Someone recently said they admired my confidence. It was a weird moment for me, because I don’t really feel particularly confident about a lot of things. I mean, I feel confident in my ability to do my job and to work knitting instructions to their projected end, but this person was talking about body image and generally moving through life. Which is weird, because I tend to feel I’m one wrong decision from cocking everything up.
The other day I found a nifty chart of healthy foods on Tumblr for people looking to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle. When I clicked to find the source material so I could link to it, I was lead to a pro-anorexia site. The girl had photos of extra skinny “models’ posing in lingerie, swimsuits and various states of undress. They were looking wistfully at the shoreline, lounging indulgently across beds, standing waifishly in doorways and staring cautiously at the camera. There were broken sentences about how she hated herself, how she was determined to weigh less than a hundred pounds because someone had called her fat, and how she will never be happy unless she had the coveted thigh gap. God! It depressed the heck outta me!
In less than two minutes I knew without a doubt that, even should she reach her goal weight of
Anyway, back to my “confidence.” The way I see it is, I have been several different weights throoughout my life. Fat, thin and everywhere in between. I haven’t loved being some weights, but I’ve accepted it. I don’t hate my body. It does things. I can lift things, walk places, climb stairs and hug my friends and family. That’s good. I wouldn’t wear a bikini. Okay. Given the choice between wearing a bikini to show my thigh gap or sharing a real bear hug with a loved one, I’ll choose the latter, thank you.
I don’t really see this as an abundance of confidence. I see it as being normal, really. Any time you spend too much energy to outward things, you run the risk of losing your real self under an avalanche of things that don’t really matter in the end. I mean, when it all comes down to it, you can still get run over by a bus tomorrow and wouldn’t it be better if you weren’t putting off your real life to weigh a certain amount or meet a certain guy? Is that self-confidence? Of self-acceptance?