Sunday, February 13, 2011
Here is a photo of my Valentine. It's me. Yes, I'm married. But we don't really celebrate Valentine's Day beyond giving each other a card with an animal on it, because Valentine's Day is kinda meh. If you celebrate it and you derive pleasure from it, then God bless. I'm not saying I won't partake of some drugstore chocolate. Because I already have.
For Valentine's Day, I'm posting this photo I took of myself this past July in the dressing room at Bloomingdale's. I was having a really good day. You can't tell in the photo, but my hair looked really good. I'd just interviewed for a job (which I didn't get -- the interview went well, and I went on to have another interview, but it just wasn't meant to be... important life lesson there: things happen when they're supposed to, and jobs you don't get probably weren't the right jobs for you). But I'd busted my ass preparing, and I celebrated with a little excursion to Bloomingdale's, where, for some reason, this Cynthia Steffe dress jumped out at me. An asymmetrical ruched silk party dress the color of the blazing sun was the last thing on my must-buy list. Especially at $286. But I tried it on and the feeling of confidence and like "EFFYEAHCYNTHIASTEFFE" I got was immeasurable by money or exclamation points. I felt bona fide awesome wearing it (and after a few days of deliberation, I went to the downtown Bloomie's and bought it).
I snapped a photo to remind me of that feeling you get when you feel great in something. When you finally calm the voices in your head that say "you still need to lose 10 pounds," "ugh, your stomach's gonna stick out," "the top backs of your arms aren't toned enough," "you weigh more now than you did two years ago." And my favorite bizarre little personal demon: "When you turn your face to the side, that area between your nose and cheek sometimes looks weird in photos." WHATEVER. WHO. CARES. Every day that you get out of bed and walk around on your own two highly functional legs unassisted and live a life relatively unconfined by illness or suffering or an oxygen tank on wheels is a fucking gift that not everyone on this earth was granted. But it's really easy to lose sight of that big picture when you're staring in a mirror squinting at a mild case of bra-induced back fat that really no one but you will ever notice. (Something else I've learned: people are too busy going about their own lives and dealing with their own weird insecurities to notice yours.) Even the most confident women I know (and I consider myself one of them) probably say 10 disparaging things about themselves for every one good thing. And when they do admit one nice thing about themselves, it's almost always apologetic and hesitant. I'm trying to do something about that. I'll go first: I feel like I look as good in this dress as that model. If you think I'm nuts or deluded, then this probably isn't the blog for you.
My point is that everyone deserves a dress, a pair of shoes, a blouse, a jacket, jeans, whatever, that make you feel as good as you deserve to feel. And everyone deserves to be able to confidently say "I LOOK AWESOME" instead of being modest or conservative, without feeling like you're bragging. Turn your swag up to 10. Eleven, even.
I used to roll my eyes when people on TV or in magazines talked about self-love and loving your body. But the older I get, I realize we need to hear those things -- and remind ourselves of them -- even if they sound corny and "you-go-girl"-ish. We should be able to toast ourselves and celebrate feeling and looking good, inside and out.
So, consider this a little love letter to myself. And I hope you put on something awesome, turn your swag on, and write your own Valentine too. You deserve it.
Soulja Boy Tellem - Turn My Swag On