Beauty Standards Suck

Women are always told the ideal way to dress. To do their make-up. Style their hair. How much they should weigh. How tall they should be. What their eye color should be. How to fix every little thing about them so they can finally be beautiful.

There are many things that I do not like about the way that I look. Some of them bother me infinitely more than others. Some of them only bother me sometimes. But they are always there, in the back of my head, reminding me about where I am not enough (or too much, in some cases).

I have written about my weight before. That is still an ongoing battle. While I have actually lost the baby weight, I am not done. I am ecstatic that the scale is closer to what it was when I got married, but my body is not the same. My muscles are gone. My figure is not in shape. I am still working on this.

I miss my arms that actually had muscles. I miss my abs and tiny waist. I miss having nice legs.

I played soccer for 15 years of my life, so I have broken my nose a couple of times. It didn’t really cause me any self esteem issues until I became a high schooler. I tried to ignore it, but beauty plays a huge part in acting. Talent is great and all, but looks count. The song “Dance: Ten, Looks: Three” fromĀ A Chorus Line is accurate. I am believable as the quirky friend, but not a love interest.

I have debated several times over getting a nose job. By the time I got married, I was pretty over it. Did I like my nose? No. But oh well.

Well… I have been thinking about it again.

I just feel so down on myself about so much. Would something as minute and superficial as this really make me feel better? Sadly, yes. It would. I know this from years of loathing my own face because of this.

Would it make my wallet feel better? Lololol. No.

And since I need money to pay the rent but not acceptance over my image, all these thoughts are purely abstract.

I have incredibly sensitive skin. I am really pale and have had two skin cancer scares in my lifetime. I am pretty good about sunscreen ever since I was a teen and had scare #1, but have been trying to be better about my skin in general. I am incredibly fair skinned. I honestly do not mind being so pale. I do mind that I don’t get to look like porcelain, but rather a crumpled piece of tissue paper. Pale skin shows everything so much clearer. Lines. Blemishes. Wrinkles. I crave that miraculous skin care regimen that makes people flawless.

I actually have two moles that were looked at this past summer as “concerning”. They aren’t cancerous, so no big deal. Except that I hate them. I want them removed. Not medically necessary. Not fiscally responsible. But still digging into my brain like a thorn.

Augh. This isn’t it. There is so much. But I just can’t articulate it.

I just want to look in the mirror and not cringe.

I just would really like to feel “pretty” in my own skin.

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I’m in a Bad Place

I am really in a bad head space.

Losing one’s job tends to have that effect.

They have officially hired my replacement. It is my friend.

Pro: I know I am leaving my kids in good hands.

Con: Despite him having nothing to do with it, I can’t help but feel that my friend is “taking” my job.

It’s like an icy dagger in the heart, but the dagger is also warm so it instantly cauterizes the wound.

I continue to not get interviews or return e-mails from other job applications.

I cried myself to sleep last night. Well, I cried myself to more crying. I cried for at least an hour. Then I proceeded to lay there sadly brooding for another hour.

I feel worthless, without motivation, useless. I don’t feel like I have any sense of purpose right now. I have poured so much into these students and my job. Having them tell me that I am incompetent such a low blow.

No wonder I am not getting hired by the other schools. If I was a good teacher, wouldn’t my current school want to keep me?

 

I Choked

The interview did not go well.

I got there early (par for the course) and scoped out the school from my car for about 15 minutes. It is a really large school, certain areas are still under construction, but some are already finished. The theater is mighty pretty!

I headed into the office (still 20 minutes early) and signed in. The students and office staff were all nice and friendly. They all seemed to know each other and be nice to everyone, which is a great environment.

I was getting interviewed by the principal and the district director for fine arts. They were both very nice gentlemen and were pleasant.

Some of my answers were actually alright. They seemed to like how I related theater classes to real life and cross-curricular lessons.

But they were asking about technical and design skills, what all I can bring to a production team. Then the big news…

Their Technical Director is retiring.

If I can’t do that job at my current school, I definitely can’t do it at a school with a much larger theater department and reputation. Our school musicals typically have about 30 kids? Theirs typically have 150.

My heart skipped a beat and they must have seen the flash of fear in my eyes.

They said something along the lines of “Well, if we find someone who we think is a good mix, we might be able to move other people around in the department…”

Yeah, not me. And I appreciate the pity comment to let me save face, but it was a waste of time for all of us.

At the end, the fine arts director walked me out and made some comment about “Best of luck” and then quickly tried to amend it to be “If we don’t see you again, best of luck.”

I am not sitting on the edge of my seat in regards to that one.

The school I interviewed at a week and a half ago had hoped to make a decision by the end of this week. So until I get another interview, all of my metaphorical eggs are in that junior high basket.

I am feeling pretty uneasy about all of this. And my self-esteem is very low. And plummeting further down. Like below the surface. As the days pass and the other schools continue to not call for interviews. As I see on job sites that positions I have applied for have filled.

I’m watching my tiny hurricane of a daughter destroy the living room currently. She just threw a ball at one of the cats and laughed. Her daddy has taught her how to pet the kitties nicely but she decided to put her stacking rings on their heads instead tonight.

I need to set a good example for her.

Must. Find. Job.

I Haven’t Lost the Babyweight

And now, a break from our regularly scheduled programming…

Instead of me talking about my job hunt, I am going to talk about something else that causes me a lot of anxiety.

My weight.

Once upon a time, I was in really good shape. I played soccer, danced, ran. When my husband and I started dating, we would go on exercise dates. To the beach, to boxing classes, to the park to play football. I taught him how to play tennis.

I used to walk everywhere because I lived right by a beach, but when we moved in together that wasn’t an option anymore since we lived in a busy area and I am not a fan of getting run over. I slowly started putting on a little weight.

At my happiest (dealing with my relationship with my body), I was 135 pounds. Give or take 5 pounds and I was still content with my body. I have weighed less and been miserable, so 140 tends to be my ideal goal weight.

When we got engaged, I was about 150 pounds. I decided to lose some weight for the wedding. During our yearlong engagement, I worked hard on toning up and losing some of that weight. Looking at my wedding pictures, I am really proud of how I looked. I got down to about 143.

Once we were married, we began trying to start a family. We had to go through many infertility treatments and eventually two cycles of IVF to have our daughter. Infertility medications have a lot of weird side effects, including gaining weight and not being able to exercise regularly due to bloat or sore injection sites.

I gained a lot of weight before we even got pregnant due to this.

It was constantly nagging at me, since we had spent so much time and money and still were not pregnant and on top of everything else I had gained 20 pounds? As someone who was already pretty critical about their body I became incredibly sensitive on this topic.

Particularly when I found out I weighed a good 10 pounds more than my husband.

Thankfully, we did get pregnant. I was not worried about my weight during my pregnancy at all. I was so focused on doing whatever I needed to do to bring a healthy human being into this world. My weight was inconsequential.

I was 170 pounds when we went in to the hospital to have our baby.

She is now 13 months old.

I weigh 160 pounds.

How have I only lost 10 pounds?!?

I run on my elliptical or bike most nights – I average about 15-20 miles per week.

I eat pretty healthy meals. I stay consistent with my meals so I know about how much I am eating every day. According to my calorie tracker, I am eating less calories than I spend each day.

And I would love to say I still weigh this much because I have gained muscle. But that isn’t the case. In fact, I have lost major toning in my arms. Muscle gain is definitely not what happened. Fat gain is. My pre-pregnancy clothes do not fit. I can see where the weight is accumulated on my waist and hips.

I signed up to do one of those 30 day trials of a trainer’s exercise series that promise great results and show plenty of before and afters to help convince you. 15 minutes a day and this could be you!

I did the entire 30 day series. I made it a point to do the workouts to the best of my abilities every day even if I didn’t want to. Honestly, I do feel like they helped my arms a bit. And I definitely felt it while doing them. But the promised fat burning? My scale shows that to have been a bust.

I’m worried that this is the new me. I feel like if I haven’t been able to lose it yet, I have missed the window.

And this really upsets me.

I worry about my daughter. Will I be able to play with her? Sure, right now I can. But she can’t run or climb yet. I can still pick her up, but she only weighs 18 pounds. When she is 5 and wants to go play at the park, am I going to get winded? When she jumps up in my arms, will I be able to hold her?

Will she be embarrassed of me? “Mommy, why don’t you look the same as you do in these pictures?”

How can I help raise her to be comfortable in her skin if I am not able to model that myself? I am not worried about trying to be a twig. Weight loss will not change my bone structure and I know that. I am not looking for my scale to say 115.

But I am looking for a way to be able to look in a mirror and smile at my reflection instead of cringing and quickly getting away from the mirror.

I hate the idea that this is what I look like now. That this is what I feel like now.