(I do not own the rights to this video)
There is no wonder why this video has gone viral. In just moments Dustin Hoffman says a mouthful and comes to the realization of what many women like I have encountered.
The media is full of perfect airbrushed bodies, toned skin and flat bellies, full hair, light eyes, exotic beauties and modelesque physiques. It is hard to live up to, but some of us fight against it and stick to our own beauty. This is not to say that I frown upon women and men with the so called perfect appearance, I merely acknowledge the fact that many people—based on their own stereotypes and societal restrictions and fear of judgment—pass up the less than beautiful custom made for the typical factory made line up.
Some time ago, I set out to get fit. I wanted to be healthy and I wanted above all else to be pleased with the person and body I saw in the mirror. I am a 29 year old woman, I am 5’7.5” and I weigh 189lbs. For the longest time I did not want to share my weight because I was not happy with it. I am active and always working on bringing that weight down to an even healthier weight than my former 300lbs. I have given many reasons as to why I decided to flip my world upside down. I no longer rely on my inhaler, I can run, I feel incredible (most of the times). Yet, all of those things pale in comparison to the new found physical appreciation I have been receiving. I claimed health, I claimed self-esteem, I claimed and meant many things but unfortunately in the underlying desperation and desire to be accepted, I wanted to be skinny.
I have friends, incredible friends whom never fail to tell me I am beautiful inside and out, but it often went without mattering. A couple of days ago, maybe even a week ago, I was talking to my best friend. She and I have been friends since I was 12 years old and best friends for the better part of my life. She hears it all. My happiness, my anger and my self-pity when I am claiming to be fine. I was upset about the things I cannot change about myself immediately and she helped put me in my place. She said to me (not exactly verbatim but I will try to quote as best possible), “are you kidding me, you are that girl that walks into a room and commands attention, you attract people with your words . . . your words alone wrap people up. You captivate people in such a way and you don’t even know it. You have something that most don’t have.” I sat there and I listened to her and I attempted to take it all in.
Three years ago before I lost even a LB I cried, I was upset because I felt like I was such a good person. I was funny, I made people happy but I got angry because men did not give me the time of day because I wasn’t, “skinny.” I wasn’t everyday People Magazine pretty. I was intellectual, I had comedic timing but I did not look good in a two piece. I brainwashed myself into believing I wasn’t good enough, but I was. This is when I set out to be different, to be better. I lied to myself for a while before I caught up with what I meant when I said I wanted to be, “fit.” I felt like I had been passed up many times and I was convinced it was because of what I looked like and not who I was. It was not necessarily a feeling, it was and is still very true for myself and many others. So I told myself, “if I just get skinny enough I will acquire the attention of those I desire, I will be the person men desire and I will finally be given the chance to be accepted for who I truly am”. . . a fraud, a hypocrite and without realizing it , definitely not myself. Little by little I shaved off the old me and started to come into the person I was happy with and somewhere along the way my priorities shifted and they fell exactly where I needed them to. I have had my fair share of moments where I was the girl people gawked at, I have been admired and I have been complemented. That is not enough. I have always been outspoken and very true to myself but in some brief moments of desperation and conformity, I thought that I wanted to be socially acceptable . . . but I no longer care to be the woman that people look at immediately. I rather lead with my integrity and intelligence and if my looks appeal to others they won’t stand alone without my true self shining through. I rather be interesting and more like tootsie.
Self-discovery is a hell of a concept and while I acknowledge that I have been “tootsied,” many times, I also admit that I have passed up on several people who could be considered interesting for others who perhaps were easier on the eyes.
Men and women are not all vain and indifferent, we are good and kind people victim of society at times. Imperfect and biased but I am willing to admit that I have realized I have been flawed in not giving everyone that I have encountered an equal opportunity because of my own skewed perceptions.
You live and you learn. . .