There are so many truly important things going on in the world today—war, famine, disease, death, terrorism, etc.—that worrying about one’s physical appearance should be the farthest thing from the mind, right? So why is it that I spend so much time plucking and painting myself into a better looking person? And why do I spend so much time sobbing in the bathroom and whining to my friends because of my distinct resemblance to a mythical bridge troll?
Logically, I know that I will probably never be cast as the star creature in the next Gremlins film; still, as much as I hate myself for it, it truly affects my day-to-day life in a negative way to know that I’m also not conventionally “pretty.” I’ve spent thousands of dollars over the years on cosmetic products and strange procedures (like the $100 eyelash “extensions” that fell out after a few days, much to the alarm of my classmates who thought I had some sort of disorder)—but in the end I still wake up to the same tired, round face every morning. And every day it gets more disheartening to look at it in the mirror.
I know that my insecurities aren’t special (as Carleigh Baker points out in her feature article this week (page 12), it doesn’t matter who you are—everyone in our society is unconfident in one way or another about their appearance, but sometimes I wonder if my crippling lack of self-confidence is really commonplace. Does everyone measure their waist circumference daily and then compare it to the measurements of The Biggest Loser contestants to see how they stack up? Does everyone keep a full makeup kit in a secret pocket in their purse so that no one will see them sans foundation if there’s a freak rainstorm? Does everyone avoid looking up when they wash their hands so they don’t have to see their face unnecessarily?
Probably not. But, as much as I don’t want to wish pain on others, I sort of hope so. While I don’t see myself magically emerging from my insecurities as a beautiful, confident butterfly in the near future, I do think it would be really comforting to know that I wasn’t alone.
Now, please excuse me while I put on more lipstick.