Thursday, May 13, 2010

Celebrating My Freckles

I've been meaning to do a post on Kristin Ott's post for over a week. Things just kept coming up (cough, cough...a day with Jay Asher!), and I never found time to write it.

If you haven't checked out Kristin's post, please do so. She was inspired by a post by Steph Bower and spoke out (loudly and perfectly) about body image and how it affects teen girls. Seriously, it was amazing and so true. It didn't just resonate with her, but many other YA writers started to get on bored. You can start reading their views here and here and here. Check their comments. They will lead you on a crumb trail towards more and more authors who decided to also speak out about body image.

Body image was always (always!) an issue to me growing up, and I wish it hadn't been. It's sad that there are so many factors around kids that send them messages that they aren't pretty enough, thin enough, good enough...just not enough. I looked back at an old diary and found that even my writing when I was young (like 10 years old) reflected body image and being pretty:

"One day there was a girl. Everyone thought she was ugly. So she got her hair cut. The first day of school she wore lipstick and bracelets and earrings. No one knew who she was so she told them. They all wanted to be here friend, but she said, "No, you made fun of me." But this one girl asked if she would be her friend. "Yes, because you didn't make fun of me." They became best friends! The end."

Luckily, these days I know that life isn't about wearing lipsticks, bracelets and earrings. Life is about being happy with who you are, and you know something, I think I'm pretty incredible (freckles and all!). following with Kristin's I am...make-up free/flat iron free and without hair products... a true freckle head!

Let's celebrate ourselves. What is it about your features that you love? Share with me in my comments!


Kaitlin Ward said...

I LOVE your freckles :) And I also love seeing the things your 10 year old self said. It makes me want to hug 10 year old you!

Kristan said...

Um, yeah, how adorable are you? Super!

From Kristin's post: "Post a picture of yourself - sans makeup, fashionable clothing, or a fancy-schmancy hairstyle."

Haha, that's me every day... Occasionally I will put on some light coverup, but mostly, I'm too lazy.

Which is not to say I don't struggle with body image sometimes -- oh, of course I do! Who doesn't?

But I think I was lucky to grow up in a household that was very mature about these things. We wanted to look nice, yes, but nice AND LIKE OURSELVES. Not models.

So when I bawled my eyes out one night in 9th grade and asked my mommy if I could skip dinner from then on (because I was chubby) she said of course not!! But, she said, we could make some changes (because she fed me twice as much as I really needed to eat, lol Asian mommy).

Even now she'll tell me when it looks like I've gained a few pounds, but then she'll take me to Dairy Queen for ice cream. She instilled in me the value of appearance, but more importantly, the value in enjoying life and being healthy/reasonable about your expectations for yourself.

I wish I had her jawline, or my father's gray eyes, but at the end of the day, I am who I am and that's pretty cool too. I guess my favorite feature of mine is my hair, because it's so low maintenance but generally looks good.

(So, hmm, that was a REALLY long answer to your question, hahaha.)

By the way, for anyone who's interesting, my friend has a great blog about body image: Noursing the Soul. She's a health professional who specializes in this stuff.

Kristan said...

Um, I meant for anyone who's interestED. Not interestING. You don't have to be interesting to go there... :P

(But I bet you probably are!)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I visited all of the links - thanks so much for providing them! This is an awesome blog chain. :-)

Amy Lukavics said...

Yay Freckle Head! I love your adorable freckles. And can I just say that your diary entries totally inspired me to dig my own diaries up and look through them? So far, I can't believe all the stuff that I've found.

India Drummond said...

What a great post.. and a sweet story. It's sad how we all go about feeling so insecure, all the while thinking we're the only ones feeling insecure.

Lisa Nowak said...

When I was a kid I used to wish I had freckles. :) I think yours are really cute.

Kate Hart said...

Your freckles are freaking adorable.