Sunday, July 18, 2010

Finding beauty

I was filling my basin with hot water to wash my face this evening, and of course, standing in front of a mirror, what else do I do but peruse the state of my reflection?
I was actually surprised. I realized, as I observed the white skin and reddening lips, that I look okay. Despite weight gain (though I'm nowhere near recovered) I actually look... dare I say it... good - I've retained that quirky, elvin look that comes from being small.
The most shocking thing is, I look better than when I weighed 5 or 6kg less. At an end-of-year pool party one of my friends hosted a few weeks ago, my friend displayed a slide show of the past three years of high school. There were very few pictures of me (partly because I wasn't in the core group, partly because of my appearance), but those that were displayed were... disturbing. One, in particular, showed me beside my best friend, smiling into the camera. My face was overwhelmed with wrinkles from lack of facial fat. As one internet blogger nicely put it, the smile took over my face. My skin was sallow, and the smile strained. I realized, in that instant, how horrific I really looked at my worst.
Now, as I gain weight, I admit, I abhor my fat, pancakey thighs. My face and neck look just too chubby, some days. But today, I realized, it's not that bad. I actually look better, now, than I did then. Sure, some parts of me no longer look stick-thin. But when I tilt it the right way, my face looks beautiful, and so, so much better than before.
This whole process is extremely stressful. Trying to abandon all these notions I've held to so tightly for so long - restricting, liking the number on the scale decrease, eating low calorie foods... is almost impossible.
But my face looks okay. There is a happy medium. You can be healthy, and still beautiful. Millions of people are. So... why not us?
I remember thinking, one day, in 10th grade (as I was planning my weight loss), that everyone else could just be pretty naturally. But I, I had to lose weight on my face to look pretty. Sure, my body was okay, but my face was the problem: it was too chubby, plain, ordinary, and had no natural beauty. To be beautiful, to even attempt to compete with these 'lucky girls' I had to be thin.
But it's not true! Even in the worst case, you can use makeup to enhance your bone structure, you can dress to emphasize the positive points of your body.
So I challenge you to find something that is better about your body or your life now, in recovery, than when you were very sick.

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