, until the next time I’m searching that perfect coat (25 years) or that perfect gift (35 years and counting) or a perfect smile (50 years) and realize today is all I have; enjoy it.

  8. Rebecca responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    Kate,
    I read your blog every day while I eat my lunch. I look forward to it every morning. I find your writing empowering, motivating and enjoyable. This is the first time I have ever disagreed with you. In the past year I’ve lost 50lbs, completely changed the way I eat and am training for a half marathon. I look completely different. I AM prettier and I have never been happier.
    Obviously this wasn’t a transformation that happened over night, but my progress motivated me to keep going. I had spent my entire life being the loud, fat friend and a couple years ago resigned to that label. Now, instead of just dealing with myself, I’m proud, excited and happy for me.

  9. Christina responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    I had a friend who got a nose job in her teens. Yet a decade after that when she married, she still showed her loving husband photos of her from pre-nose-job, asking him plaintively if he would have fallen in love with her with that nose. He probably should’ve simply answered “yes” (he never knew her with that nose), but instead tried to be honest and duck out of answering by saying, “I don’t know! I was attracted to you and that’s how I got to know you, the real you! I just don’t know!”

    Somehow even though she went forth and conquered the world with her new nose, she still agonized over the old one, and would her loved one see past the nose and into her soul…it was still with her in a way. Phantom nose syndrome!

  10. Liz responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    My god!!! That bathtub is incredible!!!
    But is it long enough? I’m tall, so bathtubs always come up short… somebody told me to visit Holland for that.

  11. Katrina Blanchalle responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    Yeah. I have many photos of myself in my 20s. I was absolutely, incredibly, exquisitely beautiful. It’s so obvious. But if you’d told me that then, I would have frowned and pointed at some of the hundred or so “flaws” that haunted me.
    Now (30 years later) I just ignore what I think I see and assume that I must be exquisitely beautiful because it’s better to make the error in that direction than the other. Fewer regrets in another 30 years.
    I once ran into Laura Dern in the restroom in a hotel on Kauai and I thought “wow, she goes to the bathroom!!!” I have to go check out your Anne Hathaway story.

  12. Eve responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    Kate I so relate to this…I used to be naturally very thin, and somehow in the years since college, I have put on about 20 pounds that have just slowly crept up on me. For the past month, I have been working out like a fiend and keeping a food diary (both a first for me) in the vain hope that once I shed the weight that I’ve put on, my life will somehow become 10x more awesome and I will kick butt at my job and I will be constantly happy…ok, exaggeration but you get the point. This post is so true…I have been thinner before, and I don’t remember life being problem-free or even being more confident. I am just going to be happy with my current self, my health, and keep eating the leftover spaghetti :-)

  13. Kristina responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    Self-acceptance can be such a bitch to find. This has reminence of your article on HuffPost about what you learned in your twenties. That article seriously woke me up; the part where you say “this is your body…stop obsessing about losing that 20 pounds….this is your body.” Granted, we can make a change at any point in our lives (for ex., my mother went on a kick in her late thirties and lost 30 pounds and has been slim and healthy ever since). While reading that HuffPost article, I was literally looking down at my tummy and exclaimed, “What! What do you mean this is my real body? It can’t be!” After the dramatics subisided your message sunk in and I had a moment of self-acceptance.

  14. Kathleen responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    Gosh, I’m starting to love this blog of yours more and more :) This idea about loving yourself right here, right now has been haunting me for years now. When I was a teenager, I was really skinny (mostly because I was starving myself), and now, as I’ve gone through college & acquired a nice, but mostly sitting job, some kilos have crept up on me, not to mention all the insecurities my upbringing put into my head. The fact is, when I was in my teens and skinny as hell, I was so f-ing unhappy with myself – I still felt fat, I felt ugly, etc. Now I’m realising that I was so pretty back then and… I am now as well! I really do try to find the things I like, even though sometimes I still catch myself picking on something I don’t like. I think I’ve got it now – it’s all in the attitude :)
    Thanks for making my evening, Kate :) It’s nice to remind ourselves these things every once in a while.

  15. Annie responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    Rebecca,

    I feel like I agree with both you and Kate, even though you seem to be saying different things. What I have noticed is that being pretty and feeling pretty are part of a cycle. When I feel pretty, I smile more, am more open and friendly, and people around me react to me better, which in turn makes me feel pretty. When I don’t feel pretty, I’m more reserved, and people don’t approach me or respond to me as well, which makes me feel like it must be because of my appearance. What I’ve noticed, though, is that on the days when I look like a mess and I forget how bad I look, I still smile and am open and friendly, and people still seem to treat me the same as they do on the days when I feel like I look nice. I think it’s great that you are so happy with yourself right now, but I would guess that it’s not only your appearance you are happy about, it is also your newfound confidence. I think that we are all actually affected by our own appearances more than we would like to admit. But I also think that being confident and open to the world is a big part of being pretty, and so I completely agree with what Kate is saying about not being afraid to act like we would if we felt prettier.

  16. Penny responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    Now I want spaghetti…but not with liverwurst.

    And yes I am unfortunately still “waiting.” Its usually in bed as I don’t have a bathtub. Its easy to think “I’m going to get up and go for a jog tomorrow and the next and day and the next and then someday I will be skinny!” when you’re nestled into your memory foam drifting off to sleep…

  17. Jenn responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    Seriously, what IS it about the sherpas never getting any credit?!

  18. Kimmy Sue Ruby Lou responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    I stopped waiting and suddenly I was HOT! :)

  19. Brenda responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    It’s funny you mention proprotions. I can spot a nose job a mile away bc the tip of the nose is no longer in proprotion with the upper lip. Plus, the philtrum disappears and the upper look looks stretched.

  20. Maggie responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 5:40 pm #

    Reading this, I wished I could magically give you the perspective of my six years that I have on you. I’ve never been happier than I am at 32, and I’ve never been more comfortable with my body and my face and my social graces and everything else I see you worrying about and slowly beginning to question the importance of. I wished I could be your bff and talk to you in a way that’s not at all patronizing about how much easier it will get, just around the corner.

    For me, it got easier at 28. I lost about 80 lbs, thinking I’d be miraculously happier and prettier. The truth was, I never stopped feeling like I was too big. Because I was never actually too big (too big for what?), I just felt like I was, and no amount of changing my size was going to magically change how I felt. What did change how I felt was a process that took over a year, and began as a seed planted by a random NYT article about male models called The Vanishing Point. I remember literally the moment that the entire process began.

    Yours seems to be happening more gradually, but either way I think it’s awesome and I can’t wait to see it unfold.

  21. Mara responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    SPAGHETTI.

  22. Mara responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    ^That’s what I got from this post.

  23. Kande responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    I hate my nose. I have always known it is too big. My family always teased me, probably in loving jest – but to a young girl is there really any such thing when it pertains to our looks? I thought about a nose job but at first had no time or money.

    And then I had my first baby … a little girl who from birth people have constantly and consistently remarked on how much she looks like me.

    I look in the mirror and see flaws. I look at her and see perfection. I look in the mirror and want a nose job. I look at her and know it will break my heart when she changes one strand of hair colour ( if done out of dissatisfaction) let alone changing her nose!

    I look in the mirror, then I look at her and I realize that if I have a nose job and she knows she has the same nose – then I am unintentionally, indirectly, sending her a horrible message that is sure to have a huge impact on her own self-view. And so – through my little Doppleganger, I have finally found peace with how I look. Because for the first time in my life I found beauty in my features – by being blessed with what I had dreaded most when I found out I was carrying a daughter – seeing my face on another and seeing only the beauty and none of the self- hate.

    Perspective is a tricky master … I have not beaten it, but I have finally tamed it. And for that I thank God for the blessing I was granted 9 years ago. I knew as her Mom I would do my best to help instill in her a healthy self confidence – I just never knew how much she would help heal my own.

  24. Rachel responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 7:15 pm #

    I think that the solution to feeling beautiful is not dieting or plastic surgery, but riding lessons.

    Stay with me here.

    1) Ponies: Ponies are awesome
    2) Exercise: You get to eat more, weigh less, or both just by default
    3) Posture: Or else the lady in the middle will yell at you
    4) Confidence: You can boss around a beast much larger than you
    5) Ponies.

    This is my theory, anyway. I haven’t signed up yet. My body and I have been on pretty good terms lately, except that I just got a blood test back that declared “lazy thyroid” and now I’m giving my body shifty, suspicious eyes while wondering what part of this is My Fault. It’s strange how quickly one thing can knock you right out of feeling centred and at home in yourself.

    (As for the good underwear, I just bought a pile of Candy Factory underwear and they are super comfortable and don’t ride up and are pretty cute even while being very practical.)

  25. Deb responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    Damn Kate. You really nailed it this time. It’s not about reality but about perception. Happy new year.

  26. Sarah S responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    I may not have been happier with my belly size when I was (and am now again) heavier, but when I was in the throes of starving myself/overexercising I was MISERABLE, inside and out. Talk about being a skinny bitch…

  27. lik_11 responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 10:07 pm #

    @Kimmy Sue Ruby Lou- Love it!

    @Kate- Still waiting. I’m 32, have lost 40# in the past year. But- I’m still me (warts & all) … albeit thinner. Actually- I’m harder on myself about my body, now, than I’ve ever been. Since I’d always been fat- I never worried about my fat rolls, or my double chin. Now- I notice it and it drives me crazy! This is a beautiful, vulnerable piece. Thanks, I really identify.

  28. Kate responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    @Rebecca
    I was wondering if someone would have this response! Fair enough! And I’m so glad that you’re at a better place.
    But I don’t think you can disagree with me COMPLETELY, because I made sure to include the disclaimer first, about how sometimes change really does work :-)
    Sorry, not trying to be defensive, just proud of myself remembering to mention the other side. I’m trying to get better at that.

  29. Kate responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 10:20 pm #

    @Rachel
    You made me laugh out loud.

  30. Caitlyn responded on 13 Sep 2012 at 12:05 am #

    Thank you for this. So eloquently written.

  31. Lynellekw responded on 13 Sep 2012 at 3:09 am #

    @Rachel – I think you’re on to something there. I took horseriding lessons at 15 (I was the oldest student in the class, because APPARENTLY everyone else who wants riding lessons takes them much younger. On the up side, that also meant I rode the biggest horse the school had – far too big for me, really, but I loved him). I think even now, almost 20 years down the track, I still feel the benefits to my posture & coordination.

  32. Vicky responded on 13 Sep 2012 at 8:09 am #

    @Diana D., loved your post.

  33. Kathryn responded on 13 Sep 2012 at 9:03 am #

    This was perfect. Thank you.

    Also, that last sentence made me chuckle.

  34. Sheryl responded on 13 Sep 2012 at 9:05 am #

    I’ve recently reached a place where I’m pretty at peace with my body. I still have things I wish I would change to a more slender, prettier version and I’m still a ways away from what’s been my “goal” weight for about ten years.

    And I said screw it. I like my body as is. If it changes for the better, great. If my thighs get a little smaller, fine. But I’m not going to go chasing after that anymore. The parts of me that are imperfect contrast nicely with the parts that are the most awesome and just highlight how great my calves and knees or my bum look.

    For me being at a place where I can be honest about the parts of my body I don’t love but still be completely at peace with the fact that my body is what it is and I love it, perceived flaws and all, is where I want to be. (Of course, some days I don’t so much feel this way. But everyone has bad days.)

  35. Alex responded on 13 Sep 2012 at 10:53 am #

    I always thought that I was supposed to be prettier and waited (maybe am still a little bit) for the day that I would shine and radiate with the beauty that I was sure would come. I actually told my Mum this the other day and she looked at me strangely and I brushed away the comment, I assumed she would have thought the same thing at some point. A year ago I was struggling with an eating disorder/over exercise disorder, well I am still working through days when the dialogue exists although the behaviours don’t…the funny thing I noticed yesterday after not having been at the gym for 5 days (I just moved to England) is that I am actually more self assured and feel happier and more radiant being 10 pound heavier than when I was rake thin and hating myself. The more I have found peace and joy in the little things, the more gratitude I express each night before bed (every night), the more I speak my truth, strengths and weaknesses, the more beautiful I feel and the more my friends radiate this back to me from their own beautiful selves.
    Unroast: today I love the way I feel in my workout pants

    Thank-you Kate for this beautiful forum that has been a part of my healing!

  36. Frances responded on 13 Sep 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    Hi!

    I think you’re great. And unashamed, which is rare. Carry on :) xxx

  37. Jacki responded on 14 Sep 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    I just. Freaking. Love. This.

    That is all. My side fat and I say thank you.

  38. Mara Glatzel » Body Loving Blogosphere 09.16.12 responded on 16 Sep 2012 at 8:00 am #

    [...] This one is for you: Stop Waiting Until You’re Prettier. [...]

  39. Aurora responded on 17 Sep 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    I’ve always been a little confused about the concept that we might be “afraid to be happy” or “not want to deal with happiness” or something. Who doesn’t want to be happy?

  40. A Bunch of Links » Two Wishes responded on 18 Sep 2012 at 8:42 am #

    [...] would fall into place if they could just drop the last 10 pounds or find that perfect hairstyle: Stop Waiting to be Prettier. And I could stand to go back and re-read this one frequently: The Extreme Importance of Letting [...]

  41. Kirsty responded on 19 Sep 2012 at 6:11 am #

    Reading your story made me realise – we are all so hard on ourselves aren’t we? And the fact is, losing a few pounds isn’t necessarily going to make me happier, because then I’ll just find something else about myself to criticise. I’ve been a lot thinner than I am now, & surprise surprise it didn’t automatically solve all my problems.
    Thanks for being so honest – its a wake up call to me to stop being so hard on myself. “I’ll be happy when…I’ll be perfect when…” what about just being happy with ourselves now? I think the important thing is to stop comparing ourselves with others. I read somewhere that comparing yourself with someone else is like slapping your soul in the face. I think its about time we all start appreciating ourselves more, for who we are, not how we measure up against everyone else.

  42. Alex @ Raw Recovery responded on 19 Sep 2012 at 10:27 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing this; it really touched me as I’m currently struggling a lot with body image problems. One thing I remind myself to keep staying in recovery from my eating disorder is that playing what I call the “Five More Game” (where all I have to do is lose 5 more pounds and THEN finally I’ll be happy and the world will be everything I want it to be and more) has actually never made me anything more than miserable. It’s amazing to me how the mind works and how it can be so astonishingly deceptive. It’s quite difficult to look at the facts (e.g. starving myself never made me feel better about myself and people told me I looked worse once I lost an unhealthy amount of weight) when your brain comes up with new ways to deceive you, but the fight is worth it.

  43. Kitty Lake responded on 21 Sep 2012 at 1:51 am #

    The thing is, at one point, I did get “prettier.” Thinner, anyway. I was put on meds for my depression, and suddenly, my appetite just DROPPED. I lost 10lbs in a few weeks. And although it didn’t make me happier in the sense that it didn’t alleviate any of the causes for my depression… it did make me happier in the sense that I was really pleased whenever I saw my body in the mirror.

    Suddenly I didn’t have to wear about clothes anymore. I could wear WHATEVER I LIKED. Any of the stuff I was always a bit hesitant to wear before? That super slinky dress that showed my stomach pooch, the shirt that cut my upper arms off at the worst place, those pants that I were too tight and gave me muffin top, those short-shorts from H&M that exposed jiggly thighs… none of those were a problem anymore.

    I had a BMI of 17.5! I had a 24″ waist! I was officially “skinny enough” by ANY measurement. I wanted to feel bad about it… but honestly, it was pretty awesome. I could put on ANYTHING and know I’d look great in it. I didn’t have to worry about fat spilling out anywhere.

    And now I’m no longer that small (switched medications), and that’s probably for the best, health-wise, but… I still kinda pine for it. Especially since I HAD it.

  44. Bec responded on 24 Sep 2012 at 5:05 am #

    This is the sort of advice that is painful to take. There’s a part of me that fiercely, stubbornly resists it, even as I know you’re completely right, and being able to accept it properly would be so liberating. Thank you for sharing – I just love how honest you are in all your posts.

  45. Stories of Substance: Body Image Round-Up « Size And Substance responded on 27 Sep 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    [...] this article by Kate Fridkis on Eat The Damn Cake called Stop Waiting to be [...]

  46. Eat the Damn Cake » the generic things that make us all exquisitely sexy responded on 19 Nov 2012 at 11:54 am #

    [...] am basically still waiting for the right tinted moisturizer to transform my splotchy, disobedient skin into a rad…. I shall glow from within, from without! If I wasn’t so intimidated by Sephora, I might already [...]

  47. Women’s News: How I Learned to Eat Without Guilt on Thanksgiving – LadyRomp responded on 20 Nov 2012 at 6:00 am #

    [...] true. We get told so many times that we’re supposed to be working on our bodies and making ourselves prettier all the time. Prettiness and weight loss have gotten all tangled up together in one big, miserable snarl. [...]

  48. Eat the Damn Cake » I don’t want to analyze my parents anymore responded on 16 May 2013 at 10:40 am #

    [...] very hard-lined story about the way I looked: bad. And I needed to be proactive and try to fix it, and then life would be better in so many ways. I would probably just start winning things, because people would want me to win, because they’d [...]

  49. Loving Ourselves, Our Lives: Tips for Stopping Waiting, Hating and Starting to Live | Green Mountain at Fox Run responded on 17 Nov 2013 at 12:43 am #

    [...] Stop Waiting to Be Prettier  Sneak peek: Today I love the lines of my neck. Just for a second. [...]

  50. Eat the Damn Cake » losing my hair responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 10:59 am #

    [...] I’ve learned a few things since college. Since grad school. Since I hid that bottle in the medicine cabinet. [...]

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