Saturday, August 20

FITNESS // Letting Go of Just Pretty...

It's not my life's purpose to be pretty for you.
That's a thought I had the other day reading an insult someone left on one of my photos on Instagram. And in that moment I felt empowered. Empowered because I had realized that my life is about more than how attractive I am to others. And yet, when I got my photos back yesterday from a quick photo shoot my brain did not instantly go to "how empowered you look, Becka!" it instead starting picking apart every tiny perceived imperfection...

I've lost 70 pounds. And still, I don't feel like an after most of the time. I feel like a constantly-in-progress-almost-there-but-never-quite-there person. What does a perfect body even look like anyway? Surely I'll never have one by society's standards. I'm too short, I'm too curvy. My boobs are too small and my thighs are too big.  My facial features are both too strong and too weak. I'm knock kneed. My torso is super short. My thighs touch when I'm standing straight. And I have double chins anytime I'm not looking perfectly straight ahead. And I hate all those things. I'd love to tell you I'm some evolved pillar of girl-power that knows none of that matters but I live in the real world and on some level some of it does matter... or at least... it feels like it does.

And that's what pisses me off the most really. That in a modern world where women can be anything we like, what do we spend all our time and mental energy trying to be? Pretty.

Not pretty smart. Not pretty funny. Not pretty accomplished. Just pretty.

So I'm writing all this to tell you that I really don't have the answer. But I'm working on it. I'm working on understanding that my value is not strictly in the symmetry of my face. It really doesn't matter how many people in this world think that I'm beautiful. A combination of genetics, choices, and life experiences have made my body what it is today. And it's the only one I've got to work with. And I want so much more in this lifetime than to just be thought of as pretty.

My job is not to have the tiniest waist. The perkiest boobs. The longest legs. The smoothest skin. The most lustrous hair. From an evolutionary biology standpoint, I've already passed my genes on to the next generation so really... why all this effort in trying to be attractive to potential mates? I should just consider my life on earth a smashing success and stop with all this fussing! HAHA!

Every time I look at a photograph of myself, or stare into the mirror in a fitting room at an outfit cut for someone with the dimensions of a 6 foot tall size 2 model (seriously why are shoulder straps so long in size small tops? Who has shoulders that high anyway?!), I'm reminding myself that my job is not to be just pretty. No matter what social media, or the celebrities, or the advertisements say.

Just pretty alone is silencing us. It's distracting us. Make us spend all of our time fussing over the state of our skin and the length of our eyelashes and maybe we'll be too busy to make any real impact on this world. Not me. Not any longer. I don't want to be just pretty.

I want to be pretty inspiring. Pretty influential. Pretty impactful. Pretty brilliant. Pretty creative. Pretty giving. Pretty remarkable. Pretty helpful. Pretty revolutionary. Pretty beloved. Pretty extraordinary.

So today I'm working on it. And I might not be fully able to let go of it all yet, but I'm getting closer every day. Learning to love myself more every day. Building a community of people who feel the same every day. So that we can make real change in our own lives and the lives of others.

So if you take nothing else from reading this I hope you remember this... you are so much more than just pretty.

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