I went to the doctor recently to check up on my medications and make sure that everything was all straightened out for my recent mission trip to the Dominican Republic (which you’ve already heard a bit about). They took my vitals per usual, which involved the typical pause on the scale. The moment of truth: had I really gained the freshman fifteen? I was shocked by the number staring back at me. I’d never been as heavy as the scale was telling me I was. But once I slowed my heart rate back down from the shock, I reminded myself that a lot of factors were going into the number on the scale that day: I was severely bloated from being in the middle of my period, I appear to have lost weight at college but if I’ve gained muscle that weighs more than fat so…
But ever since then, I can’t stop seeing that number. And than that number morphs into the word that every girl- every person- dreads: “fat.” And all over again I’ve become obsessed with my body and what it looks like and whether or not it’s “fat.”
As I got out of shower just the other night, I was looking at myself, really looking at myself in the mirror. Sure, I’ve got some “trouble spots.” I could have less of a tummy pouch, and my thighs could be smaller. There are some faded stretch marks along my belly and sides. I’m certainly no size two. I slipped on a pair of underwear and pulled it over my navel so I couldn’t see the stretch marks. That made it look worse. I was covering up.
I lowered the line of the underwear so it rested under my little bit of belly chub, and even though I could see the stretch marks and my pouch, I looked whole and real. And even despite all of these things that aren’t “ideal” about my body, my body is beautiful. My body is beautiful because it is healthy and young and unique. Have you ever stopped to look at your body and appreciate it for being young? Consider all that it can do- all that it won’t be able to do eventually. Your body is truly amazing.
And having dealt with these body image issues for as long as I can remember, I’ve come to realize exactly what Drew Barrymore is telling us: happy people are beautiful people. When I look in the mirror and see a happy me, I see a beautiful me. It’s not about what the scale says. It’s about giving yourself the self-assurance to say “I’m beautiful despite my insecurities.” I guarantee you that if you go back to look through old photo albums, you’ll think that you look beautiful in the ones where you’re visibly happy compared to the ones where you’re not having it.
There’s no need to cover up. Everyone has the potential to be a CoverGirl. Because happiness is the best beauty.