It’s become an almost daily habit of ours. I will wake up, look in the mirror and let out a sigh that let’s the whole world now how dissatisfied I am with the face staring back at me. Ok, sometimes it’s more like a gasp of shock and horror as I realise just how tired I look and how no amount of sleep or skincare will ever undo all the damage that has already been done.
And my darling other half will roll out of bed with a happy stretch and walk through to the bathroom butt naked for the whole house to see. Yes, with more pride than a mom and her newborn baby.
It usually starts round about here that I hear Meghan Trainer’s song start playing in my head, “I thank God everyday, I woke up feeling this way….”
He will return from the bathroom showered, with a bounce in his step and a satisfied smile that goes on for days. He will proceed to stand in front of the mirror half-dressed, flexing his muscles and turning his body at different angles to get a better look, almost giving thanks for all he sees.
The song resumes…. “Who’s that sexy thing standing over there? That’s me, standing in the mirror.”
And most days he will, with a cute and sexy grin ask me in all earnest ” What does it feel like to be married to this? What does it feel like to be married to such a stud?”
The song gets louder…. “I can’t help loving myself and I don’t need nobody else. NO-NO! ………If I was YOU, I’de want to be me too, I’de want to be me too, I’de want to be me too”
Yup this song is like the soundtrack to my husband’s life, a perfect description of the relationship he has with his physical self. I mean, have you ever? Like how even? Is this normal? There’s just no shortage of confidence here my friends.
So, I laugh and humour him by saying things like “It’s tough I tell you. I don’t know how I’ve survived all these years being married to such a snack” or “I ask myself the same question everyday…. I’m the luckiest girl in the world.” I laugh, but truth is I always find myself getting a little envious. Envious of this healthy relationship he has with himself and how happy he is with what he’s been given.
Because even though he’s really (half) joking and doesn’t have a big head, it’s his deeper sense of self-confidence that really makes him so sexy. It’s the fact that he’s so comfortable in his own skin and is able to get rid of any unhealthy expectation of himself that makes him so attractive. It’s his attitude that has me looking at him thinking “Yup, he’s not too shabby for old guy”! 🙂
It’s made me wonder though: Why are men generally so much more confident and satisfied with their appearance than women? Why do they have a natural inclination to like what they see (or not like it but not care too much anyway) and own their physical attributes? Why, for crying in a bucket, is there often such discrepancy between male and female confidence? I feel like I have been robbed of this gift. One that allows you to live a life so free of worry and insecurity. A life where time is better spent on things that matter, where you feel truly confident in your own skin from the very moment you step out of the shower in the morning until your head hits the pillow at night.
Women around the world in all shapes and sizes are fighting demons everyday, trying to love themselves more, accept themselves for who they are. We are always striving to be thinner, prettier, fitter, more youthful. We support movements about body positivity and self-care, join clubs and Facebook groups made up of women who seem just as unsatisfied with their own looks with these amazing intentions of lifting each other up from the pit of self-hate and discontentment. We come together, united with the hope of making peace with ourselves and accepting the faces and bodies they have been given.
I love these groups because they support and uplift and make women feel less alone. They empower each other and help us strive to be the best versions of ourselves, and that’s important! But why are so many of us feeling this way everyday to begin with while our male counterparts seem to accept themselves so much easier. Why is their so much expectation placed on women to look good and strive for perfection and men… well not so much? I’m not saying there aren’t men who worry or that men don’t take pride in themselves, more that they seem to generally start with a better sense of self-love and acceptance. They don’t harp on for ages about their looks or start Facebook pages about self love. There’s just less pressure!
I wish for once the way we felt about ourselves could be as simple as it is for men. That we would really leave our deep insecurities at the door and step out with an almost cocky confidence that we often so clearly lack. Maybe it’s a case of ‘faking it ’til you make it’ and sticking the finger to all the unnecessary pressure. Maybe, it starts by snatching the lyrics of Miss Trainor’s song as the soundtrack to our own lives. And maybe, just maybe it starts by speaking to ourselves positively in the mirror like my husband does.
I guess there’s only one way to find out.