Repelled By My Reflection

Yesterday I stood in front of a tall mirror and looked at myself. And I hated what I saw.

I feel ugly, I feel disgusting, I feel repulsive.

I’m not writing this for attention. It helps that nobody reading this knows who I am or what I look like. I’m just trying to get these feelings off my chest.

I hate the way society has twisted our view of what beauty is and what merits praise. I despise the way I look because I do not look the way I’m meant to look. According to our culture, anyway. Standards are so ruthless and people are so cruel in their judgments. I even do it without realising sometimes, I look at people and make a judgment based on appearance. It’s wrong and it’s unkind. It doesn’t inspire positive feeling. I hate it.

I gave birth 10 months ago to a chunky baby boy after being stretched to what felt like breaking point in my pregnancy. Having depression means I seldom feel like exercising. When I’m stressed I eat junk. The combination of these factors means I have not slimmed down much since giving birth. But still I hate myself, regardless of the reasoning behind it. I compare myself to other mothers. I envy their figures and discipline in eating/keeping fit. I hate how I look in clothes. Most days I don’t even get dressed because my jeans are too tight and I don’t want to buy a bigger pair. And it doesn’t help that I have two gorgeous thin sisters (neither of whom have children).

The thing is, I know that even if I worked out regularly and got back to my pre-baby figure I wouldn’t be happy. You can’t erase stretchmarks. My body shape has been irreversibly altered by pregnancy. My face has gained a perpetually exhausted look to it that makeup can’t fully dispel. My hair is too long and not cut into any particular style. I mostly just stick it up anyway if I’m going out.

So I think to myself, what’s the point? Sure, being thinner would make me feel better about myself, but I’ll still find fault, so why put in any effort to change? I’m a wife and a mother now. Who do I need to impress? Nobody expects me to look good anymore. And my husband says he is attracted to me which is nice, but even if he’s not, what difference will it make? I can’t shake from my head the thoughts of him being unfaithful to me. And despite him saying over and over that it wasn’t anything to do with my physical appearance, I believe it was. Partly, at least.

Because let’s be honest here. I’m not attractive. I’m just not. So he must be lying or stretching the truth. I don’t get why he’s just not honest with me.

I hate myself.


4 thoughts on “Repelled By My Reflection

  1. I’m sorry – I’ve been wanting to say something on this post for a while, but it’s taken me this long to find the words.

    I’m with you on how appallingly society has shaped our preferences and standards when it comes to body size and looks. Sometimes the consequences are outright damaging. And it sounds like they’re currently hurting you, which makes me sad.

    But at the same time you have a reassuring awareness of how you’ve ended up in this position. You can see what our culture demands, what it does, how it directs you, and how wrong it is. Maybe one day you’ll really stick two fingers up at it, e.g ‘Yes I have stretchmarks, it’s because I’ve had children, screw you world if you’re going to judge me negatively for that’. And maybe also screw the part of you mind that seems to be judging you pretty harshly.

    If you really do hate yourself, remember that some of your readers certainly don’t.


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