Friday, April 20, 2012

Red Writing Hood -- Makeover

I’d like to lose some weight. Not just a pound or two, but serious, double digit numbers. But then again, I’d like to get rid of the grey in my hair. Permanently. Not just by coloring it every 4-6 weeks. I’d like to be an inch or two taller – just enough to reach things in the kitchen without the step ladder or calling for my son. I’d like to know how to put outfits together that make me look younger, thinner, and taller. 

The truth is what I’d really like is an attitude, self-esteem makeover. I’d like to find a way to consistently feel comfortable in my own skin whether or not I’ve got weight to lose or grey hairs to hide (or embrace?) or I'm not tall enough. I’ve found out over the past 50 years that I can lose weight (albeit, it’s tough), exercise, color my hair, buy new clothes, and even put on heels, and yet none of it really matters if I can’t embrace who I truly am.

I grew up a chameleon. I took on whatever persona was required of me at any given moment. Abuse will do that to you. It’s an act of self preservation. Try to figure out what it is the abuser wants and be that person, and maybe, just maybe he won’t hit me, yell at me, humiliate me, or sexually assault me. That’s a lot riding on a momentary choice/decision. Not to mention the mind reading aspect.

I saw this quote the other day:

Life isn’t about finding yourself; it’s about discovering who God created you to be.

I don’t disagree with this, but at the same time I can’t help but remember the confusion I felt all those years ago. I really believed I was being who God wanted me to be, the problem was my picture of God and His wants was so skewed from being abused by “good Christian people” that I was in a state of constant disorientation, anxiety, and denial.

The makeover I’m looking for goes more like this: be who I am – who God created me to be. Recognize that health -- physical, emotional, and spiritual -- is what really matters. Take care of me as well as I would take care of my children and husband. And trust that those people in my life now don’t want anything from me but that.

Sure the exterior impacts the interior. I want people to think I look nice. And sure a good hair day can make everything else better, but to be dependent on the exterior for how I feel about my value as a person? Well that just can't end well, because what happens when the hairdresser has a bad day and ruins my hair? Am I going to hate myself for the next 4-6 weeks? No. I’m going to choose to value myself for what I believe, say,
 and do. 

I’d just like to be cute while doing it.

link up at Red Writing Hood


  1. Embrace the chameleon! This is not a bad trait to have. Chameleons adapt to their surroundings for survival, true, but there's power in being able to command the change.

    It's like forging a piece of iron. It's the heat that makes you strong. It's the hammering that gives you shape, but none of these events are visible in the finished product with the practiced hand of a master ironsmith.

    As far as self-worth is concerned, I can find no person more deserving of praise than you. To write of these things and make them subject public display takes courage, and I will always applaud you for that!

    Great post, by the way. Your voice rings truth and beauty, and does not dwell in despair.

  2. I can't begin to imagine the strength it took to get through that. The fact that you did and are able to write about it with such an open and honest voice is amazing. To understand that the best makeover is A spiritual and emotional one puts you so far ahead of so many other people.

  3. I think part of the beauty of the human spirit is the ability to want and be several things at different junctures in our lives. Thank you for sharing this. I would have loved to see a moment in your life today explored a little more deeply, maybe one where you felt the need to be someone else or something different than what you felt was expected. Your voice was so strong here that exploring a single moment may have added even a little more power.

  4. Melanie, this is such a heartfelt post. I really appreciate how you have opened yourself and wrote what you really feel about this subject. The best makeover is from within, i truly agree with that. Because what we feel is what gets reflected to the outside. Stay strong :)

    Happy weekend.


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