Yesterday while searching for old school records I opened The Trunk. The Trunk is a large riding container I have stuffed full of things starting in grade school. It is full of journals, notes all the way from grade school through yesterday, concert tickets, cards, old art, and the kitchen sink.
While looking through an old journal I came across the above entry. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. It is disturbing to me. I don’t remember writing it, my guess from the other entries is that it was written in my first year of High School. I had to of been around 13 or 14 years old, around 1982 or so.
I analyze everything, I over think everything. I can’t shake how horrific my view of myself was, and in all actuality I can’t shake the fact that that view lingers at times. I have been feeding myself this line of bullshit for approximately 34 years.
How does this happen? How does a beautiful young girl get these messages so wrong?
This journal entry proves that this isn’t a new phenomenon, girls have been berating and tearing themselves to shreds for a very long time. The body positivity movement is certainly a response to this kind of self hatred.
So, is it society that has influenced this view of self? Is it parents who’s seemingly innocent jabs send young girls into this tailspin? Is it our peers picking each other to pieces? Advertising? Misogyny? What the hell causes this?
I certainly don’t want to discount the fact that males have these experiences as well, I do however believe females are extremely prone to this kind of self ridicule.
I am ashamed to say that thinking back over raising two beautiful daughters, that I may not have been as careful with my words as I should have been. I now remember times I offhandedly commented on my daughter’s weight, or stated “maybe we should see a dermatologist about your skin”, I know that I’ve mentioned how skinny one of my daughters is to her. I feel as if I have failed them. I am no psychologist but clearly my seamingly offhand comments had more to do with my self talk and insecurities than them.
It’s never too late to be a better mother, I am glad I found this, I am glad I can now apologize for words that may have caused them to think they are anything but perfection in my eyes.
I am sad. I am determined to talk to that young beautiful girl who wrote these things, I want to tell her that she is beautiful. I want to tell her that how she looks is a miniscule part of the whole of who she is. I want to heal the part of her that ever considered she was anything less than amazing.