I can’t remember a specific moment or day when I decided to stop hating every little thing about myself that wasn’t perfect (perfection, based on society’s standards).
I don’t think I said “Toni, stop fucking pointing out the negatives!” and then BAM I just stopped right then and there. It was a progression over time. But there are two moments that have been sticking out to me recently because I’ve been thinking back on the days when I wasn’t so confident to see if I could remember specific thoughts.
In two parts, I’ll talk about each moment. The first was sort of what you would call an ah-ha moment and is simpler to write about. It’s easier for me to get my thoughts gathered. The second, the one I’ll post about another day, is a little more in-depth and needs some more time for me to gather my thoughts. That one will be coming soon.
But until then...this is what I think may have been one of the first times I realized I shouldn’t try to be something in a photo, that I’m not in real life.
It was in like 2013 or 2014. I took a Snapchat selfie and I moved the little comment bar over my double chin to “hide” it. It was going to a friend from work who was literally 10 feet away from me. We saw each other almost everyday. We had known each other for months at that point. So as I sent the Snapchat, I felt so silly. “Does she know what I just tried to do?” “Does she know I just tried to hide my double chin with the words?” “She knows.” And then the moment of ah-ha: “It’s not like she doesn’t know I have a double chin, so why am I hiding it?! What’s the point?!”
I am not the type of girl who has a double chin when she tries. It’s there. Always. Any picture I take, unless it’s from a super high angle, I have a double chin. So why try to hide it? If you see me in person, you’ll see it. It’s there.
And from that point on, I stopped hiding it. I stopped taking pictures from high angles. I quit moving the comment bar in a Snapchat over it to cover it up.
It just felt obvious to me what I was doing. It felt phony. And it made me feel more self conscious in a way I can’t really describe. It made me feel that by trying that hard to hide it, I was actually pointing it out even more.
I don’t really even know if that makes sense to be honest, but that’s how I felt. And how I still feel. I just figure if someone saw me in person, they shouldn’t be shocked by the person they find. Ya know? Staying true to who I am and what I look like has become extremely important to me and that’s worth more to me, than someone seeing a “perfect” version of me in a photo.
(Because I say this self acceptance thing is a journey, it wasn’t until years later when I realized, not only shouldn’t I try to hide it because I feels fake, I also shouldn’t have tried to hide it because having a double chin isn’t bad or ugly. It’s just they way my body is and that’s okay...but that’s a different story and another post 😉.)