I had a conversation the other day with a friend that has really resonated with me. I was telling her how unpretty I feel, but how I blame it on the depression and anxiety. I have this constant fear that people are judging how I look (it doesn't help when someone comes out and tells me that my clothes don't fit right - after I just gained back all of the weight that I fought so hard to lose). When friends tell me that I'm pretty, I assume that they are just trying to be kind to spare my feelings.
I am just shy of six feet tall, and wear a size twenty-four. My thighs and ass are enormous. My cheeks are always red - even moreso when I'm embarrassed, or hot, or upset. My hair is thick, but has this odd wave to it that doesn't look right unless I style it, which I rarely do. My hair is dark - practically black - and grows faster than most peoples', and not always in places where I'd like for it to grow. My breasts are uneven. My skin is pale, and my arms are covered with tiny little scars from when I was a kid and couldn't stand to not scratch at mosquito bites or pick at scabs.
When people look at me, I assume that these are the things that they are seeing. They aren't seeing the girl who'd give a stranger her last dollar if she thought they needed it more. They aren't seeing the girl who does without so that her rescued pets can have everything they need. They aren't seeing the girl who gives and gives and gives until there's nothing left to give anymore.
Talking to my friend made me realize that maybe people do see more than the fat girl with the red blotchy cheeks and the scarred arms.
My friend was telling me about her insecurities about her looks, and I was baffled. Here was this woman, standing in front of me, who is very pretty. Her looks are definitely above average. She's lovely - and I'm not saying that just because we have become friends recently. I am saying that because the first time that I saw her, I thought that she was pretty. Getting to know her, and knowing what a kind, sweet soul she is has only made her beauty more obvious. But before I even know her, she was pretty. Hearing her talking about her insecurities about herself opened my eyes - if someone that pretty can be so insecure, maybe it's NOT that bad. Maybe I'm NOT the hideous fat lump that I see in the mirror. Maybe I'm NOT all that bad.
And maybe my friends aren't lying.