“See I just want you to know that you deserve the best
You’re beautiful, you’re beautiful
Yeah and I want you to know You’re far from the usual, far from the usual”
– Lil Wayne, “How to Love”
I’m going to be painfully honest here, not to anybody out there who stumbles across this blog and reads this particular post but to myself. I can’t deny this anymore: I do not feel beautiful. I think it’s particularly hard being a woman because there are the pressures of society that every woman tries to fit in– the idea that women should be beautiful, and graceful, sexy, and alluring that guys have to fall over their feet when she passes by. She’s supposed to exceed a kind of elegance that’s mesmerizing and attractive to the masculine character, and at the same time she has to be strong and confident. There is no helplessness now; no longer damsels in distress on our age and time. But here I am left with the things I have been given: a body that’s bulging out in all sorts of places, fingers too short and stubby for my liking, chicken legs like sausages and bucked knees I can stand on the account that I wear jeans anyway to cover them up, small chubby feet with a massive bunyon to go, and a double chin that’s started to form since I’ve gained weight. I have messy hair on most days, pimples that ascend from stress and spurs of hormones, and a kind of slow awkwardness when I move; far from the kind of motion men seem to be drawn towards. Don’t get me wrong: I used to feel pretty. When I was younger, I had people tell me “you’re so pretty,” and I had a swimming teacher say “you should join the Ms. Philippines contest,” and then there were the occasional foolish boys who had crushes on me, the boy in the park who asked if I was a model, and the European men who hit on me like I was the last woman on Earth. I still feel pretty some days, when I dress up in something loose enough to hide the things I don’t want particularly revealed, but as a woman I want to say that there will be times when I want to wear a dress or a skirt or shorts, wear sleeveless tops and look good in them, and wear slippers that accentuate my bare feet. Here’s something I wish to point out that most men do not seem to understand: women will always want to feel beautiful. It’s the epitome of being a woman: beauty. There are so many beautiful and slim women out there and there will always be days and moments when I feel embarrassed for myself– because I’m not like them, and I can never be. I will never have pretty legs for one thing; it was something I was born with and can never replace. My fingers won’t magically grown unstubby and unshort because these are my dad’s, unless I have them surgically prolonged which I would never result to. To consider surgery just to feel beautiful is wrong in so many ways and I do not wish to go down that road. I want to work on myself and feel beautiful on my own.
I have always wondered why I have never got a guy to be particularly attracted in me, enough that he’d think it’d be worth it if he got to know me and asked me out. I still wonder if I will ever get a guy to want me for me– flaws and all. I have always thought that beauty was a light within you; like a trait that shines through your personality that draws attention. It’s nothing really external; it’s more of in the way you move– a kind of mystery to uncover in a person’s actions and behavior. But again here I am: awkward and stumbling and ungraceful. And I have to remind myself: nobody’s going to love me if I’m not going to love me. I have to learn to love myself, first and foremost, with everything I am and everything I can still be. I think the most heartbreaking thing I am doing to myself is that I won’t even give myself a chance. Here I am a little bit over the weight I should be and I’m still eating and eating without a little effort on exercise or reducing my take in. I am not taking care of myself and being good to myself like I should be. The sad thing is that even I won’t want me enough to work on me and I have to firmly tell myself that this has to stop. I will have to do a little more work than others on being beautiful but I think that’s something beautiful in itself: effort. Like how you can only appreciate it more when you’ve been through the exact opposite of what you’ve achieved. It makes you grow and it makes you better and that’s the thing I am always looking forward to every day; the reason why I haven’t given up hope. I am still in change. I have modifications to go through but I am not yet done; I have ultimately many more things to adjust and revise on myself. I am going to love myself so much that I am going to give myself second chances, every single day I fail or feel like giving up, I am going to stand my ground and tell myself to try again because I AM WORTH IT. I am a beautiful human being in the making and I hope that one day, somebody else will fall head over heels with me and realize it too. I will aspire to inspire and admire: “I can’t be as beautiful as you. But I can be as beautiful as me.”
Here is my yes to change and to effort and to struggle because like a mother experiencing the agony and the shooting pain for hours upon the delivery of a baby and the tedious months of care before that, a new life is born. Surely I am on my way.