Sunday, April 17, 2011

Insecurity: I Has It

I saw a little girl today who was wearing safety-vest yellow tights and a navy blue trapeze dress with massive, vibrant appliqued polka-dots. She was walking behind her mother--pigtails bobbing up and down with every step. She was stunning. And I couldn't help but think about how, one day, she won't go near a trapeze dress because she'll be so aware of how they make your boobs look tiny and your ass look huge and isn't that just too bad? Is that what we're all nostalgic for when we think about childhood? The ability to be utterly unconcerned about the intensely important and simultaneously trivial matters. She has zero insecurities. She'll get them. When? What will her first one be? How can we keep it from happening and--let's get to the root of the question--is there any hope for me? You? Anyone? Can I go back and keep myself from ruining myself?

Is there anyone who doesn't second guess or berate themselves over the way that they look? Level of intelligence? Musical ability. Job performance. Health. What I eat. What I drive. What I wear. What I listen to. My house isn't clean enough. But now it's too clean, like no one lives here. Do I have enough ambition? Do I have any? Do I have enough money? Am I doing the right things with my money? Do I have enough of a sex drive? Is it too much? Do I think that I dress okay but when I get out in public, then people are like "who is the white girl wearing yellow?"? Are my roots showing? Can anyone tell that I jiggle when I giggle? Should I develop an interest in sports?

When did I become so self-aware and is "self-aware" even the right phrase to use since I'm constantly blowing myself completely out of proportion?

Insecurities: I have them.
Securities: I also have them.

For as much fear as I have about my body, I also have a lot of security in it. A lot of love for it. It's not so much a love/ hate relationship as much as it is a love/ feel-guilty-for-being-so-embarrassed-about-it relationship.
It's like when you're in high-school and your parents kiss you in front of your friends and you're ashamed and discount them but you, at the same time, feel bad about that because you're happy--ultimately--that they're there.

I pretend that no one can see the parts of my body that I know they can. I ignore it and I tell myself that everyone else does, too. But to be truthful, at the end of the day I could nearly worship my thighs for carrying me so many miles despite the physical and emotional abuse that I heap onto them. I rub lotions and exfoliants gratefully into my tummy and my breasts, my thighs and my relatively minuscule ass. They're not pretty. They're not traditional but they're me and I do love them twice as much as I loath them.

They say you shouldn't point out the things that you're insecure about because someone else will probably not even notice. But maybe I want you to notice. Maybe I want you to know so that I can own my insecurity in the same way that I need to own my thighs. I want to accept it. All of it. Look at myself, my body, my spirit, my mind and say, "this is my whole and this is my me."

And maybe one day I'll stop wondering what you all notice. But, then again, we may never be fixed.


Katie Hurl said...


Katie Hurl said...

Also, I'm totally bringing back the "socks and strappy shoes with the bathing suit" trend.

Ryan said...

Oh, Libby, you're constantly reminding me how to be me. That makes me happy.

The Foreigners said...

you're beautiful and really good at using words. (just to be clear, this is a compliment...I'm not doing that thing that people do when they totally miss the point and think you need the affirmation.)

It's funny how being in Korea, where my insecurities are written on the faces of the strangers I pass on the street, has actually helped me to become less insecure about myself. I still have quite a way's to go, but you're so right about owning it.

Kristin W said...

Libby, I love you for writing this! I could never have put it into words like you did! Thank you! Also, Katie, I forbid you to bring that trend back... That is one that needs to stay dead! HA!

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