2019 was a tough year for me. The circumstances meant I didn’t have the capacity to take care of myself. I lost between 8- 10 kg in the space of a few months, my facial skin constantly looks like a rash is pasted on now and I believe leathery in texture, my teeth are more crooked than they have ever been but I can’t even afford to feed myself nevermind affording a trip to the dentist’s chair. My body has undergone a lot of change over the course of the last year and I have been unable to cope with it of late and my insecurities have once again risen to the forefront from the background.
The perfect set of pearly whites:
The first thing I zoom in on the next person is their teeth, and I think “damn that is a perfect set of pearly whites I wish I had a perfect mouth”. It has evolved into such a big deal with me that I have become quieter as the years have progressed and smiled less. There are other factors contributing to the silence and non-smiling as well but my biggest factor is the insecurity I have regarding showing my teeth. If I could communicate without having to open my mouth I would be happier. I have become so used to keeping my mouth shut I struggle to make my voice heard as I would much rather be not talking, I’m not about to show my imperfect set of teeth in the name of voice projection.
Dreams of clear skin:
If the next person is a woman before she even opens her mouth I zoom in on her skin, I won’t lie every woman I encounter has better skin than I do. I have struggled with clearing my skin ever since I was a teenager and I’m an adult living with acne that looks like a bad rash. At this stage, I need a dermatologist, my mom and I have done everything to no avail.
Mirror, mirror on the wall:
I look in the mirror and all I see are flaws
I recently decided to watch America’s next top model from season 1, it’s one of those shows I have watched episodes sporadically over the years but never watched fully. I’m looking at these women and they are some of the most gorgeous women I have ever seen. I remember watching an episode where they measured the heights and weights of the aspiring models and I was lying in bed thinking damn these women are so thin before realising that I weighed less than any of them. The weight loss that my body has undergone has become such a focal point for me, all my clothes particularly my jeans and dresses that I had prior all hang off my frame now, I look like I’m drowning in my jeans and I can’t do anything about it as I can’t afford to buy new clothes and that really affects me and whatever confidence I can possibly have regarding my body. I have a full-length mirror on one of the walls in my room that I have completely covered up by putting my clothes rail in front of it to avoid looking at myself. I have decided to only use when necessary the small bathroom mirror, I can’t even look into it without having to stand on tip-toes so that works out for me.
I look in the mirror and all I see are flaws: from the hairline I am afraid is disappearing; to the acne, I have battled with from high school; to the crooked yellowed teeth and disproportionate lips. A full-length mirror brings more flaws to the table: the complexion of my neck; the slouch in my shoulders; my not so perky breasts; my not so flat tummy; my cellulite-ridden and not so toned thighs. I sometimes wish I could be satisfied with what I see in the mirror but it has been such a long time since I did. Some days I pass by a mirror and I think my mom really did give me great genes and the next thought that pops in my mind is ‘for a face that is deemed attractive it’s a shame I have such terrible facial skin and horrible teeth’. I think of when I was growing up and the negative connotations that were attached to how I looked. I was never good enough for my mother, it was a crime to be remotely attractive. I remember spending more time than necessary in front of mirrors and pointing out each of my flaws without any prompting by the time as a teenager. I went to an all-girls high school, I wasn’t like the other girls, I didn’t fit in. I didn’t know how to be confident in myself because that was something that was never encouraged in me, I felt so lost during my high school years and it was in those years when I could have grown as an individual that I learnt to stay in the background, not speak out, avoid mirrors unless necessary and up to today I haven’t healed. I can barely take compliments, I don’t know what to do with them, those who know me well know not to make it awkward when they give a compliment and I don’t give the required response back…we just keep it moving, it’s nothing personal, I genuinely appreciate you complimenting me but I don’t know how to respond to it properly, thanks. I wish I could allow myself to feel worthy of the compliments and allow myself some room to be confident in who I am. I am a queen at blending into the background becoming part of the furniture…
I am learning to be kind to myself one step at a time. Imperfectly flawed but learning to love myself.
P.S.: I finally managed to get a new pair of jeans, they fit😍😍