I totally forgot.
I had Kohl’s Cash to spend and I totally forgot. The cash deadline was that very evening and well, Kohl’s Cash! Without another thought, I pulled on my fave red Converse, grabbed my keys, threw my purse over my shoulder, and ran out the door.
I usually don’t see people when I go to Kohl’s. And I didn’t think twice about seeing people when I left my house.
Absolutely no make-up. Red shoes. Bright blue t-shirt that fit, well, okay. Black joggers. Seriously messy bun with a multitude of bad hair bumps. Did I even brush my teeth?
And I saw people.
And as soon as I saw people I was all of sudden painfully aware of my appearance. When I ran out the door, I didn’t care. But then, someone else was observing my unkempt self, and immediately I cared.
Who I am doesn’t change whether I’m in a cute dress with straightened hair or a badly matched outfit with crazy person hair. I am still worth as much, just as valuable, and frankly, just as fun. Maybe even more fun.
But the fact that for a split second I actually thought about it and cared about it really bothered me.What bothered me more is that I gave excuses for my appearance to people I saw. Seriously, Carrie? Ridiculous.
How many times have I gotten out of bed, pulled on shoes, and grabbed groceries at Kroger? The people who really love me, I mean really love me, could care less if I’m dressed to impress or comfortably comfortable in my sweats.
I understand there are times we need to dress professionally. I don’t go to school looking like I pulled a college essay all nighter.
But I should be comfortable enough in my own skin to be confident that who I am, the worth that I have, is not determined by how I look on the outside. I have always been pretty confident in that. I’ve always embraced my body in all its Carrie-ness.
But at Kohl’s, all of a sudden something happened. It’s like I was in this alternate reality that reminded me how the world judges. And I gave in. I let it grab me by the messy bun and make me question myself. I’m just being honest.
We have to have the courage to be imperfect: to put ourselves in uncomfortable situations so that we are forced to accept our flaws and come to grips with how valuable we are despite and because of those very flaws. Then, and only then can we begin to change and correct those flaws – AFTER we accept ourselves as we are.
When I can finally see myself that way, I can see others that way. And if we all begin to love ourselves and then love others…can you imagine how different this world would be?
I’ve determined to continue to leave my house on many occasions “just as I am”, without the facial highlights, the pretty-ing up, or the matching clothes. Why? To continually put myself in uncomfortable situations that force me to accept – and even love – my flaws so that I can continue to see myself as valuable no matter how I look.
We need that sort of revolution – especially among women and girls – in order to fight the societal voices that tell us our value lies in Instagram beauty: the make-up, the clothes, the hair.
Those things don’t determine my worth. And they don’t determine yours, either.
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