Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Word of the Day Challenge: Day Twenty Four

It has taken me forever to accept that I cannot alter my face. I used to think that if I lost a little weight, I’d look more attractive. If I wore make-up more often. If I cut my hair just-so. If I… blah blah blah blah blah.

I compared myself unfavourably to every girl I saw, but especially to my sister (I still do, although I am really trying hard to stop this). My hair is light and fine, hers is a glossy auburn. I have small eyes with blonde lashes; hers are huge with soot-black lashes like butterfly wings. I have a long nose, too big for my face. My sister’s is cute as button.

I think my ed was partly a response to this perceived ugliness. I knew I couldn’t physically change my face, but my body? To an extent, that was under my control. I could mould that and shape it so that, even if I didn’t have a pretty face, I would at least have something positive about my physical appearance. I would have a perfect body, completely spare and pure and clean.

The funny thing is that when I look back at photos from when I was  ill and underweight, I don’t think I look more attractive, but less. My face is gaunt and haunted, and not in a defined and angular kind of way. I look like a hospital patient, not a runway model.   

I know that beauty is not skin-deep. I have never questioned this when it comes to others: I didn’t choose my friends because they had clear skin, white teeth or perfect bone structure. My friends are my friends because they are good, intelligent, funny, supportive, amazing, kind. How they look isn’t remotely important. It doesn’t even come into the equation. So why do I still struggle to believe that unless I look a certain way, I am essentially unacceptable?

Realising that this logic is skewed is the first step to self-acceptance, I think.


  1. I think you bring up a good point in your last paragraph - never questioning beauty when it comes to others, but interrogating ourselves on the same topic. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all learn to treat ourselves the way we treat others? Kinda like a new twist on the golden rule - treat others as you wish to be treated....

  2. We can be so hard on ourselves. It's such a strange, misguided thing. I'm glad you are learning to accept yourself for who you are and I know your beauty shines through, whether you can see it clearly or not.

  3. I always wonder what that "certain way" is because for the most part in sickness, I could see I wanted to be a certain way and yet nothing was good enough.
    So there was no certain way.
    And it was unattainable.

    As for the facial side of things.
    It isn't anything I discuss in great detail, but there was certainly a degree of BDD when I was growing up, specifically about my face, so I can connect to some of this.

    You are amazing little miss <3