Saturday, February 18, 2012

My Obsession with PRETTY

(She is SO pretty)
I want desperately to be pretty. I don't know why or exactly when this unsatisfiable desire hit me, but it has been so hard to tame it. I think it started somewhere in middle school. I was painfully shy (no really, people would ask me questions and I was too scared to say anything back for fear of saying something stupid so instead I said nothing) but then boys started to pay attention to me. And somehow in my silly little mind I equated attention from boys=self worth. Which later became being pretty=attention from boys=self worth. So for most of my life I've struggled with this notion in my head. I know it's not true, I know that I am of infinite worth because I am God's daughter. But for some reason I can't get myself to believe that wholeheartedly. It is an everyday battle. I see the  photoshopped pictures of Victoria Secret women and it makes me feel so insecure about my own body and features. I know it's silly. They aren't real. Just pictures. But still I can't help but feel horribly inferior. Then I look around me at real people with perfect features, perfect make up, perfect hair, and I feel more inferior.
These ones are real, and there is no way I can compete.

But I shouldn't compete. It doesn't matter! One day we will all be old and wrinkly. I know, I know, its inner beauty that counts. I know that! But why do I have this worldly desire to be "hot." I want it so bad! How do I get rid of it? It's never going to happen. And even if I could magically be turned to pretty...would it really satisfy this longing to feel of worth? No, of course not. No worldly thing will.

My obsession with being pretty has ALWAYS been debilitating in one way or another. When I was younger, it caused a rift between my friends and me because I was jealous. I never loved them as much as I could have because I was too jealous. As I got older, it kept me (and still does sometimes) from focusing on others. I get so caught up with thinking how I don't measure up to my idea of pretty and all the things that are wrong with me that I totally forget there is a world around me and people with much more serious needs than me and people who need love and care. And I am just so caught up thinking how my chin is so big or something of the like that I don't notice anyone or anything.

What I really want deep down inside is to give it up. To stop wanting to be that perfect, flawless, worldly pretty. To just be me. And not worry about it. I want to forget about me and my features and my body and my looks and focus on others and how I can serve and help others feel loved. I don't really want to be focused so much on myself.

I'm just not exactly sure how to get there. I think it all starts with my thoughts though. I must "take captive every thought" as it says in the bible. When my thoughts start going towards "me me me" I just have to kick them out like I would any other degrading thought. When I see pictures of perfectly perfect women I just have to resist comparing myself. When I see other beautiful girls pass by I must focus on loving them rather than jealousy.

And I really just gotta love me. Sometimes I think I get glimpses of how God sees me, and loves me, and then I can love myself. If I strive to get closer to him, then I will better know myself and better love myself.

And when I love myself I can be free of my obsession with being pretty. I'll be free of feeling inadequate. And I'll be free to focus on others and helping them feel loved. That's what I really want. More than being pretty.


  1. I just have to say that this really hit home for me. I find your honesty so amazing. I have struggled with the exact same thing for a very very long time and recently have started realizing like you said that I need to push it out and move on to more important things. Hard, isn't it?

    Thank you for sharing. It was something I needed to not only hear, but know that I am not alone in battling!

  2. LaNelle! Thank you for reading and commenting! This is why I write...because I love to hear what everyone else says...and it helps me realize I am not alone with all the worries and concerns I have. We aren't alone. It is nice to know that there are people out there who know just how I feel. Love ya!

  3. It would be easy if we didn't have to focus on at least looking nice, but since that is an every day occurance, it's impossible to not see things about ourselves that need improving, or that we think needs improving. Finding that balance between making sure we look presentable and obsessing about it is a constant struggle. Just like eating and sleeping, we really need the right balance. Sometimes I think it would have been so much easier if God had made it so, say...we didn't have to eat so we wouldn't have to worry about the balance of eating enough of the right stuff and not eating too much, but he didn't. And I'm positive it was on purpose. The same with beauty.

    The girls that really get me are the naturally beautiful girls who don't have to try very hard to be pretty.

    Thought provoking post. :) Keep posting away!

  4. My sister and I were just talking about something very similar the other day. I don't know that those impulses are something we can ever just "eliminate" from our lives, so much as choose not to indulge it. I think it's similar to an analogy I heard for people trying to deal with same sex attraction, where they said that our problem is a dragon that comes and burns our village and causes pain and destruction, and we think that in order to get rid of the dragon, we have to fight with it and destroy it. But really, in fighting with it, we exhaust ourselves while it only grows stronger. Really what we have to do is take a step back, and another and another, until finally we're able to turn and start walking away, and you just keep walking, until finally, the dragon is very small on the horizon. We can never really kill it or make it go away completely, but we can make it very small so it doesn't hurt us anymore and is hardly a part of our lives. But it takes time and consistently choosing to take a step away rather than a step towards. I am impressed by your honesty, and have always been impressed by your kindness. I think you're doing a great job! Good luck to all of us with our dragons.

  5. I don't have an answer that will magically fix everything though I wish I could! I try to do something for myself each day. We all have things that make us feel pretty or more attractive. For me, wearing a sexy bra is helpful. No one else knows I am wearing it, but I feel more attractive because of it. And Lord knows I fill it out WAY better than any model does! :)

    The other thing that is most helpful for me might sound kinda' mean. I feel bad for models. They are living their lives constantly in the public eye being judged solely on their body and their appearance. It would be so lonely and difficult. And the types of diets that they have to maintain in order to be so thin? That would be impossible for me and rather horrible all around I think.

    It is hard to think of ourselves as attractive or "good enough" but we are good enough and there is more! We are good enough for a Savior to die for us. We are good enough for our families, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances to love and care for us. We are good enough to have access to inspiration and the gift of the Holy Ghost. We are children of loving, kind, generous, and concerned Heavenly Parents.

    Maybe our figures aren't perfect, but focusing on what we can do, what we are able to is so much happier! I hope you are able to see yourself more as others see you- even if you aren't able to see Heavenly Father's view of you immediately. You are beautiful and you are good, which I believe to be more important. And, if it helps to know, I was so jealous of all of the attention you got from boys freshman year! Yet you were so genuine and nice that I couldn't dislike you! :)

  6. When i first got to your blog today before i read this post, I saw the pic of you and your hubby and your beautiful baby and seriously no joke, the first thought that popped into my head is... "she is GORGEOUS." (you not the baby although she is cute.) It is so hard when we have insecurities, but honestly you got it girl. But it sounds like you have it all figured out. I just wanted to tell you that I think you are pretty.