I have always been terrible at loving myself. I’m insecure, I hate my body, and I believe that nothing I ever do is good enough. Sometimes I feel like if I could, I would be the one commenting “you’re ugly and fat!!!!” about my own Instagram pictures.
If being accepting and loving myself is hard enough when things are going well, imagine how much harder it gets when you have been locked in your house for 120 days (with many more to come – yes, Argentina is still in lockdown and probably will be until September or who even knows when now), and the only thing that can give you some hope is the possibility of a Gossip Girl reboot.
I have three rotations of old, loose pajama outfits to wear. I haven’t worn shoes in around a hundred days, and I’ve also been having a “make up detox”, which is just a fancy name for “I have no life and I see no one, so why bother doing anything to my face”. I keep closing my eyes as I approach mirrors.
I feel peer-pressured into turn my camera on during Zooms, as if in my end-of-year job performance review someone is going to write “we knew she wasn’t good enough for the job because she never had the camera on”, so I do it and play with the lights until you can barely see my face. I always keep the “retouch my face” feature off, to prove to myself “see, I’m not that ugly that I need a filter”.
Showers are treated as a magical cure for things that I can’t handle: when I get too sad or I hate my body too much, feeling that I will step out of the bath as a new, better person, when actually I just get back into my rotation of clothes for the week and only as a luxury, sometimes I blow dry my hair.
If being accepting and loving myself is hard enough when things are going well, imagine how much harder it gets when you have been locked in your house for 120 days
My family, who I’m staying with these days, have heard me say “I’m starting a strict diet” more than 10 times now. It’s only five minutes later that I’m eating Nutella from the jar, which I say is “a last goodbye”, but let’s face it – it never is.
I see old pictures of myself from when I was a fitness competitor and ate less bread than I do now and I feel dirty, like that was the best person I could be and I have now ruined it because my arms don’t look as thin and my face is a little bit rounder. It’s funny, because when I looked that way, I hated my body as much as I do now. Will I someday look at pictures of myself today (as if I ever take any) and think that I was looking amazing? Will this circle of self-hatred, always feeling like it’s not good enough and I have something else to fix ever end?
What if I’m 40 and still go around life complaining about how I don’t have abs? No kid wants to have a mother that doesn’t go to the beach because she’s afraid to wear a bikini in public. You see, when I was younger, I thought that as I grew up, this would all fade away, that other problems would arise and I would have accomplished more, so the desire of having a “great body” – and what is actually a great body anyway? – would fade. When I was 15, throwing tantrums because a pair of jeans didn’t fit me was okay, but I’m 23 now, I should know better.
No kid wants to have a mother that doesn’t go to the beach because she’s afraid to wear a bikini in public
I’m just trying my best. Fueled by my guilt of feeling lazy, my desire to be liked and wear a crop top, and then more guilt about those desires, or the anger that I feel when I believe that if I had had a better body, my childhood or teenage years would have been better. That maybe the memories that now haunt me sometimes at night and make me want to start a non-profit for young girls that have been bullied, would not exist, maybe leaving more room for better things.
I try, every day a little bit, to love myself. No Instagram quote that I can like and share works now, no meditation, no new way to exercise, no achievement or not even if someone else loves me – I am my own enemy.
It’s hard to write some closing to this when there’s no closure even for me. I guess everyone carries their own burdens, and this is the one that I got – and I should be thankful, because it could be even worse. There are people dying in a pandemic out there, and children starving in Africa, and so many more horrendous things, and I’m complaining about the size of my thighs – which might seem like a terrible, selfish thing to do, but I do hope that someone can read this and feel better about their own burden.
We all have some weirdness, and this is my mine.