She was mentioning this guy who could be a prospect for me, like a boyfriend. I said no, “I don’t have interest in men.” She turned all serious questioning if I was a lesbian. I said no.
She asked me to be honest, and so I was.
“Honestly, I don’t like men because they couldn’t like me. I’m ugly.” My words were pure truth.
She said I shouldn’t think that. I exclaimed, “I don’t! They do.”
Finally, she suggested this unceasing unsolicited advice. “All you need to do is lose weight.” I guess that’s always her point.
This is the story of why I don’t like men.
I’ve done it before. By it, I mean lose weight. Actually, I’ve done it repeatedly, several times. I’m often in and out of my target weight, so her contentment on that aspect for me is quite seasonal. Work out, Instagram fitspo posts, starve, pretend to throw up, series of self-incrimination to keep me doing this / to make me believe that I need to do this.
“This weight, this number on the scale makes the rest of me ugly.” That’s a thought plucked right out my dark days.
I have been successful. She adored me at 110 pounds! She couldn’t be happier for me. I’m not morbidly obese. Most times, I only really need to lose 5-40 pounds. It isn’t much compared to others. But it’s what I need to feel accepted, to feel accepted by her.
Since I was very young, I’ve heard a lot of judgment from her about my weight. Anything about my physical appearance, actually. I started young going to dermatologists because of teen acne (which weren’t really that bad, nor abnormal for my age back then). I had my hair chemically straightened for years. Even though they dried it out and damaged it, I agreed to do it multiple times. I believed her that straight, flat hair makes me pretty. She goes ballistic when I wear flats/sandals/slippers/not heels. She says it makes me look small. But guess what, I am small. I am 5 feet. I don’t care, nobody else does. I don’t understand why it matters to her.
No matter how great I do in my studies, in my extra curriculars, in being a better daughter/sister/person, in everything else, I still have to change something about myself. I never felt that I did enough to make her proud. I don’t really know why she does this to me other than perhaps I could really be hideous. Is it because she was the stereotype of beauty when she was my age? She had a lot of suitors. Her legs are perfectly pearly white. Could it really be because she’s gorgeous and I’m not? Or she may just be really concerned that no guy could like me for me, because no guy could see past my skin. If that is so, then I wish she could have been the one to see what is beneath me. That’s enough for me
I really don’t know.
She masks the losing weight reason with my health. Of course that is a point of consideration. But when she criticizes me on a DAILY basis about how my clothes never look fucking right on me, how I always need to put on baggy clothes covering most of my skin, then I know it’s not just that. It’s really exhausting to hear those things, to be constantly put down, to never be how you want to be completely. It’s painful when I look at myself in the mirror and I don’t like me anymore. I’m starting to see how she sees it and I can no longer recognize my true beauty. Sometimes I wait at least 2 seconds to look in the mirror to prepare my eyes to what I’m going to see. It’s my technique in filtering what I don’t want or in trying to find what truly matters. Now I switch between loving and loathing myself.
End of story.
I was honest when we were talking, but all I got was the lose some weight shit again. I don’t know why I thought or even hoped that she was going to try to really hear me out, my reasons and my pain. I thought she would finally say that I don’t have to change anything to feel beautiful. I thought wrong.
I was honest. Except the part where I said “they” think I’m ugly. They are not other people. She’s not other people. She’s my mom. I know she cares. I know she loves me and I do love her immensely.
I wish other than fear and change, I wish she also taught me how to fight strong and to accept. I’ve engraved this thought on me that I can never really feel good, feel enough, nor feel beautiful until I get back to 110 pounds.
This is why I don’t like men. I’m sorry men.
You see I’m the one messed up and no one’s managed to really fix me.
Today, I manage to have control over my hair. I’ve been rocking the wavy short hair for over a year, also taking care of it in my own terms. I love how effortless it is. Waves give so much volume and poof, but it signifies how much of a free spirit I want to embody. I have control over my dreams and aspirations. More or less, I am getting my life fixed. I do want to lose the weight. It isn’t easy, but it is for me too.
Putting this out there somehow lightens the hurting. I don’t need people to pity me or to say that I am beautiful (on the inside). For anyone who is feeling the same or can somehow relate, at least you’ll know that you are not alone.
My self-esteem problems are something I can’t say out loud or explain to anyone completely and clearly, even to my friends. I can’t expect them to fully understand how these affect me greatly. People have always seen how much of a happy and positive person I am. They wouldn’t recognize this sad bit of me.