I started curling my hair a month ago. This is actually a big deal for me. I’ve never really cared about my hair before, preferring to dry it in the air vents as I drive to work instead of waking up a half hour earlier to do it with a blow dryer. But, I started using styling product, drying my hair with a blow dryer, and then curling it. I’ve been experimenting with different styles, and I am loving it. I feel beautiful when I do this, and that’s really what I need right now.
Because, I recently realized, X never told me I was beautiful. Maybe a few times in the beginning of our relationship, but certainly, in the last five years, he did not say this to me. Sometimes, I would ask if an outfit looked ok, and he’d say, “Yeah,” or even, “It looks nice.” But as I gained weight, I got less validation from him and so internalized that as me being ugly. I was ashamed of myself, thinking he was ashamed of me. I grew to believe I was ugly, and treated myself like I was ugly.
I’m not doing that any more. Honestly, fuck him for not seeing how beautiful I am. How full of light and joy I am. How that radiates when I smile and laugh and dance. Fuck him for not seeing how shiny and thick my hair is, the curve of my lower back, and the way my eyes crinkle when I smile. The softness of my lips.
I see these things. I see them now. I am beautiful and I am determined to treat myself that way. It started with waking up a bit earlier and curling my hair, but I keep going. I’ve started doing Pilates. I am trying to walk every day and while I’m not there yet, I’m still trying. I am trying to put nourishing food into me. I’m getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Because I deserve these things. I am beautiful and I deserve to be treated that way, by any future partner, yes, but most importantly, by me. More and more, I am feeling beautiful.