"I don't understand why people get tattoos or piercings. Is it to make themselves appear less approachable because they don't want to talk to people? Especially people with sleeve tattoos, or facial piercings. Like why? Don't you have something better to do with your time & money? Like go to school or get a good job? I don't want to associate with people like that."
"You realize I have a nose piercing and multiple tattoos."
"Oh. I didn't notice."
The truth is appearances are not always what they seem. I have met some pretty incredible, intelligent individuals who are tattoed from head to toe or have multiple facial piercings. I have also met some naive, rude and just downright awful people who claim to be very religious.
I was once berated in Wegmans by another customer. She voiced her displeasure with my tattooed wrists and told me I was too young to have a child and raise her responsibly. She wore a crucifix necklace, and I could see a rosary peeking out at me from her purse. "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" Matthew 7:3
Just sayin, ma'am. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
It's such a cliche to say "don't judge someone based on their appearance." Just like it's cliche to say "don't judge a book by its cover," we all do it. Sight is the very first sense we get to utilize when we meet someone new. It's hard to ignore what our eyes are telling us, but strength comes from setting our perceived notions aside and letting ourselves get to know someone on a deeper level beyond physical appearance.
I have a memorial tattoo on the top of my left foot to remind me of the baby I never got to hold or kiss. Shelby frequently points to my foot and says "baby" while tracing the outline of his body and wings with her finger. My tattoo allows him to live on, not only in my memory but in my daughter's life, even if it's in a very small way.
Tattoos can be beautiful or gruesome, but their significance to the person they adorn is most important. The outward appearance may not be aesthetically pleasing to others, but tattoos generally have a much more meaningful purpose than just body beautification(argumentatively). They tell a story and are inked after some serious thought about design, location and the message the person is trying to convey. Of course, some people get tattoos after a few too many shots of tequila, but even those tattoos have a story, one their recipients are bound to never forget!
While I understand its hard sometimes to not run with first impressions, I think it's important to give everyone a chance. I hope to raise my daughter with that very mentality. If she remains even half as open and accepting as she is now, she will have some very beautiful relationships with people of all walks of life.
I was having a typical mom conversation with one of my mommy friends, you know, how our kids used swear words in the right context. Swear words that we have no idea where they heard let alone learned how to use them correctly. (ʘ_ʘ) But it got me thinking.
Parents brag on Facebook when their toddlers have gone to the doctor and not only received a clean bill of health but excelled on the intellectual growth chart, as well. There's so much pressure on kids to be smart, to exceed what's considered "normal." There's nothing wrong with being proud of your kids, heck, I've been that parent posting on Facebook but when does it stop? When is enough, enough?
From the moment an infant takes their first breath outside of mommies uterus, the rat race begins. Literally, everything they do is analyzed. Are they eating enough, pooping enough, stretching enough, responding to sites and sounds, the list goes on and on. From the moment they leave that warm, cozy place where nothing else matters besides nourishment and growth, we're nagging them to absorb copious amounts of information, to be the smartest, to excel in every area. The slightest deviation from "normal" and we're encouraged to find solutions to close the gap. Speech therapy, physical therapy, socialization groups, tummy time, etc. We're constantly striving for this idealistic and impossible to obtain, idea of perfection. When are kids allowed to just be kids? When should we just step back and let nature take its course, let then grow and develop at their own speed rather than a speed we set for them?
I remember when Shelby was smaller and the doctor pointed out a head-tilt to my husband and I, at one of her wellness visits. Of course, all the what-ifs started running through my head like a heard of scared antelope, but rather than starting physical therapy, which was suggested, we decided to let Shelby sort her head-tilt out on her own. We followed instructions provided by her physician for ways we could help her at home; stretches we could do and activities that would strengthen her neck muscles. Within a few weeks, Shelby's head-tilt was nearly gone.
Every child is not going to fit into the same box. We all learn differently and at different speeds. I learn best by doing, a hands-on kind of absorption. My co-workers are visual learners. The point is that while I am no expert, I do think we need to take a step back and stop trying to make our kids fit into this idealistic box. This applies to school testing, too. (Oh I know, I just opened Pandora's box). For another post, at a later date...
What do you guys think? Am I way off?
I think its fair to say all women have or do struggle with body confidence. We're surrounded by magazines, the boob-tube, & social media outlets that are constantly flooding our mind with the image of society thinks is beautiful, we end up comparing ourselves to other women EVERY SINGLE DAY. It's hard to feel good about ourselves when we can easily and quickly find a source showing us that we don't fit the ideal mold of what others think is beautiful.
Looking back I can’t really put my finger on a specific day that I started to feel self-conscious about my body, but I can tell you the constant pressure to look a certain way started to feel really strong when I was in high school. However, at that point, I was such an introvert that I knew regardless of what I wore or how I looked I would never fit in with the kids my age, but I also didn’t want to stand out. I didn’t want to make myself a target. I flew under the radar; I was invisible and being invisible in high school can be a blessing and a curse.
How we carry ourselves not only impacts how others see us, but how we see ourselves. I envy the girls that can slink into a two-piece bikini and head to the beach without a care in the world. I cram my mom-bod into a one piece and still feel self-conscious about swimming in my own pool...in my backyard...that's surrounded by trees with little vantage points for neighborhood stalkers to get a peek. I know these views of my body will need to change soon, or at least appear to change because my daughter is going to take note of her mother's insecurities and could turn my issues into her own.
My daughter may only be 20-months-old, but she is a sponge when it comes to speech patterns and body language. She used the word “b*tch” in the right context, twice. No, I have no idea where she learned the word, but I was pretty impressed that she used it properly. I know she is watching me and though I may not be conscious of how my insecurities are presented outwardly, I need to learn and correct those behaviors before my daughter learns to be self-conscious of her body in the same way her mommy is self-conscious of hers.
There was a meme I saw floating around Facebook a few weeks ago, something like “do you ever look back at old photos remembering how you thought you were fat, but really weren’t, and now you actually are fat and wish you were fat like the first time you thought you were?” I laughed when I read it, and I still think it’s pretty funny...and accurate. I think we’re so fixated on the things we dislike about our bodies that we fail to notice the things that are actually pretty awesome about it.
I know this is a subject that’s talked about frequently, and maybe there needs to be less talking and more action. The point is you will never make everyone happy so the only person you should worry about pleasing is yourself. If you want to lose ten pounds to make yourself feel better about your appearance, go for it! If you want to gain 10 pounds so you can stop altering your already size zero pants, power to ya sister! If blue hair and a nose piercing bring you happiness, rock on you beautiful unicorn.
Beauty is subjective, and we are all beautiful in our own ways.