This morning as I was waiting for my large, iced, soy white mocha (no whip, thanks) at Peet’s, the barista said to me, “Oh you’re hair looks so cute today!” and I was in utter shock! I leaned over to her, “Me?! Are you serious?” she replied, “Yes! It’s so cute!” I stepped back and looked around and then said, “I swear to you, all I did was roll out of bed and run a brush through it. Thank you so much! You made me feel so much better!!!” and we both laughed. It was a bit of an odd exchange. It’s not like she sees me everyday or even very often, but it was so nice of her to say that.
Truth is this isn’t the first time someone has shocked me with a compliment when I’m feeling especially icky or low. It’s nice and all, but occasionally it can be jarring, too. This morning, for example, I was barely even awake! At first I really didn’t think she was talking to me, but looking around I realized I was surrounded by short haired dudes and figured that it had to be me, right? Most people don’t compliment a guy’s do by calling it “cute.” But I accepted the compliment in the end, which is still not an easy thing for me to do, but I am determined to get better at it! I consider it an important life skill.
So what is up with this outsider perspective thing? How can someone see me/us as something we cannot? I’ll take a stab at it, but I’d love your input as well, okay? So I think because we see ourselves through this inner lens, which differs based on mood and current events, we can’t truly see ourselves outside of that lens. Does that make sense? Like, I felt all crusty and sleepy, but I did manage to brush my hair (and I had forgotten at the time that I’d put a tiny barrette in there) , but someone else saw my weak attempt as awesome and there ain’t nothin’ wrong with that! Ha-ha!
We see ourselves at our best, our worst, our everyday and we hear what others think of us our entire lives. Yet we are usually surprised when we see a good picture of ourselves, right? While I have managed to embrace the “bad” pictures of myself and even celebrate them (if you’re my facebook friend, you know what I’m talking about). Sometimes though, even I am shocked by what the camera captures. “Is that really me?!” When others thing we look amazing, all we see are our flaws. We see those minute details no one would even bother to look for or even see/notice!
And what do we do when our BFF/spouse/friend/sibling/etc is feeling blue? “Oh but you look fantastic!” *HeadDesk* We think it’s okay to lift someone up with the same thing. Hilarious! Except it’s not, really. Why are looks so important? Why do we reinforce these concepts? Has society always behaved this way? Did ancient Romans and Egyptians tell each other their hair was looking extra good that day? I honestly don’t know (but I’ll assume only the wealthy had nice hair anyway, right?). How does it make you feel when you’re feeling pretty low on the old self esteem, when someone compliments you on your looks?
I will say that the best mood/self-esteem/etc lifter for me is a fat event or meet up! Nothing makes me feel more empowered and beautiful and strong and amazing than hanging out with rad fatties! I can’t explain it, but it’s like just being instantly accepted and loved without a word spoken. You just know it! You just feel it! It’s awesome! Some of you may be thinking, “Well, that’s great for you, but I have no rad fatties in my life!” Pssshhht!!! If you can’t hang out with rad fatties in person, why not have a rad fatty dance party online through skype or google+?! You can get a web cam on Amazon for $5 (I got the green apple shaped one, it rocks!) and get your fat pride on! Start a meet up group (if you would like suggestions/guidance, email me!)! Seek out local BBW nights at dance clubs! There are lots of things going on, especially in the summer. Let’s lift each other up! Build our fat community and spread the love the world over! <3