How can one feel absolute confidence and self-worth one day and hopeless with self-loathing the next?
That seven year-old man sweater and those faded jeans you wear to work, laced with the memories & weight of an existence you were expected to embrace, bring you down week after week.
Your inconsistent wardrobe and low income status offer no solace. In a world driven by appearances and illusions, you can barely function as you struggle with your illusion never passing.
The rain and humidity hold your hooded hair prisoner, privy to the prying gaze of other pretty women around you, umbrellas drawn shielded from it all somehow.
You don the biggest sweater you have, and muscle through the searing pain across your chest as your tightest bra digs deep just barely concealing your endowments behind thick fabric. And when you’re feeling braver and angrier, you bind.
Your eyeliner smudges awkwardly in the morning rush while the thought of your cheap lipstick flaking ruminates and distresses you as the hours pass by. “Will I ever be called ‘beautiful’?” An ever-present doubt.
The pressures of society’s watchful eye are omnipotent, yet more ambivalent and unresponsive than any other force. No one will point out the dingy sneakers you chose to wear to work. No one will say your only winter shawl clashes horribly with the color of your coat. No one will shout “hey you look like a woman!” on the bus of train. Only your friends will comment on your chipped nail polish.
We give ordinary people so much power over us. We give ourselves less love and lower our expectations for people who will never understand or love us in return. Are we so narcissistic that we would bring ourselves to the brink of insanity and depression over not measuring up to a marketed standard of femininity daily? Are we so egotistical that we convince ourselves that masculinity is merely skin deep?
Why do we accept this cycle as we trudge through the chaotic mess that is our self-realized gender? Why should we? It’s ours, not theirs. We should own it daily, reminding ourselves that we are not alone, worthless, broken, or ugly. Can we believe a day will come when “it gets better” will become tangible in different ways for each of us?
I want to believe that. It has for so many others. The more I get out of my head, and turn my focus onto myself and away from trying to please and appease others, the more I find myself getting on with my life. The stronger we become in the face of daily adversity.
Though doubt may creep,
despite all that’s been said,
the truth ain’t deep.
It’s just all in your head.
I wrote this as a reminder to myself, but in the event someone else reads this I also made sure to remember it’s not just about me…