I refused to look at a mirror in public when I was a teenager.

I especially avoided a certain mirrored wall at my high school.

I passed it day after day, and day after day I averted my eyes.

I told myself it was because I didn’t want to seem narcissistic; I didn’t want people to think that I thought I looked good.

The truth was that any time spent in front of a mirror was an incredibly vulnerable time for me.  No one was allowed to look into that mirror with me.

I didn’t want to remind them of my flaws.  I didn’t want them to see what I saw: linebacker shoulders, big nose, too small eyes, big forehead, frizzy hair, bad skin, no boobs, and knobby knees.

If I didn’t look at myself, maybe they wouldn’t look either.

***

I want to take that silly girl by her perfectly nice shoulders and shake away all of her nonsensical insecurities.

Ten years ago I would have jumped at the chance for some plastic surgery.  Now it seems like more trouble than it’s worth.  Now I’m afraid of ending up with a stranger’s face and body.

My nose will always be big, my skin is scarred, and my teeth are still crooked.

The difference ten years later is that those things are not what I see when I look in a mirror.  Instead, I see:

1.  My curly hair.  My hair was nice once I grew out those silly bangs that my forehead didn’t need and quit trying to beat it into submission.

2.  My eyes.  They look brown or green depending on my mood, and they are just the right size.

3.  My lips.  They are full and give me a natural pout.

4.  My arms.  They are lean and strong and soft at the same time.

5.  My waist.  It (along with a few other favorite parts) gives me a nicely curved torso.

6.  My sides.  I love the curves at my side where my waist meets my hips.

7.  The small of my back.  I love this little curve and the dimples found there.

8.  My butt.  It is one of my most complimented features, second only to my hair.

9.  My legs.  They are long and athletic.  I even like my thighs most of the time.

10.  My height.  I’m 5’8″, and it’s perfect for me.  Not too tall, not too short.  I can reach most things and still fit into small places.

***

 

This year was the first year that I wore a bathing suit without (much) thought about how I looked at any given moment.  I know that it isn’t my body but my attitude that has changed.

I love that each coming year leaves me more and more comfortable in my own skin.

*Post inspired by Kate’s Irrelevant.

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