I think there are very few people out there who are truly 100% comfortable in their own skin. Me? I'm on my way.
Working at EFY always seems to help the cause....I mean, you have to wear the same ill-fitting polo as everyone else, so when you're constantly getting side-hugs and sincere compliments from teenagers saying they want to grow up to be like you, you KNOW it has little to do with your physical appearance. I like to think that in heaven we will all wear versions of The Great Unifying Polo...probably in white.
This summer has been a summer of firsts for me. For a long time I've had a lot of ideas about myself, but I'm gaining a new perspective on a lot of things. For instance, I've never worn heels before...NEVER. Always flats...cheap flipflops or threadbare moccasins were always my go-to kicks of choice. My reasoning? Well, besides the comfort factor, I've always been self-conscious about being too tall. Wait, I'm only 5'6, right? Well add in the whole awkwardly-skinny factor and I felt like adding any inches to my height only resulted in me looking like a spaghetti noodle. In fact, I used to try on my roommate's heels and laugh at myself in the mirror and call myself "Lurpzilla." For the same reasons, I always tended to gravitate toward wearing jeans that were slightly too big for me....I hated feeling like a twig. I know, I know, every perfectly plump girl who reads this is ready to jump on my case and tell me I have no reason to complain...but, it's all in the eye of the beholder, right? (And trust me, those same media images telling all the heftier girls they need to starve themselves are the same ones throwing curvacious, womanly figures in my face. It's a double standard, my friends.)
So this is the realization I've come to this summer....my look is about ME. And my self-image is just that...a SELF image. My reasonings behind my former viewpoints were lukewarm, at best. They all boiled down to how other people would perceive me, and who wants to live life trying to impress everyone else? Hello, not me. I finally caved and (with the help of Miss Katie Lee, the self-image master) bought a pair of heels. And a pair of jeans that actually fit me. It has definitely taken some getting used to...but it's a transition that I'm thoroughly enjoying. I feel like a lady...not a lurpzilla.
And by no means do I think I'm conforming or losing myself to the latest trends....because trust me, the parts of me that want to wear sweatpants and baseball hats are still holding sway in my daily apparel decisions. And that's what i LOVE about me...it's just ME. It's not what other people tell me to wear....it's not how other people say I should cut or dye my hair...it's not how I'm too tall or too skinny or wear too many bright colors or shop at DI (thrift stores forever!!)....it's about ME and what I want for me. If I let my self-image revolve around other people's opinions then I'm probably on a quick spiral staircase to No-happiness Land.
And besides, I'm feeling ever-more strongly that self-confidence has little to do with physical appearance, because I think courage and self-esteem are built as we become comfortable with ourselves....and comfort with ourselves only comes when we know we are living our lives correctly....and considering the divinity in each of us, I've concluded that our best selves and best chance at self-esteem are only available if we are cultivating those godly characteristics within us. Hence....a person's best bet at confidence is absolute purity and unselective obedience to Gospel standards, not what shoes you choose to wear in the morning :)
In the words of a wise, prophetic man...."You can't spend your life worrying that the world is staring at you."
And in the words of a best friend's dog...."I do what I want."
Turns out little Murphy knew it all along.