Adorable Insecurities

Adorable Insecurities

Adorable Insecurities

We were at a classic venue digesting Latin rhythms together, a girlfriends and I. I rarely get out and this evening was a treat. This beautiful, artistic friend summons the “me” in me and fosters my individuality. She speaks my language. Our quirk is compatible. We’ve fallen into “mutual weirdness” as she once put it, and she gets me out of the burbs to consume culture.

With thick Latin beats moving through me, I took in the magic that surrounded us – couples dancing in synchronization, admiring their connection and translation of the rhythm. There were others around us, but I didn’t notice many.

Mid-evening, I was gently tapped on the shoulder by a gentleman in the vicinity, signaling that he wanted to share something with me. I leaned in nervously and awkwardly, like I do, and he modestly stated, “I’ve admired you. I’m not trying to get friendly but I wanted to tell you that you have the most beautiful nose I’ve seen in a long time. You’re beautiful. I just wanted you to know.” Then he graciously stepped aside and went back to his space nearby.

Boom. I immediately went to that nervous and wounded little girl from years past and felt a wave of humiliation roll over me. I felt my insecurity growing into epic and cartoonish proportions and tried to mask all that overwhelmed me. I didn’t mention a thing to my girlfriend, partly hoping she didn’t notice.

I’m no stranger to childhood ribbing, as I’m sure many can relate. I’m actually sweaty writing this, as if putting something in writing makes it suddenly more real. I was a shy, late-bloomer with a scrawny frame when friends and classmates were changing and developing. Flat chested well into my teenage years, I heard, “Your front looks like your back.” My nose drew attention now and again, once even igniting a family vs. offender bar fight – no joke, long story.

My friend sent me a text that evening before bed, asking what the “attractive man” leaned over to say. I told her. Her response, “That. Is. So. Awesome.” I assured her he was making fun of me. To which she responded, “He was totally attracted to you, you idiot. When a guy says he’s not hitting on you, it’s code for: I am trying to hit on you but in a non-creepy way.”

She saw this as a positive exchange when I saw it as personal shame. I received this interaction to be one of insult or mockery, accessing old personal hurts or insecurities, and she saw it as rare and genuine expression of admiration.

She assured me that she understood where I was coming from, that she had a more unique nose herself – perhaps not the typical cute little Northern European kind that frequents these parts. What resonated with me is when she shared that she loves that she no longer cares or sees it as a difference, of negative connotation anyway, and that she enjoys standing outside of the norm.

When someone addresses your insecurity, your confidence is tested. Will you stand tall or let it cut you off at the knees? Will you let the flesh define you, shrink you? I thank my nose on occasion, for keeping it real. For keeping me mindful by testing my courage and deepening my self. What makes us is our soul – our guts – and thank God they aren’t accessible to be standardized and stamped by society in a pass/fail fashion.

I propose we all stop giving a rat’s ___. Together. Once and for all. That we no longer allow unrealistic and perceived expectations of perfection to shape our worth. That we gather our just-as-they-are noses, our love handles, our asymmetrical mugs, our long foreheads, and our by-standard disproportionate bodies, and dance with them – like nobody is watching. Like everybody is watching. Look less, listen more, love the most. Meet others in blindfold fashion and get acquainted with their insides first.

To the right people, our objects of insecurity are adorable.

XO

Comments

  1. First off, you. Are. Incredibly. Beautiful. We All have insecurities, we are truly our own worst critic! Know what I hate most about myself, it’s not my stretch marks, it’s not my c section pooch belly, it’s not my trouble skim or my thyroid problematic hair or my crooked teeth. ..it’s my knees. They make me so insecure I have onlyjust started wearing shorts and shorter skirts. Seems so silly. We’re getting there though!

    • I love that you shared this, beauty. It sounds ridiculous when we voice these insecurities out loud, right? Those imprinted memories and responses from younger, more impressionable times really like to grip inside. I’m feeling so moved to just shake them loose once and for all. We’re in it together. ALL of us. XO, Holly.

  2. Oh goodness, I have a nose obsession. Big, crooked, bumps and all. I had a drunken argument in a bar once with a woman after telling her how much I loved her nose – she just wouldn’t believe it. Now I can see her side of it, ha!

    • Amanda – I love this. Serious. Poor girl…just trying to compliment someone who is NOT hearing it. Dying. Hugs… J

  3. All I can say this. “I can relate to each one of you.” Thank you for sharing…..

  4. I have a problem with photos of me. A serious, lifelong dread. Driver’s licenses are hell, and there is only one photo of me extant since my wedding photos 46 years ago, when my mother gripped my arm by the elbow and said, grimly, “You Will Stand Still for These.” Yes ma’am, I will.
    But now, at this, age, if someone sees that photo and says, oh, wow. or Oh, what a great picture, I dont go all shucks and embarrassed, I figure, everyone has different taste, different aesthetics, and if they like the picture, I say “why thank you” and we move on. Only took me 5 decades to get to that point. I guess Im learning graciousness at last, because I think that’s what it is. And acceptance, finally.

    • You speak the truth. Why does it take us so long to embrace? I’m also in practice with compliment acceptance rather than deflection. What a loss of exchange, shooshing away one’s admiration. Best to you…

  5. Thank you for writing this!!

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