Liking Yourself and Other Acts of Rebellion
Out on the climbing wall, I’ll often yell up to my friends as they’re struggling through a particularly hard section that their ass looks great. For one, it’s the only angle I have. And two, it’s usually true. They’ll grunt back something unintelligible, and I’ll yell again, “remember, it’s not what you do, it’s how good you look while you do it!” Yes, it’s a joke. If anything, climbers have a reputation for taking their sweet time between showers…but I use the phrase to serve as a reminder to relax and have fun.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about beauty and what it means to me. As I transition from socially awkward teen to socially awkward adult, there’s been a shift in my priorities. It probably began when I moved to a new city and found a huge amount of enjoyment in reinventing my style. Gypsy skirts and thrift-store clogs have not-so-subtly crept into my wardrobe. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but more importantly, I find I don’t really care. Am I comfy? Did I remember to put on pants? OK. We’re good to go.
My love for fashion is still alive and thriving - it’s my perspective on beauty that has changed. Beauty is no longer something I love to pursue, it’s the result of pursuing things that I love. I want my skin to be tan because I’ve been playing outside, and my body to look lean because I’m an athlete. I want my arms to be strong because I scale walls, and my belly to be soft because I’m healthy and eat well. I want my hair to be sun streaked because I’ve spent the summer under the sun, and my pores to look clear because the air around me is clean. Here’s a crazy thought, rather than worrying about the circles under my eyes, I want my skin to look bright because I allow myself time to rest and sleep (is it bad that many of us just scoffed at the very idea of this?).
I recently came across a quote that summarized my feelings fairly well.
In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.
Instead of letting society profit, I think I’ll grant myself my time and energy. I think I’ll be OK with letting my body and appearance evolve as a result of doing what I love, and nothing more. Because being comfortable is beautiful. Being happy is beautiful.
Is this just a huge exposé to justify the sheer number of hours I spend in pajamas?! Maybe. But then again, anybody who loves me is just going to have to love my pajamas too.