Body Image

Illness Army: “Appearances”

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t like what I look like. If I could magically wake up and become a different person physically, I still wouldn’t like what I look like.
When I have long hair I don’t like it: it’s too thick, ‘knotty’, wavy…
Then, I cut it and it’s too short, ‘boyish’, not sexy enough…
I buy fashionable clothes and I don’t like what I look like in them,
So I resort to ‘regular’ clothes…then, I don’t feel cute enough.
I can’t win.
I stalk hot girls on Instagram:
Her waist is non-existent, her hair is long and blonde, she’s got a flat stomach, expensive clothes, perfect makeup…
And, I bet if I had all of that…I’d still hate what I look like.

These thoughts have been recently reignited by a haircut I just got this past weekend. It’s really short. Shorter than I wanted. But, I cut it because I was tired of trying to grow my hair out, of feeling like I needed to have it long to be attractive. I don’t like having long hair because it just gets in my way, never looks how I want it to (except for some moments on Instagram), and it’s hard to manage. So I cut it.

I’m not happy. Is it a relief to not have to worry about styling my hair? Sure. Will my hair quickly grow out to a length I like better? Yeah. Yet, am I mad at myself when I look in the mirror, when I see girls at school with long, styled hair? Yep.

I’m not in a place right now where I can get up in the morning, style my hair, do my makeup, and wear trendy clothes. Right now, I’m barely able to slap on a thin layer of foundation before leaving my dorm, and most times I don’t. It’s frustrating that I feel inadequate in this way because really, my appearance shouldn’t matter…

But, it DOES. At least to me. I know that no one who really cares about me actually thinks like I do: no one thinks I’m ugly, unattractive, undesirable…just me. And, if I met someone just like me, I’d probably be super understanding of their situation. When it comes to me, I don’t cut myself any slack. I don’t look like what I think I should look like…and I never will…and this will be a never ending struggle for me.

Here’s some advice that I’d give someone like me: So long as you’re beautiful on the inside, you’re beautiful regardless of your appearance. I know it’s cheesy and cliche, but I truly believe it. I could meet someone I don’t consider attractive but, if they’re compassionate, loving, and selfless, I’d probably wind up thinking they’re amazing.

If you’re struggling right now-with ANYTHING-just know it’s okay. It’s okay that you haven’t brushed your hair in a few days, that the only fashion you can muster is sweatpants and a t-shirt, that you don’t have a flat tummy and tight abs. Sure, try to take care of personal hygiene, and maybe lift your spirits with a special outfit/makeup look here and there but, don’t think that you need to.

Instead, put time and effort into things that really matter: school, relationships, passions/hobbies, and recovering (if you have any illness, in my case mental). Once you take care of the important stuff, the rest will follow, and you’ll look better than ever.

Hopefully, I start to take this advice for myself sometime soon.

Thank you for this submission from my incredibly talented friend Sandy from the blog
If there is one blog that everyone should be following, it is hers.
Sandy speaks honestly about time living with Depression and Anxiety, and uses her writing talents to capture audiences.

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