Julia Plevin

I've forgotten that I'm beautiful

Julia Plevin
I've forgotten that I'm beautiful

If I could share the most vulnerable thought in the world…to share it in writing on a blog no one may ever see just to get it up out of my body so it can move through me and release, it would be that I’ve forgotten that I’m beautiful.

Maybe I’ve never known. I look at old photos of myself and think “wow I was so beautiful then” but I look in the mirror now and I nitpick. My hair is too frizzy. My skin is too blotchy. My belly isn’t flat enough. And I know better. And yet I do it. And I think I’ve done it my whole life. And I think I come from a line of women who didn’t honor their own beauty. I know I am doing healing for this whole line. Bringing up the ugly stuff no one wants to face so I don’t pass it on to my children.

But sometimes I wonder what it would feel like to know that I was beautiful. I see a woman with perfectly wavy blonde hair walking down the street. What would it feel like to have hair that perfect? I see a woman next to me in yoga with every ab muscle showing and wonder what her life is like. I think well maybe she has no problems or worries because she looks that good.

What would it feel like to be one of those model-like women who post a photo on Facebook and a 100 people comment, “wow, you’re so beautiful.”? Why do I care about this now. I never even used to care. Is this the effects of social media or some deep wounding that’s coming up for healing?

And I know this is insane. That no one is immune to the human condition. And then I get angry. Angry at the patriarchy that lives inside of me for comparing myself to other women. To feel anything like judgement or competition when all I want to feel is pure love.

I think I used to know that I was beautiful. Maybe it’s all the times I’ve been broken and had to put myself back together. Each time I get stronger and more wild and more embodied but sometimes I wonder if that’s not what men want.

If I knew I was beautiful could I try less hard to make a big difference in this world? Would I be able to relax and just be? Would I not be single and 31 and writing this blog on a Friday night? Would I not stress eat chocolate chips? Why is this my lot in life?

And in reality I know I’m beautiful. And sometimes I feel it. But other times it feels so far away. I feel like I’m putting on a show of being confident when in reality I’m not. I’d be more confident if I had flat abs like I had when I was in my 20s or luscious locks like I had in my younger years. Will I ever be loved for exactly how I am at this moment? Can I love myself for exactly how I am at this moment — can I love the imperfections in myself like I love them in others? Sometimes I think all I do is write questions.

I’m scared to share this because someone might read this and then they might find out the real truth. But that’s the thing I’ve realized. The stuff that we try to hide from others, our deepest darkest secrets, everyone can see them anyway. On some level. And not only that. The people who love you love you for all your imperfections. The people who love me love me exactly how I am. And the ones who don’t…well why would I try to be anything I’m not for them anyway?