Friday, April 6, 2012

This is my body... continued.

A couple friends and acquaintances have pointed out similar things regarding the picture below which I posted in the previous blog entry, This Is My BodyThrough different sets of eyes, the same observations were found. As noted and explained in the previously mentioned blog entry, this picture was taken in February of 2011 during a boudoir photo shoot I somehow got up the courage to sign up for.

A friend of mine responded to the picture by saying this :  "I don't see the body, I see your eyes. It looks as if you have a vacant stare, as if you are conflicted, uncomfortable. I see neither happiness or unhappiness..."

Another acquaintance of mine said "You look kind of stunned, almost like you are thinking 'is this really me' in the mirror."

I suppose I do look rather empty and almost shocked and confused.

I'll tell you my thoughts as I remember them as I looked into that mirror on that boudoir-shoot day: 

Is this good enough? Maybe if I wouldn't have eaten ________ or if I would have gone to the gym ___ more times, I would look better right now...

Maybe I should have straightened my hair, my curls aren't curly enough; I hate my hair...

I see flaws. I tried so hard, but I'm still not good enough. I should have done more to look better...

But, my face looks pretty pretty...
Will my body ever be pretty enough...?
Will my body ever be good enough...?
Will I ever be happy enough...?
Will I ever be worthy enough...?
{insert trance-like stare, a big sigh and a faux-smile}

So... it seems it wasn't really a vacant stare and it surely wasn't neutral. It was negative and critical. The stare was one in which body checking was taking place, right smack-dab in the middle of a photo shoot. And, my photographer caught me. She caught my body checking, chocked full of criticism. She caught my conflicted stare.

Included in the body checking was some adoration. Adoration came with the acknowledgement that I did in fact think that I looked pretty. But, as usual, the pretty face staring back at me provided brutal mockery as I simultaneously self-mutilized with harsh words and stern judgements. As I mentally tore apart my "imperfect" body, I thought obsessively about what I could have done that would have made my bodily reflection good enough, skinny enough, pretty enough, worth enough... In the trance-like state in which I spent years binging and purging, I stood that day staring. 

Towards the end of my Eating Disordered road and in the middle of a photo shoot I could hardly believe I had the courage to agree to, I stood staring and viciously questioning myself, my body and my worth. I didn't not feel worthy of a photo shoot that day. I felt my face might have been, but my body wasn't. Therefore, I wasn't worthy enough. What was I thinking? Why would I ever have thought I was good enough for a photo shoot? I am not good enough.

This is my body... and for years, including on that photo-shoot day, it wasn't good enough. To me, my body didn't match up to the pretty face that I always thought deserved more. I always thought my face was too pretty for such an imperfect and unworthy body.

This is my body... this is my face... would you have ever known before I told you that I struggled? Would you have known by looking at this picture, in my eyes or at my face that I was drowning myself in criticisms and disappointingly concluding that my body wasn't good enough for my face?

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