Editor’s Note: First, if you’re a guy, please just skip this post. I believe guys ought to be able to think that women are soft and smell nice and to keep this illusion going, I suggest that you simply move along gentlemen. There’s nothing here for you to see.
Now ladies, let’s tackle the embarrassing stuff, shall we?
As I have been working with women, I’ve learned that some get wrapped up in size, others get wrapped up in their weight and still others get fixated on some tiny imperfection and can’t look past it to see the rest of themselves.
You’re not alone.
Allow me to take you back to 9th grade. I sat next to Carl in Algebra II and Trig. He was a 12th grader and I was terrified of him. It wasn’t because he was particularly smart–because, after all, he was three years older and in my math class–but because he didn’t miss a thing and he was really vocal about blasting people.
About this time in my life I developed arm hair. And not just any arm hair but these random black trees that popped up every now and then all over my arms. I was scared I was going to turn into Teen Wolf, but worse than that, I was terrified that Carl was going to get a glimpse of these beasts and announce them to the whole class. The dude wasn’t shy. He once told the teacher that if he were a porn star his name would be Zeus because he’d strike her like lightning. Classy, huh?
So for an entire year I did everything under the sun to hide my arms from myself and more importantly from Carl and certain embarrassment. I covered myself in hoodies, sweaters and long sleeved shirts because of this tiny, random imperfection, even when it was sweltering outside. So instead of wearing a t-shirt, I looked like a sweaty moron because I was trying to hide something that no one else cared about.
But the embarrassment doesn’t end there. We had a pool party later that year for the class. Now, we all know they don’t make long sleeved bathing suits for 9th graders. So I go out and I get this, what I think, is this adorable one piece bathing suit. I didn’t really have any boobs yet and one pieces were mandatory so I thought a flashy print would help detract from my arm hair and simultaneously detract from the fact that I have nada in the boob department.
So I finally muster up the courage to whip off my long sleeved t-shirt, thinking I can dip myself in the water before anyone can see their hair on my arms, and I look over and what do I see…her.
We all have a “her.” You know that enormously popular girl who is nothing less than perfect. At least in your mind. There she is in this stellar yellow suit and she’s extra curvy for a 9th grader.
And I am mortified. Not only do I have to contend with hairy arms but I don’t have boobs. People are talking about these things, saying how she’s perfect and they can’t take their eyes off of her, which is good for my arms but bad for my 9th grade self-esteem.
These things humiliated me. Maybe you can related. Maybe you feel like this now. Maybe you feel inadequate.
Maybe you’ve got a mustache, a catfish whisker, an uneven breast, cellulite, or acne. Maybe you’re terrified of trying something new because you’re afraid your thighs will jiggle, that your stomach will roll or that you’ll get too sweaty.
I want to tell you something, that blemish isn’t the problem. There are 3,000 fixes to all of these problems. Have a mustache? So do 20 million American women. Buff it. If you have catfish whiskers, pluck them. Are your breasts are uneven? The majority of women have them. Get a memory foam bra. So you have cellulite? Big deal so do 95 percent of women. Have acne? So do 60 percent of women. See a dermatologist.
Everyone has something embarrassing that happens because guess what, sometimes your body just doesn’t cooperate. Sometimes you fart during an inappropriate time. (By the way my grandmother would kill me if she knew I used the “f” word do let’s keep that on the down low, shall we?) Maybe you’ve got an overactive bladder. Maybe you sweat too much. Deal with it. Our bodies don’t always cooperate. But guess what, no one’s does. We all have blunders. We all fail and we all get embarrassed.
You know what I wish I could go back and tell that 9th grade version of myself? First, you’re at least as smart as Carl if not smarter because you’re in the same class. You can wax your arms but you can’t always overcome dumb. Second, it’s just hair. One day your husband will tease you about it and you’ll tease him for his big head. You’re loveable and the ones who love you think you’re beautiful even with wonky hairs growing out of your arms. It doesn’t determine your self-worth.
Second, that girl in the yellow suit did have one thing on you. It wasn’t that she had boobs. She had a tailor sew in falsies in her bathing suit. For $15 bucks, you could have had curves in your suit, too. If you would have stopped wishing you were here long enough you would have realized that she had dark hair, dark skin and dark eyes and her arms were hairy, too.
So take some time to tackle the embarrassing problem, and once you’re ready, we’ll work on that Mom butt and those frumpy jeans together.