A few days ago, somebody mentioned that I'd need to be getting some new clothes soon. And I was wearing one of the new shirts. And yeah, it's a little loose anymore.
My work pants are all way too big now, and the only thing holding them up is the belt. I'm way past the holes anymore, and am into the stretchy web material. I haven't adjusted the belt for a month, and yesterday the pants fell off while I was walking in the house.
It's good, certainly. But there is the other side of the coin that pushes all of the buttons, and that's the "it's not enough" voice that gets reinforced pretty much everywhere, the voice that asks if you're willing to wear a skin-tight T-shirt or tank top in public without being embarrassed, the voice that tells you that your worth is based heavily on how you look, that your physical appearance is the opener of doors, the grease on the wheels, the Great Lubricant of society.
Having gone from an extreme to being pulled somewhat into the fold, I can tell you that the voice isn't so much inside my head as it is fed by the world around me. Yes, it's shallow and ridiculous, but it's also the prevailing undercurrent. It's Hollywood Plastic etching its way into our collective unconscious.
I want to deny it. I want to say that I am better than that, I want to rise above it and be unaffected, but I have no immunity. I am symptom and disease rolled into one.
Today at the dentist I was seriously considering cosmetic dentistry. It's driven by vanity, and I recognize that, but it is not without it's practical social consideration. I'm also considering Lasik for much the same reason, though the practical side of not needing glasses has some weight there.
But I am conceding to vanity. Or starting to anyway. I'm not quite into being "pretty" yet, and I'm not capable of wearing a skin-tight T shirt without being embarrassed yet either. Truth be told, I don't know if I ever will be, but I'm closer now than I've been in close to 20 years.
Altruism be damned, I wanna be hot. I want to be sexy, and take-your-breath-away stunning. And part of me hates me for wanting that, for being so shallow and vain.
I'm still going to work toward that as a goal. I may never get there, but it's certainly a healthier place than I am now, or have been in the past.