There Will Always Be Something

Something what, you ask? Something bad, something icky, something to worry and obsess and nitpick over.

I’m not sure how other peoples’ body insecurities manifest, but me? I tend to pick one annoying detail and obsess over it. To no end. A few months ago it was my stomach, I was absolutely I was getting a poochy stomach and was terribly upset by it. Then it was the red bump on my nose piercing (face problems are the worst - I constantly thought people were staring at it while talking to me), then I had a short period of maybe two weeks where I didn’t hear that niggling voice in my head. And what’s really messed up is that I honestly consider myself someone with a minimum of body issues! Since I’m happy with my body overall, I generally feel pretty confident about it - except for that one thing, whatever it may be.

So, two weeks or so ago, I’m sitting on the floor playing with Wesley, sans pants (as I’m wont to do when home and not going out again for the day…we all have our quirks, ok?) and I notice something odd on my thigh. I contort myself to the point where I can see it, and  I happen to have a relatively large series of stretch marks on my inner thigh. I immediately start freaking out about it, and wail to Matt, who attempts to calm me down by saying he’s never noticed them - this doesn’t help much, as they’re still there! In the midst of my overdramatic wailing, I cried “I’ve got ugly disgusting stretch marks on my legs!”.

And this is when Matt says, “Michelle. How are they disgusting? They’re not festering, or unhealthy, or covered in germs or dirt. They’re just marks on your skin. Calm down, babe.”

Which actually struck a chord and made me stop and think for a second. After I calmed down, I realized that the very first thing I’d thought when I saw the stretch marks was “Well. I have to take sailor shorts off my wishlist now, dammit!”. All summer (yes - I know it’s August, but I hear it won’t cool down here until October!) I’ve been desperately trying in vain to find a pair of sailor-style shorts, and I’ve found a few close pairs, but nothing perfect. I’ve been searching after these shorts for two months at least and I was ready to give up on wearing them, even though I have at least two outfits planned around sailor shorts floating in my head, because of a set of stretch marks. That I hadn’t noticed until I was in a yoga-esque position without pants on, and Matt hadn’t ever noticed either (and not to be lascivious or anything, but he would be in a position to notice if anyone would!). How silly is that?!

I would never tell anyone else to do that, proving yet again that we’re our own worst critics. Friends, there will always be something to nitpick at if you wanted to! And once the habit is built of nitpicking, it is a really hard cycle to break. So no more! I will now be trying my hardest to not single out any one feature, not stretch marks or zits or poochy stomach - if I can fix it, I’ll try my best, and if I can’t, I’ll ignore it and move on. I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to stick to this goal, at least at first - but I don’t think it’s too lofty of one, and it’s definitely a healthy goal. Next time you catch yourself criticising something, or thinking “Oh I can’t wear that because of this” - think to yourself: Would I say that to a friend who was worried about the same thing? Within reason, you’ll find the answer is usually no. Exceptions are possible. One that springs to mind is a busty lady going braless and fancy free while wearing a tube top, as that usually doesn’t end well and I speak from experience. But that’s within reasonable concerns (”I don’t want to have a wardrobe malfunction”) as opposed to body image issues (”These shorts expose my pasty legs”); and so a different barrel of monkeys.

Have you ever had a body image issue that kept you from wanting to wear certain items? How’d you overcome it?

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8 Responses to “There Will Always Be Something”

  • Thanks for sharing this, dollface(legs)! My personal hangup - no matter how comfortable I am with my body and self as a whole - is that when I get down to a certain weight, one of my lovehandles is bigger than the other. For some reason, my left side is still round and sticks out while my right is smoother. I have a SERIOUS geometric (quasiOCD) issue with things being even, so it’s a huge deal for me. It seriously causes me to panic and it definitely impacts my clothing choices. It can ruin my whole day. I’m trying to learn to love it, but I just wish they were even! I don’t care how - the skinny side could be fat again, that would be incredibly great.
    Jaka Merriman´s last blog ..Links a la Mode [August 20, 2009] My ComLuv Profile

  • Glendy says:

    I use to hate my cheeks and always thought no matter if I lost weight my face would always make me look fat but after a while I just told myself to stop caring and that it was ok, hey if it made people ask me how old I was when I ordered a drink then I guess having a chubby face that mad me look young was ok :) Glendy´s last blog ..Pagan Fairy Outfit My ComLuv Profile

  • Michelle says:

    Jaka - the thing I find most interesting about our flaws is that a lot of the time, nobody else even notices them! I’m sure the asymmetrical love handles fall under that category. <3

    Glendy - And when you get older, I bet you’ll appreciate looking younger ;)

  • Retro Chick says:

    I think I’m starting to learn that no one else notices, though I can still be hard on particular tiny things, like marks on my legs.

    Stretch marks where a thing for me once, I no longer care :oD
    Retro Chick´s last blog ..Links à la Mode 20th August 2009 My ComLuv Profile

  • dreamsequins says:

    Michelle- this was so well written and I think we all can relate to this. I’m particularly ashamed of my disproportionately large junk in the trunk. My bum. I’m always covering it up instead of celebrating my J-Lo-ness. :) dreamsequins´s last blog ..Wishlist Wednesday: Sequins and Wishpot My ComLuv Profile

  • Michelle says:

    RetroChick - it’s true! Everyone has stretch marks somewhere. I knew I had some before, I think what made me so upset was finding out I had more that I didn’t know about, haha.

    DreamSequins - oh you should DEFINITELY embrace that ;) Matt gets unhappy if my bum starts to get smaller…LOL. Just think, D, I have a friend who complains a lot because she wishes she had more junk in the trunk! The grass is always greener, yada yada. :)

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