October 28, 2011

If I Were Small (A Poem About Body Image Issues)

If I were small (which I'm not, at all)
I'd fit in smaller things.
I'd wear tighter hats on my hugest of heads--
On my fingers, snugger rings.
'Cause they wouldn't be snug.
I'd be cute as a bug,
And they'd fit me super well--
No bulging clues
From size one and twos.
I'm big--my biggest tell.

I'd be fancy and fairy-sized,
Fit as can be,
And the whole world would linger
In "aw" of me,
If I wasn't so tall (which I am, above all)
And broad,
And big as can be.

I feel a bit weird that this is the first self-written poem I have posted on Nine to Phive because it doesn't give a very good representation of me. It's a poem--a fictional work of literature only vaguely reflecting my actually sentiments. Rest assured that I have never even dreamed of "bulging" out of a size one or two.

On that note, I want to be honest and say that I have had occasional misgivings about my size. What I've done in the above poem is oversimplify the multi-faceted feelings girls like myself often have towards their bodies. I am typically a very confident person (perhaps too much . . . humility is where it's at, I hear), and this carries over into my body image and my positive impression of how God has created me. Of course, being human, I sometimes have doubts about being "fearfully and wonderfully made." Wouldn't I be more wonderful if I was a more "normal" height? Or a size smaller? Or had a narrower waist? I sometimes muse.

I can realistically link my meager body image issues to two major events in my life.
  1. I got married.
  2. I started blogging.
Number 1 was a problem because I had never been trying to please anyone before. It is probably apparent, but I rarely concern myself with what others think of me. All of a sudden, I was married to the person I cared about more than anything and cared about making him happy. I cared what he thought of me, and his opinion of my physical appearance mattered. At 5'10'' to his 6'0'', I began to feel that I was too tall and would make him feel self-conscious. I stopped wearing heels for awhile in an attempt to seem more petite, which I will never be. This is how I first began to become a little dissatisfied with my body.

Photo credit: Trang Huyen of Behind the Seams, Sydney Poulton of The Daybook,
and Rumi Neely of Fashiontoast
Number 2 was a problem because I had never before had reason to compare myself to anyone else. If others were shorter and thinner than me, I would say, "Who cares? I'm popular, I do well in school, I have a great boyfriend (now husband), and my friends and family love me the way I am." Now that I am foraying into the world of fashion blogging, however, it's easier to see the obvious trends. It's no secret that my blog is not enjoying any kind of smashing success compared to some of the leading bloggers of the day.

Who's to say that my inhibited success as a blogger isn't due to my proportions being different from those of members of the popular culture?

I have worn some of the exact same styles as the adorable bloggers pictured above (purple tights and everything,) and have often come to the conclusion, "Well, I guess clothes just don't look as good on me as they do on other people. I guess I don't have as much to offer as they do." This is a silly way of thinking, but it is often genuinely how I feel.

I'm not exactly sure where to go from here, because I know the role of fashion bloggers is supposed to be one of encouragement and exhortation when it comes to body image issues. We are supposed to be the voice of one crying out in a wilderness of unhealthy perceptions of beauty. We are supposed to help other cope with their insecurities more than we discuss our own. We are supposed to have answers.

Well, the only encouragement I have to offer at the moment is that, on some days, I'm there with you. I struggle with the same issues you do in my own little (or not so little) way. I have wrestled and still wrestle with my own tainted perception of beauty. I still doubt myself. I still cry sometimes.

But I still wear high heels :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your thoughts!