By: Claire Cook, Guest Blogger
I used to look in the mirror and suffer from vertigo. The mirror was my enemy. I was afraid of falling into it, afraid of allowing myself to be lured by what was inside. As a little girl, I was bullied by my family and my classmates for being fat. Now a 120-pound, size-2 woman in her mid-twenties, I still see the girl that was bullied when I look in the mirror. Emotions trump logic.
Until recently, I let beauty imprison me in every facet of my life. Romantic relationships were challenging because I was afraid to let someone else truly see me when I didn’t want to see myself. As a successful woman in the entertainment industry, I’ve often been discounted for being too pretty yet would be ignored if I was not pretty enough. Social media - from Tinder to Instagram to Facebook - is based on superficial likes and voyeurism. No one swipes right for someone they’re not physically attracted to. Ever.
I never doubted my mind but constantly questioned the worth of where it lived: my body.
This self-disdain is draining. We all know this but most of us still choose self-pain over gain.
So fuck it: the insecurities, the self-hate, the molds we try to fit into and the jealousy we feel for others.
I’ve decided that it’s time to fall in love with myself. In and out. With and without make up. My world is going to keep spinning no matter what so why not love the vessel I’m riding in? I am prioritizing the things I love about myself and putting effort into addressing (if I can change) and accepting (if I cannot change) my flaws. Examples below:
The Things I Love About Myself:
- I am a passionate friend, lover, and family member. I have a full heart and pour love into others.
- I am a damn good marketer and a hard-working employee. One day, I will be a boss and a role model for my employees.
- My hair.
- I’ve traveled the world and have experienced tragedy first hand. I understand what it means to be blessed.
- My desire to control everything. I need to let myself fall and get back up again.
- My need to please others before I please myself.
- My thunder thighs. They will, however, come in handy in childbirth.
- The fake tooth I got from a fluke sharks and minnows game growing up.
This is what I’ve learned so far: The more you love yourself, the more others love you. When you become your own wingman, you become less reliant on the validation you get from others. I feel blessed to be a flawless mess and that raw confidence radiates. Now when I look in the mirror, I let myself fall in. I am finally seeing myself.
Claire “Bear” Cook is a regular contributor to I AM THAT GIRL who spends her days working in marketing at a multimedia company in Los Angeles. Having lived in New York City for 3 years and grown up on the East Coast, she moved to LA in 2013 on a leap of faith to build her career and broaden her perspective. Claire is passionate about travel, running, music, karaoke, walruses & wine and enjoys spending her free time with free-thinking, creative & positive people.
Image courtesy Claire Cook