I can’t say I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to get this point because, honestly, I never believed it would happen at all. As ridiculous as it sounds now, I thought I would always try and hide what I really look like from the man I love. But after 3 years together, more than a year of it living in the same house, I realize it’s not only impossible; it’s a real pain in the ass.
What’s the big deal anyway? What’s the worst that could happen?
The worst would be he stops loving me and doesn’t want to be with me anymore. Okay, that’s pretty terrible, but it’s also not anywhere close to what I believe is actually going to happen. So what’s the real problem here?
Maybe it started with me trying to hide my imperfections in the first place.
I can’t keep it up
Per societal conditioning, when we were dating, I presented to him as perfect a picture of myself as I possibly could. So no wonder it makes me anxious now, letting him see what I really look like. That’s not the person he fell in love with.
Or is it?
I’ve never worn makeup thick enough to cover the spider veins under my nose or the sun spots on my cheeks.
On one occasion I discovered an inch-long hair under my chin after spending the weekend together.
So, I’m not so naïve as to think he hasn’t already seen my imperfections. I just normally go out of my way to prevent these happenings as much as possible. And when I do realize there’s a rogue hair growing here, or droopy skin highlighted there, I take comfort in the possibility that maybe, just maybe, he didn’t notice before I was able to do something about it.
But that’s not good enough for me anymore.
I’m tired of trying to look perfect all the time and pretending he doesn’t notice when I don’t.
I’m ready to trust him with seeing everything
I want to trust him with the ugly face I make when I’m concentrating. The one I catch in the reflection on my computer when the screen goes black after pausing too long between work. (Why, by the way, when I’m having my best ideas, should my face look like that?)
I want to trust him with the double chin that forms when I’m in the most comfortable of positions. I’m tired of rearranging myself when I realize my neck is crumpled against the pillow, chin to my chest, especially since I’m usually comfortable that way lying next to him.
I want to trust him with my roots. They’re gray, bordering on white. I’ve actually done pretty good work in this department, letting them go weeks at a time. I think this one’s easier to accept because it’s temporary. I can always make my roots go away.
I want to trust him with the cellulite on my stomach when it catches the light just right during sex. I do manage to resist the temptation to turn off the light, as I don’t want him thinking it’s for the reason it is – because I’m insecure and all the experts say that’s the worst thing you can be during sex.
I am that woman
In the essay, Beautiful on Purpose, I wrote:
“Why can’t there be beauty in chipped nail polish? Gray roots? Crepey skin? Cellulite? Sun spots? Yellow teeth? Wrinkles? A crooked nose? Mismatched clothes? I can imagine that being a description of a beautiful painting – full of character and color – but not the same of a real woman.”
Clearly, I need to let my imagination run away with me because I am that woman. She is real and it’s time to trust that it’s okay for her to exist, especially in the presence of the man she loves.
What’s it like for you having your significant other see your imperfections? Does it make you anxious? Are you over it? Did you never care? Any which way, how does it feel and is there anything about it you’d like to be different?