Taking Off the Mask

So much of my life I have felt like I am wearing a mask, (not some wacky mask I bought from a dress up store), but an invisible mask. A mask maskthat hides any negative thoughts I have about myself, (and trust me there are many of those!) Since I was about 14, I would stand in front of the mirror and feel like the me looking back at me wasn’t good enough to show others, for whatever reason I don’t really know why I didn’t feel ‘good enough”, unfortunately many tweens and teens feel this way. Oh who are we kidding, most adults feel this way too! (At least that’s what I tell myself to feel better, everyone’s a little crazy, right?)

I really do think this is the case, I clearly remember my gorgeous mother (love you mum), looking in the mirror at her stretch marks, or her curves and complaining about her body, she was “too fat”, or “not pretty”, or it was “my teeth aren’t right”, and as an impressionable child, I just thought she must be right, because your parents are always right, aren’t they? Well as it turns out NO they’re not always right at all! My mum was beautiful, is still beautiful in her 60’s, but to this day she would scoff if she read that, she still can’t take a compliment and not because she is being modest, oh no, she truly doesn’t think she is, or ever has been a gorgeous woman! It doesn’t matter who tells her otherwise, or how many men still check her out, or even how much her husband desires her, (sorry I know you’ll be embarrassed mum), she still doesn’t see the amazing woman staring back at her from that mirror.

No, she has never been catwalk model skinny, and she’s only just 5 feet tall, but she is beautiful, her voluptuous breasts, her little waist, her brown curls, and more than that, her inner beauty is what I and many others see. So why can’t she? Why can’t more women see their inner beauty, or recognize their outer beauty? We are all striving to be something we are not, so many women of all shapes and sizes complain about their appearance. My 2 model thin girlfriends sit there comparing their body’s, “my legs are too thick”, or “my breasts are too small”, my short friends want to be taller, my friends with no hips, want hips, and you guessed it, my friends with hips and butts hate their curvaceous bodies. Seriously what are we thinking! Let’s aim to be healthy for sure, but let’s not put ourselves down!

So from 14 I hated my body, and my face, I had freckles, (not even that many), but I plastered on foundation from 14 to cover them up, that’s crazy, (my daughters have freckles and I think they are super cute). And let’s not get started on ‘yo yo diet’ and ‘diet pills’ (what was the chemist thinking letting 14 year old girls buy these?) But it was more than that, I didn’t like me, and I am still learning to try to “like” me! At nearly 40, shouldn’t I just be embracing who I am? Yet I look around the school ground or at my Facebook page and I see so many of us are still on a journey of trying to accept ourselves and like ourselves. I mean how do we measure if we are a “good” person, or “worthy”, or “loveable”? Is it if we drive an expensive car, perhaps if we are happily married, maybe if our kids are successful, or have the best birthday party in their class, I could go on, clothing, house, pay check . . . We put on a mask, we go into debt to have the big house, the car, the handbags, and still we struggle to really love ourselves and celebrate our gifts and talents, or live an “authentic life”.

So for me, this blog, whatever this is, it is me, it is my attempt to be honest with myself, to embrace all my crazy thoughts and indulge in my passions, writing, photography and reading. (Even if no one else ever reads this, I am doing this for me.) If anyone is reading this then I hope in the process of this blog, to inspire you to live true to yourselves, to know it’s OK to not look like you imagine you should, or have to have the latest clutch, if we all removed our masks even a little bit, we might be surprised how alike we actually are. Everyone feels sad some days, or not good enough, smart enough, skinny or pretty enough. We all have things we don’t like about ourselves and it’s okay, it is I promise. Let’s celebrate women, lets support each other, let’s be truer to our own gifts, and celebrate when others succeed too. I am in no way saying it is easy; for me writing this blog, putting myself out there is extremely difficult, but if I’m not writing then I’m not being true to myself. Writing for me is like breathing fresh air, I need it, and for so long I denied myself because it felt silly, or indulgent, I felt if I tried, I’d fail. The truth is, I fail more if I give into fear.

Just for today, remove your mask, even a little, just share a little bit of you, or spend time indulging in one of your passions, or listen to someone else share a little about themselves, or share in their talents, and be proud of ourselves, maybe if we do a little today, it will be easier to do  a little more tomorrow! Think about it!

This piece was written by Mackenzie of Reflections From Me, which will hopefully have more of her insightful thoughts on it soon!

Posted on December 15, 2014 by Holdin' Holden 2 Comments
Holdin' Holden

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  • Well done. Good for you! I’ve been spending much time recently pondering the same thing, as well as “how do I get myself to accept I’m good enough when I know it, but don’t feel it” we place far to much pressure on ourselves to be what we think others want us to be.

  • I think there are so many young impressionable minds that hear people constantly put themselves down and grow up not realizing their true beauty. I just had a discussion with my husband that the world is becoming so hard to deal in because people are not as real as they used to be (with surgery and such). I have resolved to love myself (and all of my “flaws”) for my daughter. I fear the day that she feels uncomfortable in her own skin. I’m glad you are learning to celebrate yourself.