Girls grow up constantly comparing ourselves to other girls.
All day, every day, we are trained to size each other up – on streets, in magazines, our classmates, our celebrities… a constant weighing of who is thinner/blonder/tanner/prettier/bustier/better. We learn that, in order to win this never ending competition, we need to identify flaws: “Oh, that haircut is wrong on her,” “Those pants are so unflattering,” “Ooo, sister, can we say overplucked?” Eventually, this looking for error becomes so second nature that we stop seeing whole pictures and start noticing only the pieces we think should be airbrushed away. And then, when we’ve analyzed everyone we pass, consciously or otherwise, we return to our homes/spouses/families/dogs/emptyapartments, turn our critical eye to the mirror, and tear our own reflections apart with a venom that should be exclusive to mean girl characters in teen movies.
But thankfully, finally, at different ages, in different ways, and hopefully before too much damage is done, we do grow up.
There are things I wish I could say to the girl I was, the one who was always more or less of something than the person standing closest to her. I wish I could tell moreorlesser me that I see bodies every day, and nobody, no body, is perfect, and therefore everybody (every body) is as perfect as is necessary. I’d love to tell her that every woman I meet is more of something and less of something, but every one of them is loved, and everyone has a beautiful something that is uniquely her own. When the size of your paycheck depends on finding and emphasizing that beauty, you stop seeing extra pounds or acne or wide hips or cellulite and you start identifying fabulous curves, pretty shoulders, tiny waists, and killer smiles. And when you start seeing those things in clients, you start seeing them in every girl you meet. And eventually, you confront yourself in the mirror and realize you’ve been seeing the wrong picture from the beginning.
I wish I could lend other women these rosy glasses… I wish I could take the damning words out of the mouths of friends, mothers, and voices in their heads and replace them with affirmations: You are art, don’t you see? You are fearfully, wonderfully, beautifully made. You are no more or less than you need to be. You are as you were intended. You have been always, always, always loved. Now work it, girl. Go turn the world on with your smile.
I wish I could see, just for a minute, what our Creator sees. I’m going to guess it’s a pretty different picture.