Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bad Body Image

So I'm sure most of us have felt unhappy with our bodies at some point or another. I wonder if you can pinpoint the moment it all began.

For me it all began in sixth grade. The end of sixth grade to be specific. I was sitting in the auditorium at rehearsal for "graduation" and we were all alphabetized and nervous and excited when the boy sitting next to me felt the need to say, "Wow, you have really big legs!"

Now I know that kids are cruel and all of that. I also won't pretend that all of my problems can be blamed on a sixth grader, it's just a little strange that this moment is burned into my brain: one exact moment when I discovered I wasn't perfect.

I was raised in a home where we were taught that "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." Well, we were taught that but of course growing up as one of four kids, you hear occasionally that your odor is less than appealing or your face resembles the dogs' behind, but overall...

Here's the weird thing: in sixth grade, I wasn't even overweight. I was always comfortable with my appearance because nobody had ever given me a reason to feel otherwise. It's cliche-ish, but why do we feel that we need to package everyone into the same little mold? My dad likes to say that if you put two kids in a sandbox, they'll play. They don't care about skin color or religious affiliation, they just want you to share the bucket and shovel. So are we taught to judge people? How? And how can it be avoided?


Ooh, something else. I've got a weird nose. I never knew it was weird until somebody told me, "You've got a weird nose." And I was reeeealy self-conscious about it until I discovered that it's not weird, it's my dads. (Sorry, Dad, you've got a weird nose.) And now I like it.

So I'm wondering when you discovered you weren't perfect. Or maybe you ARE perfect. Let's chat, best beloved.

Me and my dad and our noses. I'm okay with that.


Mom said...

Well, your dad's nose is a ski-jump that has a death turn at the end. Kind of like, "wow, oh no!" (if you were a skier going down his nose :( ) Yes, you have the Kennedy nose, you should be proud of it. Not everyone's is as distintive (SP?) as yours, - and your face would look pretty funny without it. I've seen a face without a nose - but that's another story.
The picture reminds me of when we took it. I'm looking forward to seeing you hon. Miss you! Love you!

Suldog said...

Well, my hair was bright orange (laughingly referred to as "red") when I was growing up. So, I always heard my share of Bozo and Ronald McDonald and Howdy Doody jokes. Then, when I was in heavy metal bands in the 70's, I found out a head full of long orange hair had serious freak appeal, so that was good :-) Just when I got comfortable with it, though, I started going bald.

Boo Hoo. Not as bad as missing an ear or something. I survived.

Octamom said...

Love your nose--and your daddy's too!!


Eddie Bluelights said...

Your noise is lovely, Sarah but I'm very sorry I cannot see your legs so I really cannot pass comment! However, I am sure you are lovely in every way including your sense of humour and your super character - anyone who laughs at my jokes must be OK. You must be OK also if a minister married you must you not.
As for me I never want to look in a mirror so I am not offended by what I see - I know George Clooney will not be reflected back so I just accept it and hope for a rebuild when I get to heaven.
I love your blog and will call in for a cup of tea regularly.
On a more serious note I think when we were children we accepted people as they are but it is the awful world we live in which 'schools' us to find fault and criticise and bully and be cruel. I think Jesus had it right when he said, "Suffer little children to come unto me" because these little ones have not been corrupted. Of course we can rib and tease people as a joke but that is different and quite acceptable. My aren't I serious tonight? - not really ~ Eddie x

Granny on the Web said...

Hi there Sarah
I inherited a nose with a bump in the middle, and a bit flattened, so I was called 'boxer-nose' at school. I hated it and avoided being observed in profile. My Dad used to reassure me when I moaned about not being pretty, and I have never forgotten what he said "The best presents can be those wrapped in brown paper parcels".
By a quirk of fate in my early 30's I fell down some stairs and broke my nose, and when they repaired it I had a lovely straight one!!! My first husband [who sadly died in 1990]loved me as I was, for the person I was. So my nose was never an issue anyway.
You look attractive enough from what I can see of you.

Love Granny

Becky said...

You are adorable!