I’m that grandma friend – the one who perpetually cancels plans. The one who never has weekend hookup stories prepped and ready for Monday morning. The one who makes up ridiculous excuses to get out of going to dinner on a Friday night, the one who never talks about her love life and who wont go shopping with you for the perfect party outfit.
Instead, I lie in bed Friday evenings, snacking on Twizzlers and popcorn, binge-watching Being Mary Jane on Netflix and daydreaming of having a body like Gabrielle Union’s. I dread shopping for clothes, and when I actually make it to Old Navy or Forever 21, I make sure it’s a solo trip. I bring a size 6 into the dressing room even though I know I’m a size 8, and struggle to squeeze into a dress that would fit me if I were 10 pounds lighter.
In fact, my closet is half-full of clothes from college that I can almost fit into. Meant to be gentle reminders that if I just stick to a diet, I could have a whole new wardrobe. But instead they pull my self-esteem down a little bit more every day as I push them back to reveal a dress I stress-bought last week when I realized I once again had nothing to wear to a work event.
The mirror is my frenemy, the scale is a heartless bitch, my jeans are unforgiving, but ice cream is forever. And so comes the endless cycle of losing a pound or two early in the week, only to gain it right back by Sunday morning. A constant struggle between wishing, hoping and praying that I were 20 pounds lighter and wanting to love myself for who I am beyond the number on the scale.
Because that’s just the issue: I have self-confidence. I am smart, funny, interesting, sarcastic, bubbly and friendly. I’m a strong, independent young woman who don’t need no man. I am an incredibly hard worker, I have goals and aspirations, and I’m a great friend. But I refuse to allow myself to live up to my full potential because I am uncomfortable with my body.
I mean, I know I’m a catch. I know I’d make a great date, a great girlfriend. And I don’t spend weekends wallowing in self-pity. I’m generally happy with my life and I enjoy spending time with myself. But I don’t allow for myself to even be open to the idea of meeting anyone because I would want to look good for them. I would want to be intimate with them. I would have to show them my body. I would have to be vulnerable physically and emotionally, something I’m not okay with.
It’s hard enough to stare at my belly in the mirror every morning before my shower, I am not prepared for anyone else to see it. Why? Because humans are shallow. Heck, I’m shallow. I only want to date guys who are taller than me, who aren’t overweight, who dress well and are aesthetically pleasing. So how dare I have these expectations of a lover when I can’t even meet those requirements?