It's All Fun & Games, Until It's Bikini Time...
This past week I had the opportunity to go on a trip to Cancun, Mexico with Mr. Handsome, just the two of us. Thank goodness for a mother in law who can handle the kiddos for a week because we had such a good time. Mr. Handsome wins contests via work that are sometimes vacations and we try to jump on them when we can. Sometimes with the kids and sometimes, without.
The resort we stayed at was awesome. It was only 5 months old. Away from all of the other tourist hotel strips and all you could see around it was the vegetation. So nice! Did I mention it was adults only? It tugs on my heart a little too much when I am already having separation anxiety and theres other people’s kids where I am. Then I just wish my own kids were there. This time I was able to relax, I only cried once, but most importantly I enjoyed my time with my husband.
Aside from everything that was awesome about this relaxing vacation there was a common theme. Let me just say up front that I mainly noticed this because of my own internal feelings. So the common theme here was insecurity. And the bathing suit brings it out in all of us. Some men I saw there never took their shirts off. Some couples stayed fully covered despite laying out and sweating under the sun. And some women wore a cover 90% of the time. But why? What is it that makes us so self conscience that we can’t fully relax and be ourselves with an extra thigh roll on the side?!
I talked it out with my husband, first coming to the situation with the argument that women are more judgmental and mean towards each other. That society puts more pressure on us to be airbrushed in real life. Meanwhile if the men have an extra jelly roll no one thinks twice. However my husband pointed out several men who never once took their shirts off while in the pool. So this made my mind start to wonder about myself. What struggles do I face when putting on a swimsuit and why. Well first off, I will admit that I do workout. I have confidence in certain areas of my body because of that. However I have other areas that because of children, genetics and God’s sense of humor, I am less blessed in those areas. So why does it matter? Well I think the most important thing to address is not the outside issues, but the inner. And it all starts in the dressing room. And I won’t lie I get stressed out. I am not sure who some of those suits are being made for but let me tell you, for the most part it’s not me. And do you know what the funny thing is? I don’t walk out of there thinking, “gee, that brand just doesn’t make a fit for me.” or “I bet theres a suit that’s perfect for me but this just isn’t it, oh well”. OH, No. I leave the dressing room with my head down feeling defeated. And do you know what I am really thinking?! “Why can’t I have a body that would fill that suit?”, “What’ wrong with me?”, or “if only I got this done, or that done I would look so much better in that.”
I hadn’t really noticed that there was something wrong and unhealthy with those thoughts until just recently really. When my husband constantly tells me that he doesn’t care and he thinks this is beautiful. Or that is beautiful the way it is. Refusing to let me surgically “fix” it because to him, there is nothing to “fix”. His words have honestly gone through one ear and out the other. Like yeah yeah, your married to me, your supposed to say that.
Then I found myself stumbling upon another blog that felt like it was meant for me to find in that exact moment in time. Here is a quote from her blog Life is Rozie:
“..But because I wanted to get to the bottom of why we feel the need to do this to ourselves, I’ve asked every one of them (and myself):
Them: “Because it (that part of their body) needed to be fixed.”
Me: “Why did it need to be fixed?”
Them: “Because it wasn’t beautiful.”
Me: “Why do you need to feel beautiful?”
Them: “Because I want to feel confident and secure in myself.”
Me: “Why do you need to feel confident and secure?”
Them: “To be happy.”
Me: “How will that make you happy?”
Them: “Because people will like/love me.”
Me: “Which people?”
***(simplified conversation sample)”
To be loved.
Loved by a significant other.
So THAT is what our need to be beautiful comes down to: To to be ‘good enough’ for love.
I asked them if they had ever wanted to change something physical about a girlfriend/wife/love interest’s appearance. They all answered ‘no’.
Almost all of them commented under this question that they had never noticed any physical ‘flaws’ in the women they had been interested in –UNLESS the woman herself made him aware of something she didn’t like about her body by constantly complaining about it.
Finally, I asked each of them to ‘describe a beautiful woman’ and ‘describe the kind of woman you would want to marry’. Surprisingly enough, for each of these open questions, the answers among most of the men were the same:
Almost all of them stated that a beautiful woman is “someone who takes care of herself and embraces her own unique beauty.”
And almost all of them noted that the kind of woman they would want to marry would be “someone who loves herself.”
Let us as women – all women – take a moment to reflect on that:
A beautiful woman is someone who takes care of herself by embracing her own unique beauty, and who LOVES HERSELF.
– Life is Rozie
Wow. I hope you take that in and I hope you don’t wait until your in your late 40’s to realize your beauty. Here my husband is going blue in the face about how beautiful I am and how perfect my “flaws” are. When I read and answered those questions from above to myself I had all the same answers and feelings. So if I need the feeling of beauty to find love in someone, well don’t I already have that? And if not in my husband, but also in the love from my heavenly father? If anyone has been challenging me to find my beauty in myself it’s Him. I know he has been asking me to come to Him in prayer with this. For my eyes to see what He sees. However as silly as this sounds typing it, it almost just seems easier to take the fast route and “fix” an issue rather than face it internally.
So I will leave you with this …
I challenge you to look inside yourself as I do myself, to find the belief.