I love you!
I feel the same, minus the surgery ... I'd probably come out looking like someone pulled a latex glove over my head (Remember when Howie Mandel would do that? Lol)
I was severely abused and convinced through some of that abuse that I was ugly as sin, inside and out. I had offers for modeling and acting, but hated myself too much to show up to calls (or wasn't allowed to). I feel that I wasted everything good that I had.
But see, that's the lie. That's the part that can make us ugly! Women (especially middle aged women) have been trained that we are to serve men and be perfect all the time - act perfectly, work like a man perfectly, take care of the house/kids perfectly, and above all, look perfectly sexy at all times.
I know it seems like a cop out to blame media, but when that's what you're raised on and every image of a woman is a young, dumb, subservient, aesthetically perfect picture of TnA, well, that's what sinks in. And also included in this false narrative is that we women lose the entirety of our worth at 30 years old (although some now say 40 - either way, we ain't gettin' any younger!)
Please know that your worth is not solely in your looks. It is an evil lie that the only thing that women have to offer is how pleasing they appear to others. Believe me when I tell you that the only thing that matters is how YOU see yourself in that mirror. Make peace with YOUR view of you, and everything will be great! Get a makeover, sure! But do it for YOU. In my experience, honks are usually from predators anyway. We were taught (directly or indirectly) that disrespectful approval from men we don't know (and aren't even interested in!) somehow validates out worthiness as women. You are worth SO much more than that. You're a mother, ffs! And probably lots of other cool stuff, too! You gave life. You're alive. You have today and Lord willing, many more days to do something meaningful; something that means so much more and lasts so much longer than a snapshot in some dude's "spank bank".
I seriously doubt they stare at you because they see you as a freak. Maybe they see the pain on your face and don't know how to respond to it. Informal studies have shown that people (especially men) are far more attracted to the woman who smiles at them than the one with the "perfect" face and body. And I'm sure you are much better looking than you give yourself credit for! Either way, please know that your worth is not determined by superficial, fleeting graces. You have weathered the storm! You're still here! That's worth way more than all the honks in the world!
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