I stopped wearing shorts when I was in 6th grade, because other kids made fun of how pale my legs were. In fact, they were once compared to frozen chicken:
So, I was the chubby redhead with glasses, a perm, braces and frozen poultry legs in junior high and high school. I wouldn’t purchase a pair of shorts or a skirt again until I was 23 (That would be after the contacts, nose job and weight loss). Ridiculous, right?
The things that end up affecting who we are amaze me. All it took was one comment and I vowed never to show my legs again. I was 12 at the time!
If Jergens Natural Glow had existed back then, I could have saved myself a lot of heartache and sorrow. Those pale kids now days have it SO easy! Spray tans, bronzers, sunless tanning creams that don’t streak or turn you into a carrot. Geez! Lucky! When I was your age, I had to walk 10 miles both ways in the snow just to find a sunless tanner and even then it was one that would stripe up my legs like an orange flavored candy cane!
I promise I’m getting to the point. When you’re younger you worry about what others think. Especially during those impressionable years. All it takes is one comment in regards to something you’re already self conscious about or some repeated conditioning on something you never noticed before and BAM, you begin to question yourself and believe that those around you have a better idea of who you are than you do. I’m 30 and still not 100% comfortable with no make-up in public. Not because anyone has ever told me I look bad, but because I’m afraid if I don’t wear make up someone WILL tell me I look bad. There will come a day when I’ll be too old to go out without makeup on. I should cash in on a nude face while I can, right? Small example, but proof that I still tend to question the things I do and what others will think about them.
This year, I’m vowing to stop. Maybe it is part of my turning 30 or maybe it is just that I’m TIRED of worrying about how others feel about me. I’m sick of analyzing or trying to predict how someone will react to something I did or said. If someone’s every move depends on what I do or say, then that person needs to develop a thick skin (or better yet, get a life), because I can’t live to make others happy and I’m not going to. I spent too much time doing that in my 20’s (and those are supposed to be the selfish years!). 30+ means owning who I am and not being ashamed.
PSA: Be you. In your rawest form. Unashamed and unapologetic. Don’t justify your actions and don’t seek the approval of others. At the end of the day, if you are happy with the last 24 hours, then smile, lay your head on your pillow and pray that you get to do it again tomorrow.